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

Stansted Express
Stansted express logo.svg
379 027 Liverpool St(8091065140).jpg
Franchise(s)Part of Greater Anglia
15 October 2016 – 2025
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)
Fleet size30 Class 379 Electrostar
Stations called at5
National Rail abbreviationSX[1]
Parent companyGreater Anglia
Stansted Express
Stansted Airport
Stansted Airport
Stansted Mountfitchet
Bishop's Stortford
Harlow Town
London Overground
Tottenham Hale
London Underground
Lea Bridge
London Underground London Overground Docklands Light Railway Crossrail
Liverpool Street
London Underground London Overground Crossrail


Interior of the Stansted Express Class 379

In 1986, British Rail (BR) extended the electrification of the West Anglia Main Line from Bishop's Stortford to Cambridge. Included in this plan was the construction of a 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 privatisation of British Rail in 1996, the Stansted Express was part of West Anglia Great Northern franchise until the tender was reorganised in 2004, at which time it became part of the Greater Anglia franchise operated by one Railway (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 the Gatwick Express (but like other services between London and Heathrow or Gatwick) the trains also stop at some intermediate stations between London and the airport. These are Tottenham Hale (which provides interchange with the London Underground Victoria Line), Harlow Town and Bishop's Stortford. The service takes between 47 and 56 minutes[2] to London Liverpool Street, with trains departing every 15 minutes.

Also unlike the Heathrow Express and the Gatwick Express, which require the purchase of premium tickets to use the services, normal rail tickets are valid on the Stansted Express, as well as London Travelcards at Cheshunt, 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" (two-for-one) 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 this is reflected in the price. People who live locally can obtain a discounted ticket by producing ID, though the discounted fare is higher than the previous off-peak fare.[3]

In September 2010, advertisements for the 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.[4]

Rolling stockEdit

Current fleetEdit

As part of the 1,300 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.[5] Bombardier announced on 2 April that a contract had been signed for the delivery of the 120 coaches between December 2010 and March 2011.[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 2010-11

Future fleetEdit

As part of the new East Anglia franchise, 10 new trains are to be introduced on the service; these will each be 12-car Stadler FLIRT sets.[7]

Class Image Type Top speed Carriages Number Notes
mph km/h
Class 745 FLIRT Electric multiple unit 100 161 12 10 Class 379 will be replaced.

Past fleetEdit

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 into their former role in Scotland, working services between Glasgow/Edinburgh and North Berwick; they stayed there for some time before transferring to Northern Rail, working out of Leeds. Following the arrival 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 1981-82 2011
Class 317/8   electric multiple unit 100 160 12 Liverpool Street - Stansted Airport 1981-82 2011
Class 322   electric multiple unit 100 160 5 Liverpool Street - Stansted Airport 1990 2000


Stansted Express may call at Stratford station in the future, via the West Anglia Main Line, reconnecting the two to each other.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Stansted Express Winter 2013/4 Timetable". Greater Anglia (London). 17 November 2013.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Stansted Express posters banned for being misleading". BBC News. 7 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Hitachi to power new 'British' intercity trains and Bombardier to build 120 coaches". Rail News (Stevenage). 12 February 2009.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Geater, Paul (10 August 2016)."Abellio wins East Anglian rail franchise for nine years in £1.4bn deal". East Anglian Daily Times. Ipswich.
  8. ^ "Stansted targets 40-minute train trip to London". Archived from the original on 2 July 2015.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Network SouthEast
As part of British Rail
Sub-brand of West Anglia Great Northern franchise
1997 - 2004
Succeeded by
West Anglia Great Northern
West Anglia Great Northern franchise
Preceded by
West Anglia Great Northern
West Anglia Great Northern franchise
Sub-brand of Greater Anglia franchise
2004 - 2012
Succeeded by
Greater Anglia franchise
Preceded by
National Express East Anglia
Greater Anglia franchise
Sub-brand of Greater Anglia franchise
2012 - 2016
Succeeded by
Greater Anglia
East Anglia franchise
Preceded by
Abellio Greater Anglia
Greater Anglia franchise
Sub-brand of East Anglia franchise
2016 – present