TfL Rail + Great Western Railway: Heathrow Terminal 4 to Oxford via Hayes & Harlington and Slough by Train

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Heathrow Rail stations are served by Heathrow Express and TfL Rail trains, which are connected to the National Rail system and tickets throughout the UK can be easily booked to and from Heathrow with just a single ticket. As such, I booked myself to Oxford from Heathrow by Rail, using the TfL Rail and Great Western Railway trains for connections.

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I got to Terminal 4 just to bounce, since it was going to be a 26-minute wait at Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3 (Heathrow Central) for the same train that was heading to Terminal 4 first.

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The interior of the TfL Rail Class 360/2 Siemens Desiro.

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Making a brief stop back at Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3 (Heathrow Central). Pretty sure I saw some passengers who got off the same Heathrow Express getting on this train now.

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Heading out of the Heathrow tunnels. This is a rather expensive track to be on with additional fees imposed on top of the regular zonal or distance fare (before any eligible discounts).

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Heading on the Stockley Flyover at the Airport Junction from the Heathrow tunnels to the Great Western Main Line.

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Making a stop short of the junction. The driver came on the PA system to announce a delay due to the TfL Rail train having to give way to a faster GWR train.

Great. This might make me miss my tight connection at Hayes & Harlington for the train to Slough.

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The burden GWR train finally passing by after a few minutes.

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Quickly disembarking from the TfL Rail train at Hayes & Harlington.

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Just as the TfL Rail train departed, I too saw my train to Slough depart on the opposite platform before my very eyes. Great.

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However, this frustration was slightly mitigated by a parked TfL Rail Class 345 train at Platform 5, the bay platform of Hayes & Harlington, which forms the Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington shuttle. I wasn’t expecting to see this train this early in my trip.

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The interior of the TfL Rail Class 345 train, with purple motifs to fit within the colours of the future Crossrail Elizabeth Line.

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Crossing over to the westbound platform at Hayes & Harlington. There is no step-free access at Hayes & Harlington station, so I had to haul my luggage up and down the staircase-only bridge.

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It was going to be a 12 minute wait from now till the next train to Slough.

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An incoming TfL Rail service bound for Heathrow Terminal 4.

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I thought my train was arriving early, but in the end, I was trolled by a freight train.

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Stand clear from the yellow line as trains travel quite fast on this slow line.

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My train to Slough finally arriving, formed of a GWR Class 387 Electrostar.

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This local train is bound for Reading. However, I dropped off at Slough to connect with an express service for a faster journey.

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The legroom on board the GWR Class 387 Electrostar.

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The view of the GWR Class 387 Electrostar from my seat. It got quite crowded on a weekday evening, so I didn’t have a shot of the interior.

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Getting off at Slough for another change of trains.

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Here, it was a 22 minute wait for the next express train to Oxford.

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Crossing over to Platform 1 with more staircases.

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A GWR Class 165 Turbo awaiting departure from Slough to Windsor & Eton Central.

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Some late night freight passing through Slough.

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More delays.

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Hmm, I wonder what this could be.

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A GWR Class 800 IET zooming past Slough at speed.

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Finally, my train was arriving with the signal changed to green.

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My train to Oxford was formed of 2 sets of 3-car GWR Class 165 Turbo trains, making a 6-car train.

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The interior of the GWR Class 165 Turbo. Looks familiar?

81 Class Interior Old 0183 Class EMU25 SkyPark Link Interior 02

Here, let me help you with the visualization of a certain train seat in the Klang Valley.

The seats on the GWR Class 165 Turbo are slightly narrower though, since they are fitted in a 2+3 configuration.

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Power sockets are available on the GWR Class 165 Turbo, with both British 3-pin sockets and USB ports.

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The view of the GWR Class 165 Turbo from my seat.

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Making a brief stop at Reading.

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Arriving at Oxford. Push the button to open doors.

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Disembarking from the GWR Class 165 Turbo at Oxford.

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Heading up the bridge. However, elevators are available at Oxford behind the staircase, which makes the cross over to the main station building a lot easier.

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A Chiltern Railways Class 172 Turbostar stabling at Oxford.

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A GWR Class 800 IET awaiting departure to London Paddington.

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Heading to the exit.

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As this is a late-night arrival, the ticket barriers are no longer staffed and passengers may freely enter and exit them.

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Heading out of Oxford Railway Station.

The journey from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Oxford took 1 hour and 58 minutes, including the missed connection at Hayes & Harlington and Slough, but excluding the time taken for the extended journey to Heathrow Terminal 4 from Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3 (Heathrow Central) thanks to my first missed train connection. Perhaps taking the bus might be a lot better in this case.

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Overall, it was a slow ride to Oxford but allowed me to try a variety of trains within a short time frame. If you like trains, go for this journey, but if you’re interested in a shorter journey rather than a train exploration, get the bus.

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