Light rail and trams


Council pitches £375m light rail scheme linking south to Heathrow airport

Spelthorne Borough Council has submitted proposals for a light rail link from Staines-upon-Thames to Heathrow airport to provide “joined-up journeys” into the airport from the south.

The council is actively promoting the transport link which would be close to the existing railway station and offer “seamless and frequent connectivity,” running every six minutes and taking seven minutes to reach the airport.

The scheme has been submitted to the DfT and is expected to cost £375m, which will be funded by private backers.

Council leader Ian Harvey said: “I am very excited about this ground-breaking scheme, which creates seamless connectivity from the heart of our borough to the airport and enables our residents to access the airport more easily.

“The scheme would reduce congestion on the road and rail networks and has the added benefit of rejuvenating our main town centre in Staines-upon-Thames and giving a huge economic boost to the whole borough. For us it's a no brainer.”

Spelthorne Borough Council cited tried-and-tested light rail solutions across the world, including Docklands Light Railway and the planned scheme for Luton airport.

Traditional rail access would take up large amounts of space and cut through Staines Moor a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)—something the council labelled “unacceptable.”

Instead, the proposed route runs alongside the M25, using brownfield land to reach Heathrow Airport which announced expansion plans for a new runway back in June.

Some environment groups have expressed opposition to the expansion plans, due to be completed by 2026 and will see £2.6bn in compensation distributed to nearby residents.

Heathrow Southern Railway (HSRL) recently announced that three new trains an hour could be running to Dorset by 2026 as part of a £1bn Heathrow rail link proposal.

These proposals would see a new route, with trains from Woking heading directly to Heathrow Airport from the South Western Mainline.

 Image credit - sharrocks

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Workers who narrowly avoided death had no one in charge and ‘ineffective’ safety arrangements

18/12/2018Workers who narrowly avoided death had no one in charge and ‘ineffective’ safety arrangements

“Ineffective” safety arrangements and a number of unofficial working practices contributed to a group of track workers narrowly avoid... more >
Structural steelwork begins on Glasgow Queen Street transformation

18/12/2018Structural steelwork begins on Glasgow Queen Street transformation

The transformation of Glasgow Queen Street has been revealed as engineers have finished the installation of the west truss and have begun buildin... more >
Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

18/12/2018Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

Passengers will have the choice of choosing which train operators they travel with under new plans to allow rival TOCs to operate on the same rou... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News


HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >