Transport for London has confirmed plans to start direct Elizabeth Line services between Heathrow airport and central London later this year.
From November 6 the line will see trains running directly from Reading and Heathrow to Abbey Wood, and from Shenfield to Paddington.
It means that for the first time there will be direct services between Heathrow and London’s financial hub of Canary Wharf.
Sunday services are also set to be added on the line from November, and the frequency of services in the central section between Paddington and Whitechapel will increase from 12 trains per hour to up to 22 trains per hour during peak times, and 16 trains per hour during off-peak periods.
By May 2023 a total of 24 trains per hour are set to run between Paddington and Whitechapel during peak times.
TfL said that passengers landing at Heathrow will be able to travel to Farringdon and Canary Wharf “in as little as” 36 and 45 minutes respectively at the weekend, and 40 to 51 minutes during the week.
In addition the much-delayed Bond Street stop on the Elizabeth Line is now expected to open by November, with two new ticket halls at street level, and from September 5 the opening hours on the Elizabeth Line between Paddington and Abbey Wood will be extended to 0530-2300.
The Elizabeth Line opened in May this year, nearly four years behind schedule and significantly over budget.
Commenting on the news Ross Baker, Heathrow’s chief commercial officer, said:
“This is a huge step in boosting rail connections to the UK’s hub airport directly linking Canary Wharf with Heathrow by rail for the first time.
“This gives our passengers and colleagues more choices to travel sustainably between Heathrow and London.
“I am delighted Heathrow will continue to be at the heart of a growing integrated transport network and our passengers and colleagues will reap the benefits.”