Elizabeth Line - London's east-west railway by TfL

Using the Elizabeth Line in London including Heathrow

Elizabeth line London 2022
Elizabeth Line stops at Paddington

The Elizabeth Line (ex 'Heathrow Connect', then 'TfL Rail') is a high-frequency rail service running through London and its suburbs, connecting mainline stations at Paddington and Liverpool Street with Heathrow Airport and Reading in the west, and Abbey Wood in the east.

For visitors to London the Elizabeth Line offers a reasonable, more budget-friendly option for travelling to Heathrow than the Heathrow Express.

The Elizabeth Line was a longterm project, originally called the Crossrail project, it became operational on 24 May 2022.

The Elizabeth Line has 41 stations and can take an additional 10% capacity to central London travel rail networks.

For commuters, the Elizabeth Line connects the east and west of London to the centre of the city. This helps to reduce travel times and make journeys into London much easier.

About Elizabeth Line   Elizabeth Line to/from Heathrow   Visitor Oyster   Heathrow transport comparison fares   Price caps   Fares 2024  

About the Elizabeth Line

The Elizabeth Line is advertised as a state of the art railway. As you would expect the new service and stations are clean, spacious and well designed. The new rail line now adds additional capacity in the region of 10%, so helps to offer a better service across the whole network.

Although the Elizabeth Line is designed to connect west and east London to central London, those visiting central London on sightseeing trips can also find some benefits from the new line.


Using the Elizabeth Line to get from Stansted Airport to Heathrow Airport

For any traveller flying in to Heathrow and needing to transfer to Stansted Airport or vice-versa, things just got a lot easier with the Elizabeth Line. Previously, getting from Stansted Airport to Heathrow would involve getting a National Express coach and ignoring the train altogether. This is still the cheapest way to transfer, but if you want to use a train, with the Elizabeth line you now have a quicker option.

Using the Stansted Express into London you can arrive quickly at Liverpool Street and then from here use the Elizabeth Line to Paddington and through to Heathrow (or vice-versa)


When did the Elizabeth Line open?

The Elizabeth Line opened in May 2022.


What are the opening hours on Elizabeth Line?

The Elizabeth Line is open seven days a week, with Sunday and evening services now fully up and running.

The last weekday services that will run through are:

  • 23:41 - westbound from Shenfield to Paddington
  • 22:57 - eastbound from Reading to Abbey Wood
  • 23:01 - eastbound from Heathrow Terminal 5 to Abbey Wood
  • 22:06 - westbound from Abbey Wood to Reading
  • 23:06 - westbound from Abbey Wood to Maidenhead

How much does the Elizabeth Line cost?

The Elizabeth Line is not a tube line, it is a railway, a very modern one, however some people refer to it as a tube line. Costs to ride on the train will basically be the same as other London trains.

So, for zones 1-6 you can expect to pay the same as you would for any station you previously used for that journey. The Elizabeth Line will also have a cap on fares, just like other London lines, so once you reach the cap for the day all other travel is free (zones 1-6). Learn about using the Oyster and fare caps.


Map of the Elizabeth Line

Elizabeth Line route map London

Map of Elizabeth Line Route provided by commons.wikimedia under CCA license

Elizabeth Line trains Heathrow tickets and fares 2024

If you are heading for Heathrow it is recommended you take the Elizabeth Line and not the significantly more expensive Heathrow Express. The line is also much faster and more comfortable than taking the Piccadilly London Underground tube line (which is also less practical if travelling with luggage).

The Elizabeth Line going to Heathrow uses the same integrated ticket system used by the London Underground, London's red buses and most other public transport in London. Travel on the Elizabeth Line starts from £12.80 for a journey to or from Heathrow Airport, where that journey starts, ends or goes through Zone 1. Single journey tickets and Zones 1-6 Travelcards can be purchased from airport station ticket machines.

Four trains per hour run between Paddington and Heathrow on this route. Two of them run to Terminal 4, and two run to Terminal 5. All of them serve Terminals 2 and 3. It takes around 30 to 35 minutes to travel from Paddington to Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3, and about 35 to 40 minutes to reach Terminal 4 or 5. All trains typically stop at all stations on the way.

