Faster than the Tube: A new train line will eventually connect Heathrow to central London
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Update: This story has been edited to reflect new information on the Crossrail’s opening dates.
Several years overdue, the highly anticipated Crossrail train service from central London to Heathrow Airport (LHR) has been further delayed.
Software and system issues forced the delay, which will allow more time for testing.
Some new trains will begin running between Heathrow and Paddington Stations in March of next year, but the full “Elizabeth” line is not expected to begin operations until at least 2021.
The new Crossrail service from Paddington to Heathrow will average about 24 minutes.
Heathrow Express will remain the faster option, clocking in around 15 minutes, though it is more expensive.
Once operating, the new Elizabeth line will see six 1,500-person capacity trains per hour run from popular London locations like Bond Street, Liverpool Street and Canary Wharf through to Heathrow Airport, significantly quicker than existing Tube services.
Four of the six trains per hour will operate to Terminals 2/3 and 4, with the other two operating to Terminals 2/3 and 5. Crossrail journeys from Heathrow Airport to Zone 1 (or vice versa) will cost £12.10 each way, which is more than twice the cost of the existing — though much slower — Piccadilly line, the Evening Standard reported. The convenient but expensive Heathrow Express will continue to operate, though it has been reducing its ticket prices in anticipation of the increased competition.
Related reading: How to save on your next Heathrow Express journey
Crossrail will also eventually help reduce the burden on London Underground’s busiest line, the Central line, as both lines share five stops.
The overall cost of the Crossrail project has also now ballooned once again by more than £2 billion to more than £18 billion. Final sections are not scheduled to operate until at least 2021, and could be further delayed.
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