Offering an express connection between London Heathrow Airport and London Paddington Station, the Heathrow Express is the fastest way to get into London from the airport. It is a non-franchised, non-subsidised private company which owns its own trains, the stations at Heathrow, and the entire below-ground section of the line between London Paddington and the airport. The service was launched in 1998 and carries an average of 16,000 passengers a day.
Construction on the route began in 1993 and involved a 5-mile tunnel, underground stations at Heathrow, and electrification of the Great Western Main Line between Paddington and Airport Junction. An interim service called the Heathrow FastTrain was offered beginning in January 1998, until the full service opened in June of the same year.
Connections to the Heathrow Express are available from each of Heathrow’s Terminals. From Terminals 1 and 3, passengers must follow signs to reach the Heathrow Central station, where they will catch the train, which requires 15 minutes to arrive in London Paddington. From Terminal 4, passengers must take the inter-terminal shuttle, which departs every 15 minutes and requires 4 minutes, to Heathrow Central station. In Terminal 5, the station is at basement level, with all trains calling first at Heathrow Central before running non-stop to London Paddington. The first train to London departs shortly after 5:00 a.m. and the last one just before midnight. The first train from London Paddington to the airport, which is located in the heart of London’s West End, departs just after 5:00 a.m., with the last departure occurring around 11:30 p.m.
There is an Express TV service on-board all the trains, allowing passengers to find out about the weather, the news, and useful information regarding their journey. First Class seats are available, wherein customers can benefit from more legroom, a personal table, and free newspapers and magazines. In addition, there are dedicated wheelchair areas throughout the train.
Return tickets can be purchased beforehand for £34.00 or on the train for £39.00. One way and other types of tickets are also available.