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Sideshoots - associated subjects => Campaigns for new and improved services => Topic started by: woody on July 01, 2011, 10:39:14 am



Title: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: woody on July 01, 2011, 10:39:14 am
MANAGING director of First Great Western Mark Hopwood has called for a direct rail route west of Paddington into Heathrow Airport.
 http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business-in-wales/business-news/2011/07/01/first-great-western-s-mark-hopwood-calls-for-direct-rail-link-from-south-wales-to-heathrow-91466-28974452/
Should have been done years ago before fragmentation of the rail industry sent costs spiralling and our current(and future?) economic woes cramped any style we had.
  Commenting on the opening of the Beijing to Shanghai high speed rail line a government spokesman said China had adopted a "build it now and build it quick" approach knowing that leaving it till later (HS2)
inevitably led to cost inflation.



Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: ChrisB on July 01, 2011, 10:59:14 am
A couple of inaccuracies though, or bad English at least....

Quote
MANAGING director of First Great Western Mark Hopwood has called for a direct rail route west of Paddington into Heathrow Airport.

The HEX/Connect spur is West of Paddington....

"From west of Heathrow" I think is what's meant!

Quote
Mr Hopwood said that the performance on the network was the best since privatisation, which now sees two trains running every half-hour from South Wales to London as opposed to one an hour a decade ago.

Errr.....nope. Two trains every hour, maybe.....


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Electric train on July 01, 2011, 06:42:09 pm
A connection toward the west will be once GW electrification is done, only electric traction can operate in the Heathrow tunnel system, there was a plan to use the old Stains / Colenbrook line, now that the Airtrack scheme has hit the stop blocks may well get resurrected perhaps as part of a TOC franchise bid?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: 12hoursunday on July 04, 2011, 01:51:16 pm
Too many HEX running back and forth to the airport less than half full. 90% of High Speed Services get held up at airport junction which is 90% too many!


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Surrey 455 on July 04, 2011, 06:03:37 pm
There was a proposal last year to link Slough to Terminal 5 via a new station at Windsor connecting with the SWT line and branching off to a new track at Wraysbury. Not sure what's happening with it because the website hasn't been updated since January 2011.

http://windsorlink.net/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windsor_Link_Railway


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on July 04, 2011, 06:30:50 pm
The proposer was probably taken to one side by local landowners, such as Eton College and HM the Queen, and they explained his ideas stood absolutely no chance.

At least NR mentioned the private enterprise Brighton Main Line 2 in the SE RUS, along with a comment that it didn't meet any of their known requirements...

Maybe the 'Windsor link' will appear in the final RUS - but I wouldn't bet on it...

Paul


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Electric train on July 04, 2011, 06:43:23 pm
There was a proposal last year to link Slough to Terminal 5 via a new station at Windsor connecting with the SWT line and branching off to a new track at Wraysbury. Not sure what's happening with it because the website hasn't been updated since January 2011.

http://windsorlink.net/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windsor_Link_Railway

This proposal falls down in so many ways, first Airtrack (the Waterloo Heathrow link via Staines) has been scraped due to insurmountable problems surrounding the level crossings in the Hounslow area and others to solve these pushed the cost beyond what BAA could afford.  Second the Windsor link requires a new railway to be built through or under Windsor a very expensive idea for a very very very limited traffic level.

The best option for a link to from the west is a new cord the country side of West Drayton using the Colnebrook line and a short link tunnel to T5


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: eightf48544 on July 05, 2011, 05:42:59 pm
it's going to be an interesting civil engineering problem devising a juction to take traffic West from Heathrow. Use of Colnbrook branch gets it under the M4 but then you've either got to build the curve up to teh GWML.

The problem is that the Colonborok branch crosses under the main line when it is on an embankment and swings sharp right to join up with the old Uxbridge branch into West Drayton Station. To Swing left which ever side you start requires crossing two rivers and house and golf course on  the South side to join the Main Lines (not satisfactory) or two rivers and a gravel pit to the North. To add to the complications the Main line enters a small cutting after crossing the second river at the East end of which is the M25.

