I am travelling from London Heathrow Underground to Norwich, UK on the 18th of June 2017. For this purpose, I purchased tickets via trainline.com and these were delivered to the USA (perhaps it was a bad idea, but its done now!).

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I am confused as to how to use these tickets/this ticket. The folks at Trainline.com were unable to help me via telephone. I noticed that when I use Trainline's route service, this was returned:

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So the ticket(s) I have:

  • Where do I use them? At London Heathrow underground or elsewhere?
  • Should I get other tickets for the tube journey between Heathrow underground to Liverpool street station?
  • Related: Where exactly is Heathrow underground with relation to terminal 2?

Please do let me know if I can improve this question in any fashion.

  • 2
    Nitpicking: "Heathrow underground" is not well-defined, There are three stations on the tube under Heathrow, one for terminal 5, one for terminal 4 and for for terminals 1,2 and 3 (they call it that, when they announce the destination of trains even though terminal 1 isn't in use anymore). Jun 12, 2017 at 20:49
  • @Henrik so it wouldn't matter which underground station I use in heathrow? They all belong to the same line?
    – dearN
    Jun 12, 2017 at 21:15
  • They are all on the piccadilly line, so they would all work, but most signs probably (I don't even remember) just direct to "Underground", effectively being the local station. And as the stations are for different terminals, you probably notice if you're suddenly transferring between terminals so in reality it's not relevant to know - and I did mark my comment with "Nitpicking". Jun 12, 2017 at 21:31
  • 3
    "How to use train tickets" ... like this ... and this Jun 12, 2017 at 22:23
  • 1
    Some foreign travellers don't know that the ticket has to be taken out of the automatic gate before the gate will open. And you have to use the ticket on the way in and the way out, unlike say Paris.
    – user13882
    Jun 13, 2017 at 10:13

3 Answers 3


As you have purchaced an advance purchace ticket for a fixed train journey, you have recived two coupons/tickets. This is standard for UK advance journeys.

The 1st - marked single. Is the actual ticket. And the 2nd one is your seat reservation for the fixed portion of your journey from London Liverpool Street. Which I see is at 13.30. It also shows your seat

Your ticket is valid on the underground, but is not limited to a certain train. The ticket you have does not require you to purchace additional tube tickets. It is included (that is indicated by the U1256 on the ticket)

You use the ticket (marked single) to operate the access gates at the underground and railway stations.

You must travel on the 13.30 from Liverpool St. The ticket is not valid for any other train. But for the underground you can travel on any train that will connect you to Liverpool Street, and from Heathrow they depart between every 4 to 8 minutes.

You must present if requested by a ticket inspector both portions, if you don't you may be liable to a penalty fare.

For information the tube does not run directly to Liverpool Street from Heathrow and you will require a change. There are several options but Holborn is on reasonable option.

Finally. From T2 all you need to do is follow the signs to the underground, there is a subterranean walkway, and it will take you a couple of minutes.

  • 3
    That's correct, Heathrow is in Zone 6 for the underground so the ticket is valid through to Liverpool Street, as well as the train journey Jun 12, 2017 at 19:30
  • 1
    Yes, you'll put it into the access gates on the Underground (entry & exit) and it should be returned to you at both points so it can be used for the later railway portion of the journey.
    – Gwyn Evans
    Jun 12, 2017 at 20:51
  • 2
    @drN Just to be clear, you don't have to "transfer" between the zones on the underground - the same train continues through all of them. If you had an invalid ticket, that would only stop you when you tried to exit from an underground station in the wrong zone.
    – alephzero
    Jun 13, 2017 at 6:11
  • 1
    Minor thing, sometimes the tickets don't always operate the barriers correctly for the underground or at the station. If that does happen, find a nearby official and they'll look at your ticket and open the gate for you
    – Draken
    Jun 13, 2017 at 13:33
  • 1
    Yeah, these paper tickets can get easily demagnetized, after which they won't work with the gates anymore. But if there are closed gates there will always be someone there to help with people who are tuck. Usually they are near the larger gates, which you'll most likely be using anyway if you have luggage
    – SztupY
    Jun 13, 2017 at 15:35

Adding a few points to Martin Jevon's good answer:

You need to change lines to get from Heathrow to Liverpool street on the underground. I would recommend doing that at Holborn, since it's the least confusing option - the alternative of Kings Cross/St Pancras is a much bigger and busier station. You do not need your ticket when doing this. Just follow the signs to the correct platform, i.e. Central Line Eastbound (not Westbound!). The "official" underground map is at http://content.tfl.gov.uk/standard-tube-map.pdf

All underground carriages display maps showing the route and the interchanges, and the stations have signs on the walls that can be read from inside the train, so you can easily keep track of where you are. There will probably be audio announcements as well.

The first half of the "underground" trip is actually overground once you get outside the airport, so don't panic that you are on the wrong train! The line goes underground again when it reaches central London.

There are no seat reservations on the underground. You do not use the reservation slip in the ticket machines either for the underground or the train. You only need it to prove that the train seat reservation is yours if there is some dispute or mix-up and somebody else is claiming the seat, and to show it to the ticket inspector on the train.

If the train isn't already in the station at Liverpool Street, the platform will probably be marked to show where coach K will arrive, so you can wait in the right place to get to your reserved seat easily.

  • 7
    +1 for "don't panic" if your train goes overground.
    – Dragonel
    Jun 13, 2017 at 2:28
  • 1
    @NateEldredge but we British like to confuse by naming the system "underground" when it's not 100% true. "Metro" is far to continental for London. And then there's "London Overground" with some significant tunnel sections, and places where the overgound is under the underground. Jun 13, 2017 at 8:13
  • 1
    @alephzero just to clarify. For the train part of the journey both ticket and reservation must be presented on request. I know what you were saying, but it's worth emphasising, as penalty fares for misused or non presented tickets can run very expensive! Jun 13, 2017 at 8:23
  • 2
    NB: I've found that at Liverpool Street in particular, platforms are often announced quite late, possibly less than 10 minutes before departure. The train starts there, and by the time the platform is announced the train is already there being prepared. So rather than waiting at the right place on the platform, more likely is that when it gets announced, you have sufficient time to walk to the platform and to coach K.
    – gerrit
    Jun 13, 2017 at 10:05
  • 1
    @drN I would check however that this would actually be quicker for you. While Heathrow Express and the Hammersmith and City/Circle Lines are both (in my opinion) more comfortable than the Piccadilly, by the time you factor in the change of trains it might not be that much quicker to be worth the extra cost to you.
    – Muzer
    Jun 19, 2017 at 9:02

The answers provided helped me a lot. Here is my actual experience though-

From the Heathrow T2, I headed to the -2 level of the train station. From here I (paid £30) for and took the Heathrow Express to Paddington station. It was all of 15 minutes on the Heathrow express. At the Paddington station I took the Bakerloo line (southbound) to Baker street and then the Circle line to London Liverpool street.

The option does exist to take the Hammersmith & City line from Paddington to Liverpool Street but not on this day as that line was closed from Paddington.

Anyway, I made it to London Liverpool Street and got the Greater Anglia train to Norwich from platform 10. A check of the schedule reveals that this train departs from platforms 8,9,10 usually. But yes, the platform is not announced until 7-8 minutes before departure.

All in all I did spend an extra £30 for the Heathrow Express but this was an open return ticket and took only about 15-17 minutes to Paddington.

  • 1
    Congratulations on circumnavigating the H&C closure (which appears to have been unplanned, caused by a fire near the tracks). Jun 18, 2017 at 9:45
  • Did you experience it too? I wish better automatic updates were available... Perhaps its best they were not as they would have confused me!
    – dearN
    Jun 18, 2017 at 17:01

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