Southern rail access ‘essential’ for Heathrow expansion

RAIL access to Heathrow from the south should be central to any airport expansion plans, says Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL) – the private venture established to develop the rail network serving Britain’s busiest airport.

Responding to the Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) consultation document on the controversial third runway, HSRL executive director Graham Cross said: “Even with the existing two-runway airport, there is an air quality emergency in west London to which road traffic around Heathrow contributes significantly.

A southern rail link from the Waterloo to Windsor/Reading line to Heathrow has been proposed many times, but could finally get the go-ahead as part of plans to expand Britain’s busiest airport and add a third runway. Heathrow Connect ‘Desiro’ No. 360205 stands at Terminal 1/2/3 on May 26, 2010. RAILWAY MAGAZINE ARCHIVE

“A third runway will make a southern rail link essential if passengers and airport workers are to access Heathrow without making this crisis even worse.”

Government airports’ national policy requires HAL to increase public transport’s share of traffic to at least 50% by 2030, and at least 55% by 2040.

HSRL’s proposal includes building eight miles of new rail infrastructure from Chertsey and Staines to the west end of the Terminal 5 station.

Electric trains would operate between Heathrow and Waterloo via Clapham Junction, Putney, Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, and Staines.

The proposed route would also provide a direct fast link between Woking, Guildford and Heathrow, and improve connections between Surrey, Hampshire and Paddington via the Old Oak Common HS2/Crossrail interchange.

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