It could be done but too costly?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: anthony215 on July 05, 2011, 07:51:26 pm
might be diffcult especially pathing trains but couldnt trains reverse at west drayton (slow lines)?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Electric train on July 05, 2011, 08:05:20 pm
Amazing what a little civil engineering design, some concrete, steel can do to build a fly over form the Colnebrook line up and over and land between the UM and DR also over to the UR.  Unlikely that a direct connection the Mains would be need in normal use only required when the Reliefs are blocked for engineering


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Not from Brighton on July 05, 2011, 08:54:37 pm
Does anyone know how much the grade separation west of Reading is costing? Surely it would have be be cheaper than that as the Reading project is much more complicated.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Surrey 455 on July 06, 2011, 11:00:07 am
If the old West Drayton to Staines line was re-engineered to allow a western link, would trains run any further than T5 - Reading on the Great Western line? Would there be a demand for trains to travel further? If so then what about trains from other parts of the country e.g. Crosscountry?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: eightf48544 on July 06, 2011, 07:28:49 pm
As for going further than Reading depends on where the wires go plus the stock to be used. Crossrail stock and would presumably be able to use LHR T5 as through station and run to hopefully Reading not Maidenhead.

Does anyone know if the IEP will be compatible with LHR T5.

Not sure if you'd want to go very far on an old 319 which are likely to run the non Crossrail electrified local services on the GWML even if they are compatible with LHR  T5.

Until the wires go North of Oxford then XC would be excluded being diesel. Unless the dreaded bi mode was used.

As an aside HEX and Connect will find electrifying the Reading traingle will be very useful as they will be able to turn their units to even wheel wear on the tight curve after Airport Junction.
 


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Electric train on July 06, 2011, 10:13:16 pm
319's will be more than compatible as they are The Fire Precautions (Sub-surface Railway Stations) Regulations 1989 section 12 compliant, also they have cab end doors for evacuation in the Widen Lines, Clarkenwell and Snow Hill tunnels, they we also used as test train in the Channel Tunnel when the signaling and electrification was commissioned.

The IEP may not be compatible as they unlikely to be built to The Fire Precautions (Sub-surface Railway Stations) Regulations 1989 Section 12 and my not have guage clearance


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: rogerpatenall on July 07, 2011, 11:24:24 am
"due to insurmountable problems surrounding the level crossings in the Hounslow area"
insurmountable problems have a habit of being surmounted at a later date when the will is there. Current example is the quadrupling of the Charing Cross lines at Borough Market after at least 50 years of procrastination.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: eightf48544 on July 07, 2011, 11:43:46 am
Christian Wolmar in the latest Rail magazine devotes his article to the scrapping of Airtrack and the level crossing problem. It seems Philip Hammond doesn't like level crossings.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Andrew1939 from West Oxon on July 07, 2011, 03:04:55 pm
Does any person like level crossings? We are fortunate in GW territory that Mr Brunel foresaw the problems of level crossings and there tend to be fewer than in many other parts of the country.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Wilf19 on December 02, 2011, 07:24:19 pm
Having been messed about by the RailAir bus again tonight I find myself wondering if a westbound rail connection from Heathrow to Reading will ever happen. Now someone will tell me it's happening as part Crossrail but the maps I can find don't suggest that.

For my sins I get to use Heathrow fairly frequently and alternate between using the RailAir bus from Reading and going up to Paddington and using the Heathrow Express. I usually start using the bus again when I feel a bit guilty about the extra expense of going via Paddington. Using the bus usually lasts until something goes wrong and the connections mess up, and then I go back to  using the Heathrow train. In 12 years of taking the train to Heathrow the train has only let me down twice, I've lost count of the number of times the RailAir bus has meant being late or having to spend and unscheduled night in a Heathrow hotel.

My point is (at last!) surely the Thames Valley route catchment must have a good number of people who would make use of a train between Reading and Heathrow? Or is it all down to the usual vested interests?

Ironically tonight's mess up isn't so bad for me,  in the end as the 18:33 from Reading to Taunton is very late so I made my train.

cheers

Sorry if this has all been done before but I couldn't locate a thread on it.



Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on December 02, 2011, 08:07:05 pm
Not that it would have much difference to your journey tonight :)


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: eightf48544 on December 03, 2011, 11:51:24 am
Piece in Slough Midweek Observer about a do in Reading with the MP promoitng the link.

Under Heathrow Link vital for Economy. Alegedly Justine Greening has pledge her support. Network rail are doing a study.

Also piece in December Modern railways reviewing all proposals for Westlinks to Heathrow including teh Windsor Link scheme.

