There are two train services from Heathrow airport to Paddington train station in central London: the Heathrow Express and TfL Rail (formerly Heathrow Connect).
- The Heathrow Express is a non-stop service. It’s £22 for a 15-minute single journey, or £25 at peak times (6.30-9.30am and 4-7pm Monday-Friday). Tickets are cheaper if you book online or via their app 90 days in advance. Children under-15 travel for free.
- The TfL Rail takes 34 minutes – £10.50 adult, £5.25 child.
The train is quickest way and most convenient way of getting to central London if you’re staying in the Paddington, Lancaster Gate or Bayswater area. It’s not so useful if you’re staying in another part of central London, as you will probably need to take the underground, bus or taxi to reach your final destination.
TfL Rail from Heathrow to Paddington
If you buy tickets at Heathow airport, TfL Rail is cheaper than the Heathrow Express.
The train stops at Hayes, Southall, Hanwell, West Ealing & Ealing Broadway and Paddington station (in central London).
Fares from Heathrow to London Paddington
Tickets from a ticket machine
£10.90 single ticket from a ticket machine
Children aged 11-15:
£5.45 single ticket from a ticket machine
Pay as you go Oyster or contactless card
(£10.10 off-peak or £10.80 (£10.80 peak – Monday-Friday 04.30am-9.30am).
The journey from Heathrow to Paddington by TfL Rail is included in the zone 1-6 daily cap so if you continue to use your cards to pay for travel until 04.30am the following morning, the maximum deducted from your card is £13.20.
Children under 11 travel for free if accompanied by an adult.
Journey time & timetable
- Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 train station to Paddington – 27 minutes
- Heathrow Terminal 4 train station to Paddington – 32 minutes
- Heathrow Terminal 5 – approximately 45 minutes
Where to take the TFL Rail train
From Terminal 2 or 3
The TfL Rail leaves from Heathrow 2 & 3 train station. You can walk to the station from Terminals 2 or 3. Follow the signs for ‘Trains’.
Trains usually leave from platform 2, but listen to the station announcements or check the departure board between platform 1 & 2.
From Terminal 4
Follow the signs for ‘Trains’. You might have to change at the next station ‘Heathrow 2 & 3’.
From Terminal 5
TfL Rail doesn’t run directly from Terminal 5. You need to take a free train transfer to Heathrow 2 & 3 train station to connect with the service. It takes 6 minutes and trains leave every 15 minutes. Walk to platform 2 and wait for the next free train transfer.
Where to buy TfL Rail tickets
Buying tickets at the airport
You might be forgiven for thinking there’s only one train service from Heathrow. The more expensive Heathrow Express is owned by the airport and is heavily promoted, especially by airport staff standing near the ticket machines. If you don’t tell them you want the cheaper TfL rail ticket, they will ‘help’ you buy the more expensive Heathrow Express tickets. Beware!
There are ticket machines to buy and top up an Oyster card or buy single train TfL Rail ticket. Select ‘All tickets to London’ then London Paddington under TfL Rail
- Terminal 4 – there are ticket machines in the arrivals hall and just before the barriers to the platform
- Terminal 5 – ticket machines in the arrivals hall
- Terminal 2 – the ticket machines in the arrivals hall or in Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 train station
- Terminal 3 – Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 train station ticket machines.
Booking tickets online
TfL Rail tickets cannot be booked online.
Heathrow Express train
The Heathrow Express is the quickest way into central London. It’s a non-stop train from Heathrow airport to Paddington train station. It’s slightly quicker than TfL Rail, but more than twice the price if you buy tickets at the airport. However, if you book in advance and/or travel with children aged 11-15, it can be cheaper than TfL Rail.
Heathrow Express Tickets
There are two classes on Heathrow Express trains: ‘Express Class’ or ‘Business First’. The fares below are for the cheaper ‘Express Class’.
Children aged 15 or under travel for free with an 18+ adult in Express Class.
|Heathrow Express tickets|
|Advance Purchase Single
(buy 90 days in advance)
*£25 tickets are for travel between 6.30am–9.30am and 4pm–7pm Monday–Friday
Return tickets are valid for 1 month.
Journey times & timetable
Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 to Paddington – 15 minutes
Terminal 4 to Paddington – 23 minutes (including train transfer)
Terminal 5 to Paddington – 21 minutes
Where to take the Heathrow Express
Heathrow Express trains leave from Heathrow 2 & 3 train station (for Terminals 2 & 3) and Terminal 5.
From Terminal 4
The Heathrow Express does not start at Terminal 4. Follow the ‘Trains’ signs, the station is a 5-minute walk from the terminal. Take the first free transfer train and get off at the next stop, Terminals 2 & 3. Take the next Heathrow Express train to central London.
Where to buy Heathrow Express tickets
At the airport
- Terminal 2 – the ticket machines in the arrivals hall
- Terminal 3 – Heathrow 2 & 3 train station ticket office or ticket machines
- Terminal 4 – the ticket office or ticket machines in the arrivals hall
- Terminal 5 – the ticket office or ticket machines in the arrivals hall
Heathrow Express tickets do not entitle you to 2 for 1 discounts at London attractions
Last updated: 8 January 2020