Posted 7th December 2018 | 5 Comments

Opposition to Heathrow rail link emerges

THE results of a public consultation mounted by Network Rail into the construction of a new rail link to Heathrow Airport show that most people support the plan for a spur from the Great Western Main Line, but more than a fifth of those responding were against the idea, mainly because the plans include a road closure in the Iver area.

The figures show that 72 per cent of respondents, who included rail users, communities, businesses and other interested parties, were in favour of the plan as it has been drawn up, while 23 per cent voiced dissent, mainly because of the road closure.

The proposed line would leave the GWML between Langley and Iver, allowing passengers from the west of England and south Wales to travel directly to Heathrow from Reading, Twyford, Maidenhead or Slough, without having to change in London. This would make journey times to Heathrow as short as 26 minutes from Reading and seven minutes from Slough. The link includes a 5km tunnel under Richings Park and Colnbrook. From there trains would use existing lines and terminate at Terminal 5.

Network Rail route managing director Mark Langman said: ‘We are delighted that the proposals have been given the overwhelming support of the public, businesses and stakeholders. We have also heard the concerns of some local residents so will continue to work hard to make sure our final plans, which will be submitted for consent in 2019, work with other developments in the area.’

Network Rail said it will publish finalised plans and hold public information events immediately before submitting an application for a Development Consent Order to the Planning Inspectorate in the middle of next year.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • claydon william, Norwich, Norfolk

    The whole idea of trains actually terminating at T5 is ridiculous.

    Dwell times in platforms whilst trains 'turn round' is what causes capacity constraints.

    If all T5 trains were through services with through running platforms you could easily run 15-20 tph in each direction.

    If such capacity were increased at T5, along with some holding sidings to the west and electrification over the short west London section between Acton Wells Jn and Willesden (Acton Branch) Jn, we could be running frequency services direct from LHR to MK to Manchester and Birmingham in a year, using some of those soon to be redundant EMU's that will be homeless pretty soon.

  • James, Farnborough

    Bring it on. And next, a link from Heathrow to the SWML?

  • Andrew Gwilt, Benfleet Essex

    Suppose it could happen. I think it's a good idea to build a new rail link from the western end of Great Western Main Line to Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.

  • Jeremy Milton, Manchester

    Irrespective of whether the western rail link is built or not, I would like the road at Iver closed just to brass off the polluting plebs in their white SUVs.

  • Michael Turberville, London, EU

    We in Berkshire and further afield Know the Western Link should have been build and operational when T5 was completed!
    The Heathrow Express is long overdue running Paddington, OOC, T-East, T5, Reading.
    The Heathrow Connect service running all stations to T-East, T5, Slough, Maidenhead, and Reading.
    It is faster to drive to LGW from Reading than to take the slow train with the truncation of XC services at Reading!
    It is faster to drive to LHR, than to travel all the way to Paddington and train back or the very Slow coach - so called air express... :/