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New rail links will improve UK connectivity to Heathrow

Heathrow, in its submissions to the Airports Commission later this month, will set out how new rail and air links will deliver benefits to passengers and business across the whole of the UK – not just to London and the South East.

According to the international airport, new rail connections will mean that more than 70% of the UK’s population will be within three hours of Heathrow by public transport.

Additionally, a new fast connection to HS2 at Old Oak Common, which was recommended by Sir David Higgins in his HS2 Plus review, would also mean that journey times between Heathrow and Birmingham will be cut by 1 hour 38 minutes, journey times to Leeds will reduce by 2 hours 08 minutes and journey times from Manchester will reduce by 1 hour 53 minutes.

Colin Matthews, Heathrow chief executive, said: “If we want growth for the future we need connections to the world’s fast growing markets and that means a hub airport like Heathrow.

“New air and rail links including HS2, Western Rail, Southern Rail and Crossrail will transform journey times from Heathrow compared to today. Millions more people will have quick access to the UK’s global hub and be within easy reach of the world’s markets.”

It is expected that new direct access to the Great Western Main Line will also cut journey times from Cardiff by 37 minutes. This is because passengers will no longer face the inconvenience of having to travel to Heathrow via central London or negotiating the London Underground network with luggage.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


Andrew Sharp   02/05/2014 at 12:51

I thought that the connection from Heathrow to HS2 was going to be further noth than Old Oak Common? And where is there any suggestion of a direct connection from HS2 to GWML?

RTM   02/05/2014 at 13:02

I believe they mean better direct Heathrow-GWML connections Andrew, not HS2-GWML, as per these proposals: "The WRAtH proposals include a tunnelled link of 3.8km from a junction on the Great Western Main Line east of Langley, near Slough. This indicative route provides minimal disturbance to the built or natural environment, and enables the fastest journey time for passengers. Trains would arrive into Heathrow’s terminal 5 making use of two existing platforms. "The service pattern is not finalised, but the expectation is for four trains per hour between Reading and Heathrow, calling at Slough, and either Maidenhead or Twyford. There are opportunities to run trains through Heathrow and onto London, providing additional route opportunities. "The project can be delivered for £500m and could be operational by 2021 at the latest."

Nonsuchmike   05/05/2014 at 15:56

As RTM indicates, Andrew, the line will not go straight from HS2 (Brum & the north) to Heathrow. Passengers will have to change @ Crow's Foot Junction (sorry, Old Oak Common) and then travel on a separate train in the opposite direction to get to Heathrow. However, coming from the far west, Cardiff, Bristol etc, these trains will duck under existing lines and either link up with old track beds, or more probably tunnel entirely from near Langley right into T5 as the less disruptive option. Then it may/should be possible to link up with existing lines to the other terminals and carry on to Paddington.

Melvyn   12/05/2014 at 22:25

Following the abandonment of the proposed HS1-2 link via North London Line a new proposal from Greenguage21 group is to build a new direct link by extending HS1 in tunnel across London to Heathrow Airport where customs and immigration could allow Eurostar services to run and also to a new link with Chiltern Railways allowing javelin trains to be extended across London . The scheme also includes opening of Stratford International for Eurostar services . The other scheme links Heathrow to Waterloo via Western Access scheme .

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