I hate the Heathrow Express. Let me get that out right up front.
“Why?” you may reasonably ask.
It’s simply the following:
Of course an alternative is the less frequent but cheaper Heathrow Connect:
However, an unexpected meeting just before I went away meant that I was faced with no real alternative but to use the expensive HEX, as the Heathrow Express is known. I assume that this is because there feels like there is a hex on your wallet after you have purchased the ticket.
The trains operate from two adjacent platforms in the centre of Paddington Station and are usually 4 or 8 cars/carriages long.
Mine was only 4 carriages and was in the platform when I arrived. For the pleasure of my readers I had booked a First Class ticket so that I could review the new seats and layout.
The coach closest to the ticket barrier is First Class (or Business First as the HEX calls it). This causes a lot of people to run and then end up with the wrong ticket once they sit down in the nearest seat.
The new First Class carriage features more single seats, reflecting its target market of business travellers on expense accounts:
Each seat has a power socket (or two) which is nice if you have 15 minutes to wait for the train to leave and then 15 minutes for it to get to the airport – 30 minutes work with WiFi can be a bonus.
The seats are pretty comfortable and there is plenty of luggage space by the doors:
The windows are large and the whilst the views are not very exciting, as half of the journey is in the link tunnel.
Part of the coach is a Quiet Coach but this was not being observed by one of my fellow passengers who was desperately trying to rebook his flight to Washington which was leaving 30 minutes after we left Paddington. He was not going to make it. The train operated perfectly to time, and passengers for Terminal 4 have to disembark at Terminal 1 & 3, the first stop. I continued to Terminal 5 – my final destination in order to catch my flight.
So, a nice journey. Would I do it by choice – never! And First Class isn’t really worth it unless you have deep pockets, or your employer is paying.