Network Rail regulation and performance

08.05.18

Network Rail seeks more views on Heathrow rail link

Network Rail is seeking views on a potential new rail link that would connect the Great Western Main Line (GWML) to London Heathrow Airport from the west.

The consultation, which will run for six weeks, will build on the 1,000 responses received during two previous rounds of public engagement and consultation in 2015 and 2016.

The link would allow passengers to travel directly to the airport form Reading and Slough, reducing journey tomes to 26 and seven minutes respectively.

Most of the proposed route would be underground, with trains leaving the GWML between Langley and Iver via a short stretch of open railway before entering a new 5km tunnel, and then joining existing rail lines underground at Heathrow Terminal 5.

There will be 18 consultation events in and around the local area for residents to find out more and express their views.

The plans have been funded by the DfT and are based on serving the airport’s existing two runway capacity.

Mark Langman, route managing director for Network Rail’s western route, said that the company has been working hard to refine its proposals as a result of the feedback received so far.

“The updated plans would have the least impact on the environment and would deliver the fastest journey times,” he explained.

“We’re also conscious of the impact on local communities so we’ve worked hard to make sure our plans work with other developments, such as transport or industry projects, in the area.”

The consultation will run from 11 May until 22 June, after which Network Rail will publish finalised plans and hold public information events in late 2018/early 2019.

A Development Consent Order application will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate next year, seeking the required consent to build the new railway line, with a final decision to be made by the transport secretary.

Top image: Warren Rohner

 

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