Apprentice star Tom Skinner becomes voice of Elizabeth line to mark new direct link between Essex and Heathrow
Apprentice star Tom Skinner has become the voice of the Elizabeth line as it celebrates the first direct services between Heathrow and Essex.
TV personality Skinner, 32, will entertain passengers with his famous catchphrases to help mark the first services between Heathrow and Shenfield on the line’s east London and Essex branch.
Platform service announcements at stations from Brentwood to Stratford will be voiced by the ex-market trader from Monday until Sunday, May 28.
Skinner, who boarded the first ever direct Elizabeth line journey from Shenfield to Heathrow, said: “I absolutely loved joining the driver in the cab on the train to Heathrow – it’s fantastic news you can now get there directly, with no need to change trains.
“I love going on holiday and now it’s easier and quicker to get down to Heathrow and start your trip off with a lovely drink in the airport bar. Bosh!”
Sophie Chapman, Surface Access Director at Heathrow, said: “Heathrow is the world’s gateway to the UK and we’re delighted our East London and Essex passengers can now travel quickly and easily direct to the airport. The extension of the revolutionary Elizabeth line service will open up Heathrow’s extensive destination network to hundreds of thousands of people from the East.”
Since the central London section of the Elizabeth line first connected to Heathrow, in November 2022, millions of passengers have travelled directly from the airport to as far as Canary Wharf and Abbey Wood. The line will now travel through 13 more stations in east London and Essex, including Stratford, Ilford, Romford and Shenfield.
Peak services on the Elizabeth line also increased on Monday from 22 to 24 trains an hour in central London, marking the final stage in its staggered opening programme.
This means that there is a train in each direction between Paddington and Whitechapel every two-and-a-half minutes.
There will be 16 trains an hour in each direction off-peak.
The popularity of the line, which opened on May 24 last year, has increased from 2.5m to 3.5m passengers a week, resulting in a £30m additional fares bonanza for TfL. More than 150 million people have used the service in its first year, making it the busiest railway in the UK and one of the most reliable.