UK DfT, TfL and Heathrow agree to increase rail services to London airport
The UK Department for Transport (DfT), Heathrow Airport and Transport for London (TfL) have agreed upon a plan to boost integrated rail connectivity to the airport.
The plan includes the addition of two new trains along the Elizabeth line every hour that will serve Terminal 5 from December 2019.
Services to Heathrow will also increase to at least 22 trains per hour in 2019 from the current service of 18 trains each hour.
Approximately six of the 22 trains will be on the Elizabeth line.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “This agreement is a big step forward. Together Heathrow, TfL and the DfT are working together to boost rail connections to the UK’s hub, giving our passengers more choices to travel sustainably between Heathrow and London.
“With 22 trains per hour, an ambition to add even more services and easy to use Oyster and contactless ticketing, Heathrow will be at the heart of an integrated transport network and our passengers will reap the benefits.”
Passengers will be able to reach Heathrow from Bond Street in 27 minutes after the commencement of the new services, while Liverpool Street and Canary Wharf will be about 35 minutes and 39 minutes away on a direct train respectively.
A joint feasibility study is currently underway for the consideration of a further two Elizabeth line trains per hour to Terminal 5, which would increase the number of trains serving the airport to eight.
Heathrow has also announced to begin installation of new ticket readers at the airport from May next year to enable Heathrow Express and TfL Rail passengers travelling between Paddington and Heathrow to use Oyster and contactless payments.
The initiative is expected to support Heathrow’s plans to ensure at least 50% of all journeys to and from the airport are conducted via low-emission public transport by 2030.