Heathrow has agreed a deal with the government over Crossrail services to bolster rail connectivity around the London airport.
The airport has agreed a plan with the department for transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL) for the Crossrail services to extend into Terminal 5, with the number of trains going into the airport increasing from 18 an hour to 22 an hour by 2019. Of those, six will be on the Elizabeth Line, so a train will depart central London to Heathrow on average every two and a half minutes.
The airport said journey times to Heathrow from Bond Street will be 27 minutes, 35 minutes from Liverpool Street and 39 minutes from Canary Wharf.
Heathrow, TfL and the DfT are also looking into whether more services can be added in the future, with a joint feasibility study underway assessing whether another two Elizabeth Line trains could be added per hour.
Heathrow has also announced that it is introducing Oyster and contactless payments for all rail services going into the airport. From May 2018, new ticket readers will be installed at Heathrow, so anyone using Heathrow Express and TfL Rail will be able to use an Oyster or contactless.
Heathrow chief executive 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.
London's transport commissioner Mike Brown said: "We have been working with Heathrow on how we can deliver the best services for customers to and from the airport. It is great news that we can now confirm that the Elizabeth Line will serve all the Terminal."
Rail services to Heathrow from December 2019:
- 12 Piccadilly Line trains per hour – Six trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 4 and 6 trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 5
- Six Elizabeth Line trains per hour – Four trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 4 and 2 trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 5
- Four Heathrow Express trains per hour – all trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 5