Stansted Express
A Greater Anglia Stansted Express Class 745/1 train at Liverpool Street station in 2021
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 size10 Class 745/1 FLIRT
Stations called at5
Parent companyGreater Anglia
Reporting markSX[1]
Length59.28421 km (36.83750 mi)[2]
Other Edit this at Wikidata
Route map
Stansted Express
Stansted Airport
Stansted Airport
Stansted Mountfitchet
Bishop's Stortford
Harlow Town
Tottenham Hale
London Underground
Liverpool Street
London Underground London Overground Elizabeth line

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.


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, at which a new terminal was to open in 1991 providing for a large expansion in scheduled aviation passenger services. 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 an intermediate station between London and the airport. The Stansted Express stops at Tottenham Hale (which provides interchange with the London Underground Victoria Line). The service takes between 47 and 56 minutes to London Liverpool Street, with trains departing every 30 minutes. Stansted Express offers several ticket types. In addition to the Single and Return tickets, percentage discounts are available for advance bookings, those travelling in pairs with WebDuo and groups with GroupSave. Every Stansted Express ticket comes with money-saving "2FOR1" (two-for-one) offers on some of London's favourite restaurants, shows and attractions like The London Eye, Madame Tussauds, the Sea Life Centre and Thorpe Park resort. Oyster or Contactless payment cards are not valid on Stansted Express services to/from Stansted Airport, but can be used between Liverpool Street and Tottenham Hale.

Route tph Calling at
London Liverpool StreetStansted Airport 2


In May 2009, the former operator of the Stansted Express service, 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. 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. Previous operator of the service, 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.

Stansted Express has been accused on various social media platforms [3] and by a vast number of their clients of having devised a scam system that helps them issue fines against legitimate paying passengers. The train company first lets passengers get through the gate by simply tapping their credit cards or oyster cards, it then requires a ticket at arrival. Thousands of fines have been issued as a result to passengers. [4]. Getting through the gates by tapping credit cards or oyster card is a common standard mechanism already implemented in all London transport system (Underground, Overground, other railway companies) and it does not require tickets at exit. This fact, along with Stansted Express allowing passengers to enter with the same system and without a ticket, highly contributes to misleading passengers.

Rolling stock

Current fleet

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. The Class 379s were replaced by Class 745/1s, the first of which entered service on 28 July 2020.[7][8]

Class Image Type Top speed Number Routes operated Built
mph km/h
745/1 FLIRT EMU 100 161 10 Liverpool StreetStansted Airport 2018–2020

Past 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 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. They eventually returned into workings out of London Liverpool Street on the GEML, as Greater Anglia needed replacements for the Class 360s sent to EMR. They are planned to be put out of service by the end of 2022. 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, all but one of the Class 317/7s have been scrapped.

Class Image Type Top speed Number Routes operated Built Withdrawn
mph km/h
317/7 EMU 100 160 9 Liverpool StreetStansted Airport 1981–1982 2011
317/8 EMU 100 160 12 1981–1982 2011
322 EMU 100 160 5 1990 2000
379 Electrostar EMU 100 160 30 2010–2011 2020

See also


  1. ^ "National Rail Enquiries - Stansted Express".
  2. ^[bare URL PDF]
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Hitachi to power new 'British' intercity trains and Bombardier to build 120 coaches". Rail News (Stevenage). 12 February 2009.
  6. ^[dead link]
  7. ^ Holden, Michael (28 July 2020). "Brand new Stansted Express trains enter service in London". RailAdvent. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  8. ^ 2020-07-28T13:55:00+01:00. "Stansted Express Class 745/1 trainsets enter passenger service". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
Preceded byNetwork SouthEastAs part of British Rail Sub-brand of West Anglia Great Northern franchise 1997–2004 Succeeded byWest Anglia Great NorthernWest Anglia Great Northern franchise Preceded byWest Anglia Great NorthernWest Anglia Great Northern franchise Sub-brand of Greater Anglia franchise 2004–2012 Succeeded byOneGreater Anglia franchise Preceded byNational Express East AngliaGreater Anglia franchise Sub-brand of Greater Anglia franchise 2012–2016 Succeeded byGreater AngliaEast Anglia franchise Preceded byAbellio Greater AngliaGreater Anglia franchise Sub-brand of East Anglia franchise 2016–present Incumbent