All on Page 5 of same issue of Observer peice on 48 new carriges for FGW.

Also Maidenhead advertiser.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 04, 2011, 09:10:24 pm
From the Reading Chronicle (http://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2011/12/01/55600-eager-wait-for-airport-rail-link-study/):

Quote
Eager wait for airport rail link study

Transport secretary Justine Greening has pledged her backing for an emerging multi million pound railway project directly linking Reading to Heathrow Airport.

Ms Greening revealed she is "awaiting with interest" the outcome of a proposed western rail link to the London airport which she anticipates will boost the region's transport network and economic fortunes.

Network Rail is just weeks away from unveiling results of a feasibility study for the ^180-^500m scheme which will slash journey times from Reading to the airport to just 28 minutes and to eight minutes from Slough.

Speaking last Thursday at a Westminster reception organised by Reading East MP Rob Wilson, when the Midweek and Chronicle were the only media from the Reading area represented, Ms Greening told rail chiefs and Thames Valley-based businesses: "This is one of those projects where you instinctively see its rationale and benefits. You only have to go past Reading on the M4 to see how much business is there, but in terms of the railway prospects it is so near yet so far.

"This will not just benefit the railways it will benefit the rest of the country and its economy."

Network Rail's ^119,000 study explores several options with the most likely route featuring a new 6km (3.72 mile) railway line and tunnel linking platforms at Heathrow Terminal Five with the Great Western Mainline east of Langley Station.

Currently companies in this area spend up to ^10m annually on taxi fares to Heathrow because train travellers face either face a lengthy detour via London or catching Rail Air buses from Reading Station which take 40 minutes to complete the road journey.

Mr Wilson said the proposals could bring "enormous" economic benefits to Reading and added: "Today demonstrates the tremendous spirit for this project across the political divide and from business and industry in the area. It should give us great heart and it's a project we can go forward with."

First Great Western sponsored the reception, and company projects and planning director Matthew Golton said the scheme could help take the pressure off crowded trains travelling into London, adding: "It will be great for the communities we serve and is vital for the economy."


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: DavidH on December 06, 2011, 03:46:43 pm
There's another alternative.  Reading - Paddington stopper to Hayes & Harlingdon and then the Heathrow Connect.  I did this recently from Twyford to Terminal 3 and it worked very well. Much cheaper too, about ^11 in middle of the day.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Wilf19 on December 06, 2011, 05:23:49 pm
I hadn't thought of that route, it could be worth investigating. Although I usually use Terminal 5 and I don't think the connect service goes through to T5 so that would mean a change at Heathrow Central.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Electric train on December 06, 2011, 06:25:03 pm
There's another alternative.  Reading - Paddington stopper to Hayes & Harlingdon and then the Heathrow Connect.  I did this recently from Twyford to Terminal 3 and it worked very well. Much cheaper too, about ^11 in middle of the day.
This service from the West is not very well advertised by FGW, certainly from Maidenhead / Twyford it is a great way to get the Heathrow, the only pain in the ! if you have luggage is there are not lifts to help with the necessary UP to DN platform change and vice versa going home


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: eightf48544 on December 06, 2011, 09:33:56 pm
The only problem with Heathrow connect from Hayes is the exorbitant fare!

Do you get a senior discount on it?

Another way is train to Slough and one of the many 7X to Central bus station  or Terminal 5 buses from across the way at the new very pleasant to wait in bus station.

I'm flying from 4 next year what's best way from Taplow thinking 75 bus  to Central on pass and free shuttle train. Cost ^0


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on July 12, 2012, 02:03:02 pm
Today's aviation policy written statement includes:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/news/press-releases/dft-press-20120712b

^500m towards a western rail link to Heathrow, which is in addition to
^1.4bn already being invested to improve surface access to airports,
including ^44m towards upgrading Gatwick Airport station and a new fleet of
thirty electric trains already improving services on the Stansted Express.
In addition the Government is pressing ahead with HS2 which will
significantly improve access to airports such as Birmingham and
Manchester...

Editors note: The Western Rail Access to Heathrow project will be included
in the Government's forthcoming High Level Output Specification for the
railways (HLOS) announcement. The project is subject to a satisfactory
business case and the agreement of acceptable terms with the Heathrow
aviation industry.

Yet another project proposed by NR in last September's shopping list.  Maybe we should see it as a good omen for Bristol Metro, which is in the same document?

