How much does Elizabeth Line to Heathrow cost? We break down the cost for zone 1-6

May 19, 2022

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If there’s one area which has long been sorely lacking in the U.K. travel sphere, it’s competitive transport fares to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR).

But change is coming, as it’s now been confirmed that the much anticipated Elizabeth Line, which officially opens next Tuesday (24 May), promises to ferry travellers to the U.K.’s biggest airport from Paddington Station for around half the cost of the Heathrow Express.

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Passengers from Paddington will pay £10.70 off-peak and £12.70 at peak times to reach the airport when the line officially opens to the public next week. That’s around a 60% saving compared to the £25 single fare for the same journey on the Heathrow Express.

Due to TFL fare caps, this means that using the Elizabeth Line for the airport trip, plus additional travel using the tube network through zones 1-6 will cost you a maximum of £14.10 in total (£11.60 to travel Heathrow-Paddington, plus £2.50 for additional journeys on the tube during the same 24-hour period).

Queen Elizabeth II marking the new line at Paddington Station (Photo courtesy of TfL)

While it won’t run directly to Heathrow until the Autumn (in the meantime passengers will have to disembark at Paddington and change from the Crossrail station to the regular national rail station), once the Elizabeth Line is in operation it’ll take 28 minutes to reach the terminals, calling at Acton Main Line, Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell, Southall, Hayes & Harlington on the way.

Related: Why London Heathrow isn’t the airport it thinks it is

Granted, it won’t get you there quite as quickly as the 15-minute Heathrow Express service, which remains the optimal (though pricy) choice if you’re running late, but it’s still another terrific option to have at your disposal.

In fact, from Autumn, those travelling from Heathrow will be able to travel east, through central London and all the way to Canary Wharf Abbey Wood without changing at Paddington. Now that truly is game-changing. Have a gander at the newly revised tube map below:

(Photo courtesy of TfL)

The TfL’s fare capping across zones 1-6 (within a 24-hour period) means passengers on the service will be unable to spend over £14.10 a day across all transport including the Elizabeth Line should they journey further than Paddington from Heathrow — a great money-saving silver lining for those facing flight cancellations or people collecting friends and family from the airport which can be a costly and time-consuming experience. 

The Elizabeth Line will implement a Heathrow premium of £7.20 compared with the same journey on the Tube. A single journey on the London Underground from the centre of the city to Heathrow costs £3.50 off-peak and £5.50 at peak times, taking around 48 minutes to reach terminals 2 and 3 from Piccadilly Circus.

Inside Crossrail Station, Paddington (Photo courtesy of TfL)

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Having cost upwards of £18.8 billion and been blighted by a costly three-year delay, it’s no great surprise that TfL is looking to claw some of its money back with a Heathrow premium charge, but compared to some of the ‘express’ train services that run to the major airports outside the capital, it’s still a relative snip.

Hailed by rail chiefs as “the most significant addition to London’s transport network in a generation”, this Heathrow offering could be the  Elizabeth Line’s crowning achievement.

Featured image courtesy of TFL.

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