TfL Rail

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TfL Rail
TFL Rail roundel.svg
Unit 345007 at Shenfield 7th July 2017 06.jpg
A Class 345 TfL Rail train at Shenfield (2017)
Owner Transport for London
Locale Greater London , Essex
Transit type Suburban/Commuter rail
Rapid transit[1]
Number of lines 2
Number of stations 23 (18 managed)
Began operation 31 May 2015
Operator(s) MTR Corporation
Reporting marks XR
System length 36 miles 54 chains (59.0 km)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification 25 kV AC overhead lines
TfL Rail
Services from May to December 2018
Shenfield branch
0 mi 00 ch
Liverpool Street Central line (London Underground) Circle line (London Underground) Hammersmith & City Line Metropolitan Line London Overground National Rail
4 mi 03 ch
Stratford Central line (London Underground) Jubilee Line Docklands Light Railway London Overground National Rail
4 mi 39 ch
5 mi 21 ch
Forest Gate
6 mi 19 ch
Manor Park
7 mi 28 ch
8 mi 45 ch
Seven Kings
9 mi 23 ch
9 mi 79 ch
Chadwell Heath
12 mi 30 ch
Romford London Overground National Rail
13 mi 41 ch
Gidea Park
14 mi 76 ch
Harold Wood
18 mi 16 ch
20 mi 16 ch
Shenfield National Rail
Heathrow branch
0 mi 00 ch
Paddington Bakerloo Line Circle line (London Underground) District Line Hammersmith & City Line National Rail
4 mi 21 ch
Acton Main Line National Rail
5 mi 56 ch
Ealing Broadway Central line (London Underground) District Line National Rail
6 mi 46 ch
West Ealing National Rail
7 mi 28 ch
9 mi 06 ch
10 mi 71 ch
Hayes & Harlington National Rail
14 mi 50 ch
Heathrow Central (for T2&3 Piccadilly Line National Rail Airport interchange
16 mi 38 ch
Heathrow Terminal 4 Piccadilly Line Airport interchange

TfL Rail is the temporary franchise of two separate railway lines in London and its environs that will combine to form part of the Crossrail service when it opens in stages from December 2018 to December 2019. In December 2018 the TfL Rail name will be retired and the combined services known as the Elizabeth line.[2][3][4]

TfL Rail was introduced in May 2015 when it took control from Abellio Greater Anglia of the commuter "metro" service between Liverpool Street in central London and Shenfield in Essex. That branch comprises the first 14 stations on the Great Eastern Main Line, with interchange at Shenfield for medium- and long-distance services beyond to East Anglia.

On 20 May 2018 TfL Rail also took over operation of the Heathrow Connect service between Paddington in central London and Heathrow Airport to the west (Heathrow Terminal 4 station being the terminus). That route has nine stations.

The service is operated by MTR Corporation under contract to Transport for London (TfL).

Between May 2016 and May 2017, TfL Rail carried over 47 million passengers on the Shenfield branch.[5]


In June 2013 TfL announced that Arriva, MTR Corporation, Keolis/Go-Ahead Group and National Express had been shortlisted to bid for the concession to operate Crossrail, which was under construction.[6][7]

In July 2014 TfL awarded the contract to Hong Kong's MTR, for a duration of eight years with an option to extend by an additional two years.[8][9]

MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Ltd was created as a new train operating company and took control of the "metro" service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield from the previous operator, Abellio Greater Anglia, in May 2015. The existing Class 315 trains were re-painted in TfL Rail livery, and appropriate branding, advertising and message boards were added at the 14 stations along the line. Every station is staffed, from the first train to the last of the day.

In May 2018 TfL Rail took over operation of the Heathrow Connect service between Paddington and Heathrow.


The eastern (Shenfield) branch of TfL Rail runs over the existing 20 miles 16 chains (32.5 km) of track on the Great Eastern Main Line between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. The future Crossrail route will retain the use of most of this track, except the portion between Liverpool Street and Stratford, where trains will use new underground tunnels to connect to the central section of the route.

The western (Heathrow) branch operates over part of the Great Western Main Line and the Heathrow tunnel between Paddington and Heathrow for 16 miles 38 chains (26.5 km).

Stations served or managed by TfL Rail:[10]

