Sunday, March 30, 2014

Paddington to Heathrow Trains

For years I have traveled to London from Pittsburgh thru Charlotte to Gatwick. US Airways has pulled out of Gatwick and now lands at Heathrow where their Philadelphia flight has always landed. I will miss Gatwick in many ways but I am not opposed to Heathrow. My first time coming in to Heathrow in February 2014 was great. Signage in the departure hall was well placed and getting the Heathrow Connect train to Paddington could not have been easier. I was a little surprised how far I had to walk from the elevator to the platform but I had the wherewithal to have luggage on wheels. Departure day was another matter.

From the taxi rank at Paddington I made my way to the platform after buying a ticket to the airport. All passengers need to use the elevators if they have luggage. as escalators are luggage free. Safety issue I am told. As the elevator door opened I found myself on a platform. I saw signs for the tube and other trains but nothing that said Heathrow Express or Connect. I was on platform 12 and couldn’t remember if this is where I came in upon arrival. It was also 6:30AM and I was the only person on the platform. After a while a few people did wander through but they where off to parts unknown. I was perplexed. Was I at the right platform and how do I find the others? I found nothing and a few people who had ID badges had no idea. One person said the Connect usually stops at this platform. Usually? Well, that certainly put me to ease. As the first train of the day was to come in the monitor sparked to life and I say that I was on the correct platform and that I would be departing the Twilight Zone shortly.

Painted markings on the floor for the tube was great as were the platform numbering. But I thought the signage for the Connect and Express was very poor. Or I could have just not seen the signs. If anyone can confirm that my observation was correct or if I need to specs, please make a comment. I will be back but you can be sure that I will take better note of my locations.