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Going to Terminal 4 at Heathrow?

From tomorrow the Terminal 4 tube station will be closed for two years, while the line to Terminal 5 is built.

If you are travelling to T4 you can use the free shuttle bus from Hatton Cross tube station, or the free shuttle service on the Heathrow Express from the Terminal 1,2,3 tube station.
Tube passengers travelling to and from Heathrow Terminal 4 will be using a dedicated bus shuttle at Hatton Cross from January 7, 2005 for 20 months.

The change from Tube to bus is to allow for construction of the Piccadilly line extension to the new BAA Heathrow Terminal 5. London Underground's (LU) Heathrow Terminal 4 station will remain closed during the work.

Piccadilly line services will continue to run direct to and from central London to Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 & 3 station. The change will mean a slightly increased journey time to Terminal 4 of five to ten minutes. But it will actually cut journey times by Tube to Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 & 3 by a few minutes.
So that'll all be bloody awkward...


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2005 10:49 am (UTC)
I'm going to Heathrow next week, but fortunately Terminal 3.
Jan. 7th, 2005 11:07 am (UTC)
Back when I lived in Reading, I actually got to fill in a questionnaire about T5. I made the point that what Scots needed was better access and more flights from our own airports - one reason why Heathrow is so damn crowded is because British Airways funnels virtually every flight via Heathrow. As a country, we really don't need yet another airport terminal in the Greater London area.
Jan. 7th, 2005 11:12 am (UTC)
presumably the heathrow express will still be free from T1/2/3 to T4 and vice versa? ignoring how bloody awkward it is changing with luggage and that I just can't see *why* they have to close the T4 station for the whole time they're digging the tunnel.
Jan. 7th, 2005 11:19 am (UTC)
Yes that is still free. One of the papers I saw said they were suggesting that route for disabled passengers.

The new tunnel branches off from the loop, but I agree I don't see why it has to be closed for so long.
Jan. 7th, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC)
I think I know why
Judging from the planned service pattern to Terminal 5, the construction of the extension actually will require substantial reconstruction of the present loop tunnel.

The original Piccadilly Line extension to Heathrow was a standard twin track route, with one eastbound and one westbound track. When the Terminal 4 extension was constructed, it was built as a single track one-directional loop, deviating from the old westbound track west of Hatton Cross, and linking up to the eastbound track at T123. Since the loop was opened, the old westbound track has been largely unused. The reason that the whole of the route beyond Hatton Cross is closed this weekend will be to ensure that the westbound route is up to standard.

Now from what I can gather, the new extension to T5 allows a service that goes to T123 and then to T5. If the new tunnel branches off the loop, then presumably they will have to build a new westbound track from T123, with the present loop providing the eastbound track for the T5 extension. (If you're wondering why this is the case, the only alternative would be to make the section of the loop between the where the extension branches off and T123 bi-directional. Not only would this restrict the frequency of services on the T5 extension, but if you're happy with the idea of potential head-on collisions under Heathrow, well ...) I just don't think it's safe to be running trains through the loop while a new parallel tunnel is being constructed, hence they can't run trains on that section of the loop. But because the loop only works in one direction, that means they can't use the loop at all, hence T4 Piccadilly has to be closed. (I suspect much of the wholly new alignment will be built in the intervening period between T4 station and the loop reopening in 2007 and the new Terminal opening in 2008.)

So, there you have it. Makes sense to me.
Jan. 7th, 2005 12:28 pm (UTC)
I bloody hate Heathrow anyway and avoid it whenever possible, so there's yet another reason not to fly from there!
Jan. 7th, 2005 01:36 pm (UTC)
It's all in the name of progress, isn't it. Stiff upper lip and all that, chaps. We survived the blitz so we can survive a little bus ride. :-)
Jan. 7th, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC)
Bum. I never did get round to testing my theory that taking the tube from Terminal 1,2,3 would be quicker than waiting for the shuttle bus, followed by the wretched journey round the outside of the airport that's two-thirds as long as the original RailAir bus trip from Reading itself is. And I always get bloody Terminal 4.

I wonder if there's chance RailAir will take the opportunity to schedule a direct route there without dumping us and our luggage at the wrong terminal?
Jan. 7th, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC)
I never did get round to testing my theory that taking the tube from Terminal 1,2,3 would be quicker than waiting for the shuttle bus

I doubt it, as you'd have to go out to Hatton Cross and then change on a train going back into Heathrow to achieve that journey. Taking the Heathrow Express from T123 to T4, on the other hand, should be a lot quicker.
Jan. 8th, 2005 01:31 am (UTC)
If you know the inbound train times, you can sneak on the HE between T123 and T4. They don't check tickets.

Jan. 8th, 2005 02:49 am (UTC)
They don't check tickets because it's advertised as a free service between T4 and T123 - it's only the section from T123 to Paddington you need a ticket for.
Jan. 8th, 2005 01:29 am (UTC)
Putney-Clapham Junction-Feltham then bus shuttle? Goes to T4 first I understand. I normally use the Heathrow Express. It's the most expensive railway in the world, but damn convenient (and of course, utterly heaving from today :op).
Jan. 8th, 2005 03:56 am (UTC)
am *not* taking big suitcases up and down the irregular stairs at Putney that I'd complain to HSE about if I wanted the station to actually be closed for months, or through the heaving mass of the Clapham underpass. do not enjoy pain! no, HE or a cab - there's only a couple of quid in it!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 10th, 2005 03:54 am (UTC)
will the penis be *extended* during checkin? if not...
Jan. 13th, 2005 03:21 pm (UTC)
Simple solution: don't fly BA. They're the only ones who use T4.

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )