I'm currently on a train heading into London Paddington station, from where I'll be making my way over to London City Airport. All being well, I should have plenty of time, but the train company I'm travelling with doesn't have the best on-time statistics, and there's apparently a problem with one of the engines on the train, so I might need a mad dash on arrival...

The Transport for London journey planner suggest taking the Bakerloo line from Paddington, cross-platform change to the Jubilee line at Baker Street, then onto the DLR at Canning Town. Platform to Platform times look to be 40-45 minutes, so probably about 60 minutes mainline train to airport.

Is it possible to do the journey faster though? My hunch is that mid-morning, a taxi the whole way would potentially take longer due to traffic. Likely to be correct? How about something like Bakerloo+Jubilee out too east London, then taxi from there? Or perhaps run from Paddington to Lancaster Gate, Central line from there out east, and a taxi for the last part?

1 Answer 1


Right now, driving time on google maps (taking traffic into account is 44 minutes). Plus time to get out to the taxi rank, get a taxi and all that, say 50 minutes. However you're hitting the mid-morning traffic, which is awful in London.

When you get into Paddington, check the tube boards and see what's running.

If the Jubilee is running, then do as you've suggested and take the Bakerloo and switch to Jubilee. Switch at Baker St, and take the Jubilee right through to Canning Town. From there you can take the DLR direct to the airport. I still wouldn't trust the cabs.

If the Jubilee line is down, take the District line to Notting Hill, switch to Central, and head down to Bank. Then change to DLR and that'll also take you directly to the airport.

If you're really lucky as you're going down the stairs into the tube at Paddington, look at the departure boards and see if any are leaving in about a minute - that would give you an indication of a couple of minutes of time saving. Bear in mind you can reach the Bakerloo platform easily, but the District to Notting Hill requires a few stairs and is on the far side of the track, which could take time if you're using a wheeled suitcase.

Good luck! Let us know if you make it.

  • 2
    For central line, it's never worth going via Notting Hill. It's a sub 10 minute walk from Paddington to Lancaster Gate, and can be done in sub 5 running!
    – Gagravarr
    Aug 1, 2013 at 8:06
  • I nearly suggested that, but wasn't sure what luggage you might have on you.
    – Mark Mayo
    Aug 1, 2013 at 8:07
  • I think the walk is fine up until you have more luggage than you can really take with you on the tube...! Almost no stairs, unlike the District/Circle route. In other news, I've been to bus stations bigger than this airport ;-) At least it's very quick to get from the DLR to checkin!
    – Gagravarr
    Aug 1, 2013 at 9:24
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    I realise this is an old request but for anyone doing the same journey in the future ... The quickest way is probably Bakerloo to Oxford Circus (9 mins according to TFL) then Central to Bank (8 mins) and DLR to LCY (21 mins). Both interchanges are time-consuming (~3 mins and ~5 mins) but with a bit of luck on DLR timings I'd say 50 mins was very achievable. Sep 14, 2013 at 9:05
  • 1
    Oooh, is this a journey where Crossrail will help in the future? The only single-change would be Stratford, which is a bit of a long way around, but I suspect that Woolwich crossrail to Woolwich Arsenal DLR will be a short-enough walk for this to be useful. Jan 20, 2015 at 16:56

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