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Heathrow to London by Train

There are two train services from Heathrow airport to Paddington train station in central London: the Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth line (formerly TfL Rail/Heathrow Connect).

  • The Heathrow Express is a non-stop service. It’s £25 for a 15-minute single journey to London Paddington. Tickets start from £15.00 if you book in adance online or via their app. Children under-15 travel for free.
  • The Elizabeth line takes 29-minutes£12.30 adult/£6.15 child (contactless/PAYG fares are slightly cheaper – see below)

The train is quickest way of travellingfrom Heathrow to central London.The Elizabeth line train from Heathrow airport runs through central London.

Elizabeth line from Heathrow to Paddington

If you buy tickets at Heathow airport, The Elizabeth line is much cheaper than the Heathrow Express.

The trains stop at:

  • Hayes & Harlington
  • Southall
  • Hanwell
  • West Ealing
  • Ealing Broadway
  • Acton Mainline
  • Paddington train station
  • Bond St
  • Tottenham Court Rd
  • Farringdon
  • Liverpool St train station

Fares from Heathrow to London Paddington

Paper tickets from a ticket machine

£12.30 single ticket from a ticket machine

Children aged 11-15:
£6.15 single ticket from a ticket machine

Pay as you go Oyster or contactless payment

  • £12.20 

There is no longer an off-peak fare between central London (zone 1) and Heathrow airport (zone 6).

The journey from Heathrow to Paddington on the Elizabeth line is included in the zone 1-6 daily cap so if you continue to use your Oyster/contactless card to pay for any travel in London until 04.30am the following morning, the maximum deducted from your card is £15.60.

Journey times from Heathrow Terminals to Paddington

  • Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 train station to Paddington – 29 minutes
  • Heathrow Terminal 4 – 35 minutes
  • Heathrow Terminal 5 – approximately 35 minutes

Trains run approximately every 15 minutes between Paddington and Terminal 2 & 3 Train station and every 30 minutes between Paddington & Terminal 5 and Terminal 4

If you just miss a direct train from Terminal 4 or 5. Take any transfer train to Terminal 2&3 and change there, instead of waiting another 30 minutes.

Elizabeth line timetable

View a timetable

Use the National Rail journey planner for up-to-date times.

Use code the following codes for the exact airport stations:

  • HXX for Heathrow Terminals 2&3 train station
  • HWV for Heathrow Terminal 5 train station
  • HAF for Heathrow Terminal 4 train station
  • PAD for London Paddington.

Under ‘more options, railcards & passengers’, go to ‘choose operator’ and select Elizabeth line.

Where to take the Elizabeth line train

From Terminal 2 or 3

The Elizabeth line 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

Follow the signs for ‘Trains’. From arrivals, the lifts are much quicker than the escalators down to the train station.

Where to buy Elizabeth line tickets

Buying tickets at the airport

The more expensive Heathrow Express is owned by Heathrow airport and is heavily promoted by airport staff standing near the ticket machines. You must tell them you want the cheaper Elizabeth line ticket, otherwise 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 Elizabeth line train tickets.To buy a train ticket from a machine Select ‘All tickets to Central London’ then London Paddington under Elizabeth Line.

  • Terminal 4 – 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 Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 train station
  • Terminal 3 – Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 train station ticket machines.

If using an Oyster or contactless payment, just tap your card/phone to enter or exit the train ticket barriers.

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 the Elizabeth line, but more than twice the price if you buy tickets at the airport!. However, if you can book in advance and/or travel with children aged 11-15, it can be cheaper.

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
Single £25
Advance Purchase Single £15
Return £37


Return tickets are valid for 1 month.

Journey times & timetable

Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 to Paddington – 15 minutes
Terminal 5 to Paddington – 21 minutes

Heathrow Express timetable

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 depart from 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

Tickets are available at the airport, online or via the mobile app.

At the airport

  • Terminal 2 – the ticket machines in the arrivals hall
  • Terminal 3 – Heathrow 2 & 3 train station ticket machines
  • Terminal 4 – ticket machines at the end of the arrivals hall
  • Terminal 5 – ticket machines in the arrivals hall

Heathrow Express tickets do not entitle you to 2 for 1 discounts at London attractions. Elizabeth line tickets do.

Last updated: 6 March 2024