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Stansted Express

Stansted Express
Franchise(s): Part of Abellio Greater Anglia
5 February 2012 – 15 October 2016
Part of National Express East Anglia
1 April 2004 - 4 February 2012
Part of West Anglia Great Northern
5 January 1997 - 31 March 2004
Main Route(s): Liverpool StreetStansted Airport
(West Anglia Main Line)
Other Route(s): None
Fleet size: 30 Class 379 "Electrostar"
Stations called at: 5
Parent company: Abellio Greater Anglia
Stansted Express
Stansted Airport
Stansted Mountfitchet
Bishop's Stortford
Harlow Town
Tottenham Hale
Liverpool Street
Lea Bridge(under construction)

The Stansted Express is a direct train service linking London Liverpool Street to London Stansted Airport. It is a sub-brand of Abellio Greater Anglia, the current franchise operator of the Greater Anglia franchise.


  • History 1
  • Operations 2
    • Criticism 2.1
  • Rolling stock 3
    • Current fleet 3.1
    • Former fleet 3.2
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Interior of the Stansted Express Class 379

In 1986, British Rail (BR) extended the electrification of the West Anglia Main Line from Bishops Stortford to Cambridge. Included in this plan was the construction of new branch line, diverging from a triangular junction at Stansted Mountfitchet, to serve Stansted Airport, which in 1991 had just completed a massive expansion and was to be used for scheduled aviation passenger service for the first time. Therefore, BR decided to build a dedicated fleet of units to work the new Stansted Express service designated as Class 322 with the service operated by the Network Southeast sector.

Upon the Greater Anglia franchise operated by one (later renamed National Express East Anglia) until February 2012, when the franchise was taken over by the current operator Abellio Greater Anglia.


Unlike the Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express, the service also calls at intermediate stations between London and the Airport. These are at Tottenham Hale (which provides interchange with the London Underground Victoria Line), Harlow Town and Bishop's Stortford. The service takes between 47 to 56 minutes [1] to London Liverpool Street, with services departing every 15 minutes.

Unlike both the Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express which require the purchase of premium tickets to use the services, conventional rail tickets are valid on the Stansted Express, as well as London Travelcards at Tottenham Hale and London Liverpool Street. Stansted Express offers several ticket types. In addition to the Standard, Business and First Class Single and Return tickets available, Stansted Express also incorporates money saving and 2FOR1 offers into their ticket types. Low-Cost Advance Fares, GroupSave and WebDuo all offer percentage discounts. 2FOR1 gives customers the opportunity to receive deductions on London attractions and restaurants.


In May 2009 National Express abolished off-peak fares on services from Stansted Airport. Therefore, all fares are considered peak (regardless of day or time travelled) and hence this is reflected in the price. Those living locally have to produce ID in order to obtain a discounted ticket, though the discount is less than the previous off-peak fare.[2] It should however be noted that combinations of tickets may be used, as long as the train stops at the station where one ticket's validity ends and the other's starts. As of 2011 a saving of £4.20 can be made on the £21 single fare to the airport.

In September 2010, advertisements for Stansted Express at Stansted Airport were banned because they were deemed misleading, advertising a 35-minute journey time to London. The Advertising Standards Authority believed the advertisements might confuse travellers into thinking that the train would reach central London in 35 minutes. National Express defended the adverts, stating that Tottenham Hale allows access to the Victoria Line and also stating that the adverts made no reference to the trains going into central London in 35 minutes.[3]

Rolling stock

Current fleet

As part of the 1300 new carriages to expand the UK's passenger rail fleet, Stansted Express was designated to receive 120 new vehicles. In February 2009, it was announced that Bombardier Transportation would produce the new trains.[4] Bombardier announced on 2 April that a contract had been signed for the delivery of the 120 coaches between December 2010 and March 2011.[5] The trains have now been identified as Class 379 units.[6] The first of the new Class 379 units entered passenger service on 3 March 2011. All the Class 379s are now in service on Stansted Express services.

Class Image Type Top speed Quantity Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 379 "Electrostar" electric multiple unit 100 160 30 Liverpool Street - Stansted Airport 2010-2011

Former fleet

Stansted Express originally used a fleet of five Class 322 EMUs until it was decided to change to a dedicated fleet of nine Class 317/7 EMUs in 2000, further supplemented by twelve Class 317/8s in 2006. The displaced Class 322s were redeployed on several other routes/franchises around the country before settling in their former role in Scotland, working services between Glasgow/Edinburgh and North Berwick, where they stayed for sometime before transferring to Northern Rail working out of Leeds. Following the arrivals of the new Class 379 units on Stansted Express services, the Class 317/8s were used alongside Class 317/5 and 317/6 units as a common pool, However, since Abellio took over the East Anglia franchise on 5 February 2012, the Class 317/7s have entered storage.

Class Image Type Top speed Quantity Routes operated Built Withdrawn
mph km/h
Class 317/7 electric multiple unit 100 160 9 Liverpool Street - Stansted Airport 1981-1982 2011
Class 317/8 electric multiple unit 100 160 12 Liverpool Street - Stansted Airport 1981-1982 2011
Class 322 electric multiple unit 100 160 5 Liverpool Street - Stansted Airport 1990 2000

See also


  1. ^ "Stansted Express Winter 2013/4 Timetable". Greater Anglia (London). 17 November 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Stansted Express posters banned for being misleading". BBC News. 7 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "Hitachi to power new 'British' intercity trains and Bombardier to build 120 coaches". Rail News (Stevenage). 12 February 2009.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Today's Railways issue 91

External links

  • Official website
Preceded by
Network SouthEast
As part of British Rail
Sub-brand of West Anglia Great Northern franchise
1997 - 2004
Succeeded by
Greater Anglia franchise
Preceded by
West Anglia Great Northern
West Anglia Great Northern franchise
Sub-brand of Greater Anglia franchise
2004 - 2012
Succeeded by
Abellio Greater Anglia
Greater Anglia franchise
Preceded by
National Express East Anglia
Greater Anglia franchise
Sub-brand of Greater Anglia franchise
2012 - present
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