Heathrow Express Airport Rail Link to London – Review

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SEAT COMFORT

Seats in Express Class, the majority of the train, are in a 2-2 configuration.  Heathrow Express spent £16 million on the refurbishment of both the interiors and exterior. The interior is now much brighter and lighter, with new deep blue seats and provides electrical outlets at every seat.

The seats are widely spaced with ample legroom.  My seat was comfortable although it would have been a little crowded had the seat next to me not been vacant.

The Business First cabin is now arranged in a 1-1 configuration with a table at each seat.  Given, however, that this is a 15-minute ride, the £8 premium for a one-way ticket, despite a complimentary newspaper, may not be worth it.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new design, Keith Greenfield, Heathrow Express’ managing director, said that the goal of the redesign was to set “a new standard for comfort” and promised riders “a real airline feel” in the cabin.

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THE JOURNEY

A combination safety briefing/welcome message is broadcast to each car and played on the monitor in each cabin at the start of the journey.  The seats do not have seatbelts and passengers are free to move about the cabin during the brief trip.

Indeed, by the time I opened my laptop and logged into the free Wi-Fi, there was only about ten minutes remaining.  The Wi-Fi seemed faster than it had on previous trips and I was able to check my e-mail and catch up quickly on some news before arriving at Paddington on schedule.

During the very smooth trip, the train reached its maximum speed of 100 mph (160 km/h), but the speed does vary throughout the journey.

BOTTOM LINE

The Heathrow Express is undoubtedly the fastest way of getting into London’s city center if your destination is anywhere near Paddington Station, but it’s far more expensive than the slower Heathrow Connect which also travels to Paddington and makes a few stops along the way to connect with the Tube.  Compared to the typical 60-minute plus trip by bus or taxi, Heathrow Express travelers will arrive more relaxed and refreshed and ready to enjoy the city or attend a meeting or event.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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