Heathrow Express suspended over Christmas Period

Travel News 03 Nov 2016

Heathrow Express passengers will face disruption over the Christmas period (24 December to 29 December) due to planned engineering works.

The service, which starts at London Paddington station, will be suspended for six days because of work on Crossrail.

Rail bosses recommend people plan their journeys using the National Rail Enquiries website here.

Updated: 26 November 2016

More rail works are expected in London during December. Five major London stations being fully or partially shut for part of the festive period, hitting travel to many regions, are: Paddington, Liverpool Street, Charing Cross, Waterloo and Cannon Street. Expect longer than usual journeys on rides. Alternative to travel into the city on the 24 December is the London Underground or the National Express

Public transport is limited over the Christmas period, so make sure to plan your journey in advance. There is no public transport on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, public transport starts to wind down from early evening, including no night buses. Some taxis are available although they may charge more on Christmas and Boxing Day. It's advisable to check details before travelling and book in advance to avoid extended waits. 

London Underground

London Underground's Piccadilly Line provides the most cost-effective rail route between Heathrow and the capital. Heathrow has three London Underground stations – one for Terminals 2 and 3 and one each at Terminal 4 and Terminal 5. Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3 station is between the terminals, which are a few minutes' walk away via pedestrian subway. Heathrow Terminal 4 and Heathrow Terminal 5 underground stations are in the basements of the terminal buildings.

On Christmas Eve, a normal service will run until 8pm, from which the frequency for the next train will be longer and service will end according to a Sunday timetable. There will be no service on the London Underground on Christmas Day.

National Express (Coach)

UK's largest coach operator National Express will be the only public transport provider running a direct service from Exeter to central London from Christmas Eve to Thursday, December 29, as planned engineering works at Paddington Station mean trains will terminate at Ealing Broadway – increasing journey times for passengers.

National Express, the UK’s largest scheduled coach operator services all Heathrow Airport terminals. The cost of a ticket to London on the National Express from Heathrow Airport is only slightly more expensive than a ticket on the Underground. National Express coaches depart Heathrow Airport and arrive at Victoria Station in around 50 minutes, practically the same time it takes on the Underground Piccadilly Line, however coaches of course are subject to variations in time due to traffic. Buses from Heathrow to London can commonly take a couple of hours due to high traffic, especially when travelling early morning. National Express buses depart from the Heathrow Airport main transfer hub approximately every 15-20 minutes in peak hours and approx. every 60 minutes early morning and late night. They have washrooms and provide luggage space for 1-2 <20kg luggage and space for 1 hand luggage per passenger. To catch the National Express from terminals 4 or 5, first catch the free Heathrow Connect transfer shuttle to the main transport hub between terminals 2 and 3.

On Christmas Day itself National Express is serving a total of 76 stops in 64 different towns, cities and airports in England, Scotland and Wales, enabling people to travel directly and benefit from connecting services. Additionally, in response to demand for affordable travel, the number of services running will also increase by 50 per cent from 2015. News of the most comprehensive ever Christmas coach network will doubtless be welcomed as an early gift for those festive travellers concerned by the annual rail shutdown and the major works scheduled to take place on many parts of the rail network. 


EasyBus provides a slightly higher cost bus service than National Express, at £11.00 for a single ticket but unlike National Express is a dedicated airport service using more basic vehicles. They run from Heathrow Airport to Shepherd’s Bush Station approximately every 30 minutes, in approx. 30 minutes, the service then proceeds to Waterloo Station. They offer slightly less luggage allowance than National Express with 1x <5kg hand luggage and 1x <20kg luggage.

Do check the website here for more details closer to the date.

Night Bus N9

If you arrive at Heathrow Airport during the night, you’re best public transport option into London is going to be the Night Bus N9. The bus runs from 11:35pm to 6:30am every evening. The service runs approximately every 30 minutes from the central bus station outside terminals 2 and 3 or Stop 7 outside terminal 5 and takes around 50 – 90 minutes to get from the airport to Trafalgar Square. Standard bus fares apply using an Oyster Card or contactless payment card. Single fares are £6.00. The bus also makes numerous other stops in west London on its approach to Trafalgar.

It is advisable to check the Transport for London website for more updates to plan your travel over the Christmas season.