Travelcard fares - full information

Contactless fares - full information

Oyster fares - full information

Transport for London


London Travelcard & Oyster Card

Visiting London? Save time and money on London public transport

• Visitor Oyster Card • Travelcard for 1 day anytime / off-peak or 7 days anytime • Group day travelcards available

London - Heathrow comparison of public transport from 3 March 2024 - March 2025


Standard Adult Fare*

One way


London Underground (Cash)



London Underground (Oyster Card)



National Express Bus to Victoria



Elizabeth Line Train



Heathrow Express Train (Anytime - web single ticket)



Heathrow Express Train (30 Day Advance)



Heathrow Express Train (60 Day Advance)



Heathrow Express Train (90 Day Advance)



Hotel Shared Shuttle Central London



* Standard adult ticket. Other promotional fares may appear from time to time.

Heathrow Express train - Children under 15 free, online only one-way fare. Cheapest fare for both weekday and weekend travel.

Cheapest Heathrow Express fares are only available 90 days or over in advance and only using the mobile app. A select amount of cheaper tickets are released per day (300) which will help you find cheaper rates when booking in advance, but if these are already sold, then a standard fare will be shown.

Price caps for Oyster & contactless card payments, compared to Travelcard prices

From 3 March 2024 - March 2025

    1-day Travelcard  
Zones Oyster daily cap Peak* Off-peak 7-day cap**
Zone 1-2 £8.50 £15.90 £15.90 £42.70
Zone 1-3 £10.00 £15.90 £15.90 £50.20
Zone 1-4 £12.30 £15.90 £15.90 £61.40
Zone 1-5 £14.60 £22.60 £15.90 £73.00
Zone 1-6 £15.60 £22.60 £15.90 £78.00

* Travelcard peak fares apply for any travel made Monday to Friday before 9.30am. All other travel is off-peak.

** Prices for a 7 day Travelcard. Also the 7 day cap for contactless payment cards between Monday to Sunday - not available on Oyster.

SPECIAL CAP FOR BUS TRAVEL ONLY: £5.25 (When you only travel on London's buses on 1 day).

CHILDREN'S OYSTER CAPS: Off-peak: £1.80 (zones 1-9). Peak: approx half of adult cap.

Oyster Card & Contactless Payment Card Fares -
Compared to Single Cash Fares from 3 March 2024 - March 2025


Fare 1 Journey Oyster/Contactless





Cash Fare at any time

Within One Zone

Zone 1




Zone 2




Across Zones

Zone 1 to 2




Zone 1 to 3




Zone 1 to 4




Zone 1 to 5




Zone 1 to 6




Zone 2 to 6




Gatwick Express Train - Anytime Single from £20.50

Heathrow Express Train £25.00

Southern/Thameslink trains zone 1 stations from £13.79

No return fares.

ANY BUS JOURNEY: £1.75 (no fare zones)

* Peak fares apply Monday to Friday between 6.30am and 9.30am and 4pm to 7pm except public holidays

Should your journey not use TFL services (London buses/trams, Underground, Overground, DLR and TFL Rail), completely, for example part of your journey is via a different operator, most likely a railway company, then the standard Oyster/Contactless single fare based on zones may not be followed.

Children travel free if under 11 year old or are between 11 and 15 years with an Oyster 11-15 Photocard. On services operated by the railways such as Gatwick trains for example, only children under 5 travel free, child rate fares are available with the appropriate age Oyster Zip card.

Children's fares (11-15 yrs old) with an Oyster 11-15 Photocard on Oyster for any trip within zones 1 to 6 is £0.85 off peak, £0.90 peak

Every effort is made to keep all our information correct and the advertised prices up to date. We endeavour to be as accurate a source of information as possible but Travellers Toolkits cannot be held responsible for any price differential between our stated prices and those of the companies supplying the product or accuracy of information provided on our sites.