Heathrow Connect

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Image:Heathrow connect logo.PNG
Image:Heathrow Connect 360201-01.jpg
Franchise(s): Not subject to franchising
Main route(s): London Paddington - Heathrow Airport
Other route(s): None
Fleet size: 5 Class 360 sets (one in storage)
Stations: 7 (none operated)
Parent company: BAA plc/First Great Western
Web site: www.heathrowconnect.com

Heathrow Connect is a train service in London, connecting Heathrow Airport with Paddington station. It is a joint venture between First Great Western and BAA. The service follows the same route as the faster Heathrow Express service but serves intermediate stations on its route, thus connecting several locations in west London with each other, the airport, and central London. It normally leaves from Platform 11 at Paddington.

The service, which was launched on 12 June 2005, makes use of new four-carriage Class 360 electric multiple-unit trains built by Siemens in Germany. A fifth set has been delivered, but it is a five-carriage train and can not be used until the opening of the Terminal 5 extension, as it will not fit in the headshunt at Heathrow. Once the extension opens, the original batch of units will be returned to Germany to have a fifth carriage inserted. When the Terminal 5 extension opens, Heathrow Express trains will be diverted to Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 and will no longer call at Terminal 4. Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 will become the new terminus for Heathrow Connect trains.


[edit] Fares

Fares between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington are the same as for First Great Western services, but the journey between Hayes and Heathrow adds £6. Travelcards are not valid on the service between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow, but can be used throughout the rest of the line.

The service is designed principally for the use of BAA staff and locals from West London for travel to Heathrow, and with a staff ID card, discounted fares are available for the journey between Hayes and Heathow. It is not intended to be used as a cheaper (but slower) alternative to the Heathrow Express service from Paddington to Heathrow: every Connect service is overtaken by an Express service en route, and at Paddington trains are advertised on Departures boards as terminating at Hayes and Harlington, with only a footnote mentioning that they also call at Heathrow.

[edit] Operation

The service uses the slow lines of the Great Western Main Line between Airport Junction and Paddington, replacing some stopping services operated by the former First Great Western Link. To access the airport spur, trains in both directions use the flyover from between the fast and slow lines, to avoid crossing the fast lines. At Heathrow, the trains reverse in the headshunt beyond the station at Terminals 1, 2, 3. When the service started, there was a problem with the signalling in the headshunt, and trains entering the headshunt were unable to leave it. The service was initially curtailed at Hayes and Harlington as a result, except for a few late-night and early-morning services.

The serivce runs along the Great Western Main Line from Paddington to airport junction (Network Rail owned infastructure). The line from airport junction to the airport terminals is owned by BAA. The line is electrified at 25 kV AC overhead and uses Automatic Train Protection.

[edit] Heathrow Connect Route

  London Paddington
  Ealing Broadway
  West Ealing (closed Sundays)
  Hanwell (closed Sundays)
  Hayes & Harlington
  Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 and 3
  Free transfer to Terminal 4 is provided by the Heathrow Express.

Domestic: Arriva Trains Wales - c2c - Central Trains - Chiltern Railways - First Capital Connect
First Great Western - First ScotRail - Grand Central1 - GNER - Heathrow Connect
Hull Trains - Island Line2 - Merseyrail - Midland Mainline - Northern Rail
Northern Ireland Railways3 - 'one' - Silverlink - Southeastern - Southern
South West Trains2 - TransPennine Express - Virgin Trains
International: Enterprise3 - Eurostar
Airport Link: Gatwick Express - Heathrow Express - Stansted Express4
Sleeper: Caledonian Sleeper5 - Night Riviera6
1 Starts 20 May 2007 - 2 To be replaced by the South Western franchise in February 2007
3 Operated on the Irish railway network - 4 Operated by 'one' - 5 Operated by First ScotRail
6 Operated by First Great Western

Future passenger train operators in Great Britain
New Franchises: Cross Country1 - East Midlands1 - London Overground1 - South Western2
West Midlands1
Proposed open-access
Grand Union3 - Wrexham & Shropshire4
1 Starts November 2007 - 2 Starts February 2007 - 3 Proposed - 4 Awaiting Approval

[edit] External links

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