Paul


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: ChrisB on July 12, 2012, 03:05:00 pm
Mark Hopwood comments....

http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/About-Us/Media-centre/First-Great-Western-statement-on-western-rail-access-to-Heathrow


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 12, 2012, 04:18:50 pm
I wonder what service levels would be deemed appropriate for such a link, given the limited capacity on the GWML?  Personally, I can't see anything from too far afield running straight into Heathrow, as the market for Paddington is too strong that most paths will be taken up with trains to London.  Perhaps a half-hourly semi-fast service from Reading calling at Twyford, Maidenhead, and Slough, which could possibly originate at Oxford/Newbury/Swindon?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: ChrisB on July 12, 2012, 04:25:49 pm
Is it definitely off the GWML, and not off the Waterloo line?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: onthecushions on July 12, 2012, 04:35:09 pm

I remember 2 decades ago when Heathrow Express was being planned that many (including little me) wrote letters etc urging that a Western curve be built at Airport Junction. Typically both the DfT and MP's dismissed these calls....

Remember the tunnel collapse?

OTC



Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 12, 2012, 04:38:39 pm
Is it definitely off the GWML, and not off the Waterloo line?

Yes, with a junction probably either west of West Drayton or between Iver and Langley.  The following is from NR's CP5 Initial Industry Plan: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=30064778689 (http://www.networkrail.co.uk/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=30064778689)

The study will review options for constructing the link, including:
 extension from the Terminal 5 station in a tunnel under the western boundary of the
airport, connecting to the Colnbrook branch to a new junction West of West Drayton on
the GWML; and
 extension from Terminal 5 in a tunnel to Richings Park, Iver, with a new junction
between Iver and Langley stations on the GWML.
Further options may be identified by the design consultant. No decisions have been taken
about service provision over the loop, but options include a completely new service, re-routing
Crossrail services and extending Heathrow Express and / or Heathrow Connect services to
Reading.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on July 12, 2012, 05:26:24 pm
...options include a completely new service, re-routing Crossrail services and extending Heathrow Express and / or Heathrow Connect services to
Reading.

I thought that was a bit of an odd selection of options, because it is already known that Connect is subsumed into Crossrail.  Perhaps when NR wrote it they still though Crossrail might not happen...   ;D

Paul


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 12, 2012, 05:42:07 pm
I don't suppose there's any reason why at least some of the Crossrail trains to Heathrow couldn't then go on to Reading/Maidenhead, but it would need to be done so that other Crossrail/Greater Western services continue to offer good journey times from stations like Slough, Maidenhead and Twyford to and from London - re-routing via Heathrow would likely add several minutes to the journey even if no reversal was required.

Thinking about it, if the 4 HEx paths every hour (or at least two of them) went from Paddington to Heathrow and then extended to Slough, Maidenhead, Twyford and Reading that might be one way of solving the capacity problems pathing wise as those trains would provide a more useful service than HEx itself - the demand for which, at its current levels at least, I doubt will exist after Crossrail.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: ChrisB on July 12, 2012, 05:50:46 pm
I don't think HEX continues once Crossrail is built? I know Connect is subsumed into Crossrail


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 12, 2012, 06:02:34 pm
I think HEx has access rights until 2023 after which it may well disappear or be incorporated into Crossrail.  I suppose with BAA's agreement things could change before then, and perhaps dangling the carrot of the additional benefits of running it through from further afield might be a selling point, though it would have shades of the current Gatwick Express controversy.  I don't think BAA would be happy with Crossrail taking over HEx services until 2023 unless they went fast from Paddington.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on July 12, 2012, 06:11:20 pm
I don't think HEX continues once Crossrail is built? I know Connect is subsumed into Crossrail

HEx does continue as it is now, on current (ie original Crossrail Act) plans.  The idea of transfering HEx to Crossrail is analysed in the London and SE RUS, but it is still only a proposal.  Next week's HLOS announcement may of course change that completely.

Paul


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Btline on July 12, 2012, 07:18:05 pm
The HeX should be axed and an additional 4 tph should extend to Heathrow from Crossrail, calling at Ealing Broadway and maybe H&H (for pathing, as I doubt they could run fast on the slow lines) or Old Oak Common when that opens. The 5 mins extra by the extra stops on the slows would be eaten up by not having to change at Padd.

