Latest Rail News

27.07.18

Groundbreaking ‘HS4Air’ line proposed, slashing Heathrow to Gatwick travel to just 15 minutes

Passengers could connect from Heathrow to Gatwick in just 15 minutes with new £10bn plans to create a high-speed HS4 line.

Proposals developed by engineering consultants Expedition say that “HS4Air” (High Speed for Air) will connect the existing HS1 rail line at Ashford to the planned HS2 rail line near Denham along the route that passes Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

The 87-mile-long track for HS4Air will also connect to the Great Western Main Line railway (GWML) to the north of Heathrow airport.

The proposed route would create a loop around London similar to one of the busiest motorways in the UK, the M25, reducing traffic and emissions released by cars on the motorway.

A 15-minute surface transfer shuttle time between Gatwick and Heathrow airports using dedicated high-speed shuttles between airport stations on the HS4Air railway will make it possible for passengers to make “convenient and reliable transfers” between the two airports.

Fast freight rail services could also benefit from the plans: freight can by-pass London by avoiding the capital’s busy rail networks, and reach ports such as Southampton to move goods to major European ports such as Antwerp or Rotterdam.

The creation of HS4Air would also dramatically reduces journey times for rail passengers travelling between places south of London and cities in the Midlands, the north and west UK.

Pro-rata costing based on equivalent cost per mile estimates of HS2 Phase 1 (2016 NAO assessment for HS2 Phase 1 cost), HS4Air is estimated to cost approximately £10bn.

Journey times between Heathrow and Gatwick are currently around 1hr and 30mins. New proposed lines reduce this to as little as 15 minutes long.

Expedition director Alistair Lenczner, who led development of the HS4Air proposals, said: “HS4Air has been developed to allow rail and aviation infrastructure projects in south east England that are currently unconnected to become joined-up. This will offer greatly enhanced benefits for users and provide better value for the investments currently being made in the UK’s strategic infrastructure.”

“In a way, HS4Air can be regarded as a high-speed railway version of the M25 around London, except that it allows much faster journey times with no congestion and with far less impact on the environment.”

Top image: Expedition 

 

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

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

  • 02/11/2019Monica Barbosa: Women In Rail

    Director of business development and communications at Xrail, Monica Barbosa, thinks women are missing out on exciting opportunities because the lack of gender diversity in the rail industry.
  • 01/11/2019The dangers of fatigues

    Working long hours, poor health, too little sleep, a demanding job and more can all make us tired and affect our mental and physical performance – and when we’re fatigued we make more...
View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

18/10/2019NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

Switch up your playlist with the first #WeAreRTM podcast, gain exclusive insight into the leaders running the rail industry their opinions on recent headlines, visions for the future and meet the personalities behind the job titles. It's no... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >