Transport for London will be running the Heathrow Connect service from this weekend, part of the programme heading for delivery of an opeational Crossrail service.
From Sunday 20 May 2018 Transport for London (TfL) will take over the Heathrow Connect services between Paddington and Heathrow terminals 2/3 and 4 in another major milestone in the creation of the Elizabeth line. From Monday 21 May it will also take over the half hourly Great Western Railway (GWR) services from Paddington which terminate at Hayes & Harlington.
These services will be operated as TfL Rail, which will become Elizabeth line services in December this year when the line opens through central London, transforming travel with quicker, easier and more accessible journeys for customers.
Under TfL Rail, the current service frequency of two trains an hour between Paddington and Heathrow will be maintained using the existing trains, alongside two trains an hour between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington using new Elizabeth line trains, which replace part of the Great Western inner suburban route.
Testing continues to enable TfL to introduce the new Elizabeth line trains on services to the airport.
Single fares on TfL Rail to the airport will be in line with, or cheaper than, the Heathrow Connect fare. TfL zones do not apply to Heathrow pay as you go fares, but for the first time, customers will be able to use pay as you go with Oyster and contactless across the route all the way from Paddington to Heathrow.
As part of the integrated service, daily fare capping for Oyster and contactless and weekly fare capping for contactless will apply, with travelcards that cover Zone 6 able to be used on services to Heathrow. For daily and weekly capping, Heathrow will be designated as ‘Zone 6’, meaning that ‘pay as you go’ customers travelling to and from the Airport from within Zones 1-6 will never pay more than the daily cap of £12.50.
Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “The opening of the Elizabeth line this year will transform travel across London, and TfL taking over services to Heathrow is a major milestone in the project. From Sunday, people travelling to Heathrow will now be able to benefit from Oyster, contactless technology and cheaper fares, providing a better service for thousands of Londoners and visitors every week.”
Jo Johnson, Rail Minister, said: “This is a significant milestone in the delivery of the Elizabeth line, which will transform rail travel for over 200 million passengers every year across the South East, significantly boosting capacity on our network and acting as a catalyst for housing and regeneration.
“When fully open in 2019 the Elizabeth line will provide a faster connection to Heathrow, as well as giving people new interchanges to Gatwick and Luton airports via Thameslink services at Farringdon and helping drive forward economic growth and business opportunities.”
TfL has begun operations at the new, purpose-built train depot at Old Oak Common. The depot will house and maintain up to 42 of the Elizabeth line’s 70 new trains. The maintenance infrastructure at Old Oak Common will play a critical role in the day-to-day operation of the Elizabeth line when it launches later this year, helping to transform travel across London and the South East.