The Gatwick Express should also be axed and a 12 car train run to Brighton every 15 mins calling at CJ, EC, Gatwick and Haywards Heath. I doubt any extra journey time will occur, as they have to crawl through on the congested lines. Off peak, 6 cars can be attached/detached at the airport so airport customers are not inconvenienced.

The Stansted Express already makes a couple of sensible calls and doesn't actually go express.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: grahame on July 12, 2012, 07:24:11 pm
I wonder what service levels would be deemed appropriate for such a link, given the limited capacity on the GWML?  Personally, I can't see anything from too far afield running straight into Heathrow, as the market for Paddington is too strong that most paths will be taken up with trains to London.  Perhaps a half-hourly semi-fast service from Reading calling at Twyford, Maidenhead, and Slough, which could possibly originate at Oxford/Newbury/Swindon?

I note also your "via Heathrow to Reading" thoughts.

Should we even look further out of the bag - at where people want to go from Heathrow, and forward much of the 15 years of the next franchise?   Where do people who fly into Heathrow want to go?   Let's see ... Southampton for a cruise.   So - Heathrow - Reading - Winchester - Southmapton - Bournemouth hourly.   The North and Cambridge - so Heathrow - Reading - Oxford - Bicester - Bletchley - Bedford - [Sandy, Cambridge, Norwich] hourly.  And Heathrow - Reading - Leamington Spa - Coventry - Birmingham - Stoke - Manchester hourly.  

This is all wild speculation;  does anyone have a demographics map showing Heathrow's traveller catchment (UK based) or destinations (from afar). And  I may be out of step with some of our local businesses, but many of us welcome clients from all over the world and a direct service from Heathrow would be wonderful onto my own line. Travellers from Paddington are used to changing anyway, but a direct overseas link to the growing towns across Wiltshire would do wonders for us, and the overseas visitors are the ones who need minimal changes and would be happy with 7 or 8 stops on the way.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: TonyK on July 12, 2012, 07:33:54 pm
Today's aviation policy written statement includes:

Yet another project proposed by NR in last September's shopping list.  Maybe we should see it as a good omen for Bristol Metro, which is in the same document?

Paul

Indeed it is in the same document, Paul. Whether that augurs well, ill, or neither I don't know. The company you keep doesn't seem to matter in these things.
Reading the CP5 output driver for Dr Days to Filton makes Four Tracking a no-brainer for me, and it looks like NR think so too. (My smaller brother Three Track Now! says I shouldn't be greedy, but I tell him it's for his benefit for when he's older). The amount of additional traffic that will be using that stretch of line will be massive, and it needs more capacity now. While it seems a bit churlish to tell the government "Thanks for the resignalling and the IEP and the ^100 million for Bristol Metro, but none of it will  work properly without another ^57 million for Filton Bank", I think that's what will have to be said.
The problem is that when you read any of the suggestions in the wish-list, they all look like absolute corkers, and they all impact on each other too.  The rise in rail travel has been exponential, and shows no sign of slowing down. As rail is the government's preferred mode of mass transit, they will have to really bite the bullet this time, and favour rail over road projects for expenditure. Spending too little will be like a doctor giving you half the effective dose of a medicine. Here's hoping!


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on July 12, 2012, 07:50:01 pm

I note also your "via Heathrow to Reading" thoughts.

Should we even look further out of the bag - at where people want to go from Heathrow, and forward much of the 15 years of the next franchise?   Where do people who fly into Heathrow want to go?   Let's see ... Southampton for a cruise.   So - Heathrow - Reading - Winchester - Southmapton - Bournemouth hourly.   The North and Cambridge - so Heathrow - Reading - Oxford - Bicester - Bletchley - Bedford - [Sandy, Cambridge, Norwich] hourly.  And Heathrow - Reading - Leamington Spa - Coventry - Birmingham - Stoke - Manchester hourly.

Problem (as I see it) is that if the only trains that pass through Heathrow are on their way to/from 'Central London east of Paddington' (hence have to be Crossrail inner suburban high capacity stock) then destinations like Bournemouth wouldn't be that practical.  However, if all four heavy rail platforms at the T5 station were through platforms then there should be adequate capacity to start through services from Paddington high level to longer distances, if not make T5 a terminus from the west for a subset of services. 

