Heathrow Express, a non-stop airport train service that takes only 15 minutes from the airport to London's Paddington Station, has taken a sharp cut in its prices ahead of increased competition from slower but much cheaper lines.
Fares, which are as high as £25 for a walk-up ticket and no lower than half that for tickets bought three months in advance, will now top out at £16.50. Prices will now start at £5.50 for advance tickets. Once a specified number of tickets at that price are gone, more will be offered at a higher price, rising eventually to the top fare.
Part of the reason for the shift is the anticipated opening of London's new super-subway Crossrail, which will have an advantage over Heathrow Express in that it serves numbers of key stations throughout the city rather than only Paddington, which is well in the western part of the city. Although times will be a bit longer to the city, actual time may be better than arriving at Paddington and switching to other trains or buses.
The Crossrail system, which will become the Elizabeth Line of the London Underground when it is complete, uses the Heathrow line of the former Heathrow Connect service, and will connect it to Crossrail. In the meantime, the old HC is being marketed as TfL Rail, and sold at the same zone pricing as the rest of the Underground system. The third, and slowest alternative, is the Underground's Piccadilly line. Like TfL Rail, it is priced at £6 cash fare, and less with a transit card.