Station Zone Local authority Interchange Managed by Served by TfL Rail
Abbey Wood 4 Royal Greenwich National Rail TfL Rail No
Acton Main Line 3 Ealing TfL Rail Yes
Burnham - Slough National Rail TfL Rail No
Brentwood 9 Brentwood TfL Rail Yes
Chadwell Heath 5 Redbridge TfL Rail Yes
Forest Gate 3 Newham TfL Rail Yes
Gidea Park 6 Havering TfL Rail Yes
Goodmayes 4 Redbridge TfL Rail Yes
Hanwell 4 Ealing TfL Rail Yes
Harold Wood 6 Havering TfL Rail Yes
Hayes & Harlington 5 Hillingdon National Rail TfL Rail Yes
Heathrow Central
(for T2&3)
6 Hillingdon HX Heathrow Express Yes
Heathrow Terminal 4 6 Hillingdon Heathrow Express Yes
Ilford 4 Redbridge TfL Rail Yes
Iver - South Bucks National Rail TfL Rail No
Langley - Slough National Rail TfL Rail No
Liverpool Street 1 City of London National Rail London Underground London Overground Network Rail Yes
Paddington 1 City of Westminster National Rail London Underground HX Network Rail Yes
Manor Park 3/4 Newham TfL Rail Yes
Maryland 3 Newham TfL Rail Yes
Romford 6 Havering National Rail London Overground TfL Rail Yes
Seven Kings 4 Redbridge TfL Rail Yes
Shenfield C Brentwood National Rail Greater Anglia Yes
Southall 4 Ealing National Rail TfL Rail Yes
Stratford 2/3 Newham National Rail London Underground London Overground Docklands Light Railway TfL Rail Yes
Taplow - South Bucks National Rail TfL Rail No
West Ealing 3 Ealing National Rail TfL Rail Yes


The typical Monday–Saturday off-peak service pattern on is:

Shenfield branch
Route tph Calling at Stock
London Liverpool Street to Shenfield 6 Stratford, Maryland, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Gidea Park, Harold Wood, Brentwood
During peak times, service frequency is increased and calling patterns are varied, with some stations omitted on certain services.
On Sundays there are typically two trains per hour between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, and two trains per hour between Liverpool Street and Gidea Park.
315, 345
Heathrow branch
Route tph Calling at Stock
London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington 2 Acton Main Line, Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Southall[11]
Does not run Sundays
London Paddington to Heathrow Terminal 4 2 Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell, Southall, Hayes & Harlington, Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3[11]
Skips West Ealing and Hanwell on Sundays
Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 to Heathrow Terminal 4 2 360

Rolling stock[edit]

 Class  Image Type  Top speed   Carriages   Number   Routes operated   Built   Years in operation 
 mph   km/h 
Class 315 Class 315 at Romford.jpg EMU 75 120 4 44 Liverpool Street - Shenfield 1980–81 2015–present
Class 345 Aventra Ealing Broadway - TfL 345015 Paddington service.JPG EMU 90 145 7 66 Liverpool Street - Shenfield
Paddington - Hayes & Harlington
2015–18 2017–present
Class 360 Desiro Ealing Broadway - TfL 360204 Paddington service.JPG EMU 100 160 5 5 Paddington - Heathrow Terminal 4 2002-05 2018–present

Shenfield branch[edit]

A Class 315 and Class 345 at Liverpool Street

The eastern branch of TfL Rail operates with a fleet of long-serving Class 315 and new Class 345 trains.[12][13]

The Class 315 trains will be gradually withdrawn in favour of the Class 345 units.

The Class 315 trains will continue to be maintained at the existing Ilford depot. The Class 345 fleet will be predominantly maintained at a new depot at Old Oak Common.[12]

Heathrow branch[edit]

TfL Rail inherited five Class 360 units from Heathrow Connect when it took over operations on 20 May 2018. These trains will be used to operate the existing half-hourly (2tph) service to Heathrow while the Class 345 units will initially supplement this with a half-hourly (2tph) service to Hayes and Harlington, a service formerly operated by Great Western Railway Class 387 units.[14] Initially the Class 345 units will run with 7 cars being extended to the full 9 cars by mid-2019 after Shenfield services begin to serve Paddington.[15]


  1. ^ "TfL Rail: What we do". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "MTR Crossrail - Crossrail Rolling Stock". 
  3. ^ Smith, Howard. "Crossrail – Moving to the Operating Railway Rail and Underground Panel 12 February 2015" (PDF). 12 February 2015. Transport for London. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 February 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Jobson, Robert (23 February 2016). "Crossrail named the Elizabeth line: Royal title unveiled as the Queen visits Bond Street station". Evening Standard. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "TfL Rail". Transport for London. Retrieved 3 June 2017. 
  6. ^ TfL announces shortlist of bidders to run Crossrail services Crossrail 25 June 2013
  7. ^ Crossrail shortlist reveals four contenders Rail News 25 June 2013
  8. ^ TfL announces MTR to run Crossrail services Crossrail 18 July 2014
  9. ^ MTR Corporation wins £1.4 billion contract to run Crossrail services Rail Technology Magazine 18 July 2014
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "Paddington to Heathrow Airport (TfL Rail)" (PDF). Transport for London. Retrieved 20 May 2018. 
  12. ^ a b Crossrail rolling stock and depot contract to be awarded to Bombardier Department for Transport 6 February 2014
  13. ^ Bombardier wins Crossrail train contract Railway Gazette 6 February 2014
  14. ^ "Crossrail: The Western Approach". London Reconnections. 
  15. ^ Inside Old Oak Common Depot, retrieved 2018-05-20 

External links[edit]

Media related to TfL Rail at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Abellio Greater Anglia
Greater Anglia franchise
31 May 2015
Operator of Crossrail concession
2015 – 2018
Preceded by
Great Western Railway
Greater Western franchise
Preceded by
Heathrow Connect
Heathrow Airport Holdings & Great Western Railway
20 May 2018