|Franchise(s):||Not subject to franchising;
service began 23 June 1998
|Main route(s):||London Paddington – Heathrow Airport|
|Fleet size:||14 Class 332 sets; 1 Class 360 set|
|Stations called at:||4 (3 operated)|
|National Rail abbreviation:||HX|
|Parent company:||Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited|
|Web site:||[http://www.heathrowexpress.com www.heathrowexpress.com]|
Heathrow Express is an airport rail link between London Heathrow Airport and London Paddington station. The service opened in 1998 and is operated by the Heathrow Express Operating Authority, a wholly owned subsidiary of Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited. It is not legally part of the National Rail system, even though it shares track with National Rail trains for much of its journey and terminates at a London mainline station.
Trains leave Paddington every 15 minutes from 05.10 until 23.25, and there is a similar quarter-hourly service in the return direction. At Paddington, Heathrow Express trains use two dedicated platforms (6 and 7). There are two stops at Heathrow: Heathrow Central, serving Terminals 1 and 3 (journey time from Paddington 15 minutes), and Heathrow Terminal 5 (journey time 21 minutes). Until the opening of Terminal 5 at Heathrow on 27 March 2008, Heathrow Express also served Terminal 4, but this has now been discontinued and Terminal 4 is now the terminus for the Heathrow Express Terminal 4 'shuttle' and the Heathrow Connect instead.
The service uses Class 332 electric multiple unit trains built by CAF/Siemens. These incorporate video monitors and the ability to use mobile phones throughout the journey—even in tunnels. The monitors are mostly used for advertising purposes and for the broadcast of news and weather updates produced for Heathrow Express by Sky News. Prior to April 2010 news content was provided by BBC World News.
Since its opening, Heathrow Express has been generally well received, not least because steps were taken to reduce the environmental impact of the train line. Measures included disguising ventilation shafts as barns. The service has received some criticism, however, particularly of its high fares. By Summer 2013 all units will have undergone a complete refurbishment inside and out including new seating configurations, luggage storage and at-seat power.
A single Express class fare is £20.00 online or at ticket offices and machines, and £25.00 if purchased on board. A single First class journey is £28.00 and a return £52.00. Carnet tickets (a book of 12 single tickets) are available at £199.80 for Standard class or £279.60 for First class. Railcard discounts are available on Standard class single and return tickets if purchased from a ticket office. Tickets can be purchased at either of the two Heathrow Airport stations, Paddington Station, on board the train, online at www.heathrowexpress.com, or using mobile applications for BlackBerry, Android, iPhone, and iPad devices.
Standard class travel between all terminals is free.
There is also a stopping service (Heathrow Connect) which takes the same route from Paddington to Heathrow, using the slower relief lines, on which significantly lower fares are charged. This takes approximately 15 minutes longer than Heathrow Express, but offers connections to the London Underground (Central Line and District Line) at Ealing Broadway.
In 2010, Heathrow Express announced that, to improve connections between the terminals at the airport, it would introduce a dedicated shuttle between Heathrow Central and Terminal 4 that would be timed to connect with the main Heathrow Express service to Terminal 5.
Airport workers can get a discount through the Airport Commuter scheme operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited.
The latest performance figure for Heathrow Express for the first quarter of the 2013 financial year was 94.0% PPM – meaning that 94.0 per cent of trains arrived at their destination within 5 minutes of the scheduled time.
|Heathrow area rail services|
Construction began in 1993. The principal works were the construction of a 5-mile tunnel and underground stations at Heathrow, and electrification of the Great Western Main Line between Paddington and Airport Junction. A flying junction known as Stockley Flyover was constructed to connect the tunnel to the GWML fast lines.
Beginning in January 1998, an interim service called Heathrow FastTrain ran to a temporary station called Heathrow Junction, where a coach took passengers the rest of the way. The full service opened on 23 June 1998.
The service runs along the Great Western Main Line from Paddington to Airport Junction (Network Rail owned infrastructure). The line from Airport Junction to the airport terminals is owned by Heathrow Airport Holdings but maintained on their behalf by Network Rail. The line is electrified at 25 kV AC overhead and uses Automatic Train Protection (ATP). The controlling signalbox for the entire route is Slough (New) IECC.
|Heathrow Central||15 mins|
|Heathrow Terminal 5||21 mins|
Rolling stock 
Current fleet 
|Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Number||Routes operated||Built|
|Class 332||electric multiple unit||100||160||14||London Paddington – Heathrow Terminal 5||1997–1998|
|Class 360/2||electric multiple unit||100||160||1||Heathrow Central – Heathrow Terminal 4||2004–2005|
See also 
- "Smartphone Mobile Ticketing". Heathrow Express. 2012.
- "UK News In Brief". Railway Herald (Scunthorpe). 29 June 2010. p. 6.
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