The Anonymous Widower

Crossrail Or Heathrow Express?

I have a friend, who lives in Walthamstow and used to fly out of Heathrow quite frequently.

He usually goes to Heathrow using Heathrow Express, but after looking up the times by using the Overground to Liverpool Street and then Crossrail direct to Heathrow, I suspect he’ll change his route.

Current Route

  • Walthamstow Central to Paddington – 24 mins by Underground
  • Paddington to Heathrow Central – 17 mins by Heathrow Express

Total – 41 mins – 2 changes

Crossrail Route

  • Walthamstow Central to Liverpool Street – 15 mins by Overground
  • Liverpool Street to Heathrow Central – 33 mins by Crossrail

Total – 48 mins – 1 change

It looks to me, that the Crossrail route has one less train change and less walking. And a cheaper ticket!


I wouldn’t be surprised to see a large drop in passengers on Heathrow Express.

August 14, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , ,


  1. I use the Heathrow Express when travelling to/from London. Mostly because it is less hassle if bringing much luggage (nobody climbing over it), it is more restful than the tube, the staff are polite and helpful.
    If the Elizabeth Line can match that, then it will succeed. If luggage is a hassle, then forget it.

    Comment by John Robin St.Clair | August 14, 2021 | Reply

    • I haven’t used Heathrow for some years, as I tend to leave the UK on Eurostar and if I fly back, it’s often easyJet. But you do see substantial luggage on the Crossrail trains.

      Also living in Dalston, Paddington is not the easiest place to get to. But Crossrail will improve that, as I’ll just take a bus to Moorgate and get to Crossrail min about 20 minutes.

      Comment by AnonW | August 14, 2021 | Reply

  2. I don’t see the business case for Heathrow Express adding up when Crossrail (Lizzie Line) goes live in full. Mainly for 2 reasons.
    1. The superior internal configuration of Heathrow Express was wiped away when the Class 332’s were got rid of. The replacement leaves a lot to be desired on so many fronts.
    2. This will leave (if people are in their right minds when making their travelling decisions) only business users continuing to use HEx, and mostly for not many minutes saving in travelling time. Also, those used to the previous comfort levels will be wondering why they continue to pay a premium at all… All others, I would expect) would abandon HEx for Crossrail purely for financial reasons. Timings would obviously play a part but assuming people are crossing London, then one less change will save time.

    Only time will tell, but in my mind, HEx’s days are numbered. As are GatEx’s… GatEx already has enough competition on timings to render it unviable in the long term and I see no reason for it to return to the mainline. Those paths will be better served with more trains to the south coast. There is no justification for paying a premium fare on this service anymore either.

    Comment by Andrew Bruton | August 14, 2021 | Reply

    • A year or so before Covid, I got on a bus at Selfridges to go to the other end of Oxford Street. I was in a four with three American ladies, who’d flown in from Madrid for a bit of R & R. They asked me how I got to and from Heathrow, as they didn’t like Heathrow Express, which dumped them nowhere near the centre. I told them about Crossrail and they said that’s what they needed.

      The benefit of the demise of Heathrow and Gatwick Express is that it will release a lot of nice Class 387 trains, which will be ideal for conversion into 110 mph battery-electric trains for decarbonising lots of routes.

      Comment by AnonW | August 14, 2021 | Reply

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