2 APRIL 2018
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Heathrow Express services between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport will continue to operate until at least 2028 under a management contract between Heathrow Airport and FirstGroup subsidiary Great Western Railway (GWR), writes Andrew Sharp.
The contract was agreed last week. Heathrow Express’s original track access agreement was due to expire in 2023.
Under the new agreement, which has been approved by the Department for Transport, Heathrow Airport will continue to be responsible for commercial aspects of the service, including marketing, ticket pricing and revenue management, while GWR will be responsible for operations.
The contract starts in August this year. As part of the deal, GWR will manage the introduction of a dedicated fleet of 12 four-car trains, which are currently being used on GWR suburban services from Paddington.
They will be converted to airport express specification by December 2019 with some First Class seating, high-speed wi-fi, additional luggage racks and onboard entertainment.
These new trains will replace the original fleet which has operated Heathrow Express services since the line opened in 1998.
In preparation for the launch of Elizabeth Line services, new contactless smartcard readers are being installed at stations at Heathrow and Paddington to enable the use of Oyster cards and contactless payments.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
David Starkie, United Kingdom
Andrew. Are the relatively good existing Heathrow stock being cascaded through the network?