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Heathrow Express

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Heathrow Express unit 332 008 at Paddington Station

Heathrow Express is a train service from Heathrow Airport to Paddington in central London operated by the Heathrow Express Operating Authority, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BAA. The service is not part of the National Rail system.

It operates from approximately 0500 until 2400, with trains every 15 minutes. There are two stops at Heathrow: Terminals 1,2,3 (journey time from Paddington approximately 15 minutes), and Terminal 4 (journey time approximately 22 minutes). It costs around 14 for a single journey in standard class and around 23 for first class (2005 prices) and is non-stop from London to Heathrow. It opened on 23 June 1998, and has trains that are modern by British railway standards, featuring on-board televisions and the ability to use mobile phones throughout the journey, even when in tunnels.

It has been generally well received, not least because steps were taken to reduce the environmental impact of the train line, such as disguising ventilation shafts as barns, but it has received some criticism principally because of its cost. Per kilometre, the journey is more expensive than travelling on Concorde. Comparable airport trains in the UK and the rest of Europe charge a small fraction of Heathrow Express' fare (eg. the train from Birmingham to Birmingham International Airport costs 2.60).

Other transport options from Heathrow to Central London

  • London Underground's Piccadilly Line runs from Heathrow to central London. Typical cost for a single trip, 4.50. Journey time approx. 45-60 mins.
  • Taxi, using the M4 motorway. Typical cost 40-60. Typical journey time 30-90 mins, depending on destination.
  • Coach, operated by National Express. Typical cost 6. Journey time 60-75 mins.
  • Bus, operated by London Buses. Although no London Bus goes directly to central London during the day, the N97 night bus (0030 - 0530) goes direct to Trafalgar Square from Heathrow Central Bus Station. Cost 1.20, Journey time 65 mins.

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