I hadn’t been to London for over four years and when I headed through the underground of the Heathrow airport towards the Heathrow Express I noticed a major change in public transport: the tracks used by the high-speed train to Paddington are now also used by the new Elizabeth Line colored in purple. The new line was created in a project called Crossrail, because it is a connection from East to West throughout the city – opened in autumn 2022.

The stations look very modern, the coaches are pretty much different to the typical tube trains and security is much better as automatic gates now block access to the track when no train is present. The impressive 118 kilometers long track goes from Reading in the West to Shenfield in the East with branches to Heathrow and to Abbey Wood passing Canary Wharf. In the heart of the city it stops at Paddington (for Hyde Park and Little Venice), Bond Street (for shopping on Oxford street), Tottenham Court Road (for SOHO), Farringdon, Liverpool street (for the Tower of London and Tower Bridge) and Whitechapel.

Is the Elizabeth line a good alternative to the Heathrow Express? The express needs 15 minutes from Paddington to Heathrow Central (terminals 2 & 3) and costs between 16 and 25 GBP. The Elizabeth Line needs 25 minutes (because it stops four times) and costs 12 GBP. Ten minutes more travel time can cut the cost in half – but the locals consider the Elizabeth Line less reliable. It is probably a good choice if your destination is East of Paddington along the route.

Elizabeth line
United Kingdom

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