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How Heathrow Express became the fastest train in UK

September 28, 2015

Fraser Brown   

Commercial Director

In today’s world, the expression ‘time is of the essence’ is more apparent than ever. As business and craftsmen this drives us to enhance efficiency as much as humanly possible, but it is technology that is pushing the boundaries of speed in a number of industries. At Heathrow Express we’ve taken this notion on board.

With a journey time of 15 minutes, our train service offers passengers flying into Heathrow the fastest way to get to central London bar none. We carry 17,000 passengers a day to and from one of the world’s busiest airports and one of the biggest business districts in the world. As with any business, in recent years we’ve focused heavily on technology. New innovations have enabled us to enhance the service we provide our customers, helping us to strengthen communications, listen and analyse customer feedback and use these insights to develop the Heathrow Express service further.

Our story is one of firsts. In 2007, we were the first train service that travelled underground to offer on-board Wi-Fi. Then in 2009, we installed flight information screens at London Paddington, making it the first railway station in the UK to offer passengers this material. These developments have been hugely successful for Heathrow Express, and have emphasised the true benefits that technology can bring to our customers and to the rest of the business.

Our recent partnership with Tata Communications is another proof point of this. The recent branding initiative has seen our entire fleet of trains wrapped with Tata Communications’ banners and messaging. The campaign itself builds on our shared role as connectors for businesses and people around the world, symbolising the mutual business values of both companies to provide a fast, high quality connection at all times.

Alongside this, we’ve recognised the value of delivering real-time information to our customers. Another first: we’ve included screens displaying information in real time, collected from GPS providers, TomTom and Google maps, to advise customers on the time and costs of a taxi versus travelling on the Heathrow Express. We are aware that information is knowledge, and communicating useful travel information in real-time to commuters has enabled by technological innovation.

There are many other parts of the business that have been enhanced by recently adopted technologies, which have contributed to creating an ever-improving customer experience. From purchasing tickets, communicating with customers on social media platforms, designing and maintaining an intuitive website to ensuring our safety features meet the highest industry standards, technology has had a beneficial impact on a number of areas of the business.

Furthermore, we have no intention of stopping here. The Heathrow Express has evolved into a business that has technology at its heart. Continually adopting new technologies and keeping our customers informed at all times are commitments and values that will remain core to the business for years to come.

Learn more about the partnership between Tata Communications and Heathrow Express in the report below