No doubt it will all end up a bit of a compromise...#

Paul


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: JayMac on July 12, 2012, 07:54:47 pm
This is all wild speculation;  does anyone have a demographics map showing Heathrow's traveller catchment (UK based) or destinations (from afar).

This may be of some use:

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/5/Catchment%20area%20analysis%20working%20paper%20-%20FINAL.pdf

There is definitely a market for direct rail services to Heathrow from points west. Currently, if you want a direct journey by public transport your only option is National Express, who provide regular scheduled coach services, from many towns and cities, to Heathrow.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: TonyK on July 12, 2012, 08:45:18 pm
There is definitely a market for direct rail services to Heathrow from points west. Currently, if you want a direct journey by public transport your only option is National Express, who provide regular scheduled coach services, from many towns and cities, to Heathrow.

Don't ever mention National Express to Heathrow in my presence again! Please - it brings back memories that my psychiatrist said should lie undisturbed.

I agree there is a market. It's not just Bristol, remember, but Oxford, Swindon, Wales, Gloucester - a big list of frequent flyers. I thought ^500 million was steep, even by normal railway standards, but it's not just a right-turn onto the HEx track.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Electric train on July 12, 2012, 08:46:50 pm
There are a couple of options, divert a Maidenhead (or if it happens Reading) Crossrail service via Heathrow, the HEX could be extended to Reading a Padd - Heathow - Reading shuttle.

On an aside the passive provision for an ac / dc interface at Reading is being actively looked at (again) so the Western access could be Reading via Staines ^500m don't buy much new railway nowadays


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Btline on July 12, 2012, 09:43:07 pm
Just have a decent fast service (perhaps one or two stops) from Reading to Heathrow every 15 or 30 minutes. Connections at Reading.

Plus a stopping service from Reading to Heathrow for locals.

Instead of changing for a bus to the airport, change for a train.

Post "Airtrack Lite", Woking can also become a "change for fast service to Heathrow" station.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: eightf48544 on July 13, 2012, 10:17:55 am
Unfortunately between the competing interests of Crossrail, Hex, Heathrow Connect and the current local TV semis and stoppers from Reading and now the possibility of od Reading LHR service the likely patern of services on the line is getting really messy.

It seems to me somebody (but who?) should sit down and paln a proper servcie taking into account the new western junction.

Firstly the turnback sidings for Crossrail at Maidenhead should be scrapped and Crossrail run to Reading as soon as it comes out of the tunnel at Royal Oak (2019). After all the lines should should be electrified by 2016. Further Crossrail should not be given the Relief lines it should be a 4 railway throughout to Didcot. They should also pick up the Newbury and Oxfords  (reading and Slough) which currently run Mainline.

Connect is scrapped and runs through to at least all stations Slough possibly Reading.

How about Hex becoming part of Crossrail 4 trians an hour fast Eastbourne Terrace LHR?

The trouble is that there is no boedy with teh authority to say right this is the plan.

This is another of my rocks in a pond ideas. Can you improve the ripples. Otherwise after 2020 the local services in the TV are going to be a mess. Pity the passengers of Twyford and Maidenhead only having an all stations to Shenfield  train via LHr.   
   


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on July 13, 2012, 10:28:05 am

Connect is scrapped and runs through to at least all stations Slough possibly Reading.

How about Hex becoming part of Crossrail 4 trians an hour fast Eastbourne Terrace LHR?

The trouble is that there is no body with the authority to say right this is the plan.
  

Yes there is someone with the authority to make that plan. 

Crossrail already replaces HConnect, this has always been part of the deal.  NR's  London and SE RUS further does propose HEx becoming part of Crossrail, as part of its GWML capacity strategy. 

All it takes is DfT to agree that BAA/HAL can be bought out of their existing deal.  That won't be easy, but it is the plan.

Paul


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on July 13, 2012, 10:35:56 am
There are a couple of options, divert a Maidenhead (or if it happens Reading) Crossrail service via Heathrow, the HEX could be extended to Reading a Padd - Heathow - Reading shuttle.

On an aside the passive provision for an ac / dc interface at Reading is being actively looked at (again) so the Western access could be Reading via Staines ^500m don't buy much new railway nowadays

I think ultimately they'll need both, ie there needs to be a junction immediately west of T5 with trains going both to Staines and to the GWML (by one of the routes you posted earlier from the CP5 proposals). I'm not sure the 'Airtracl' level of infrastructure is needed at Staines, it seems to me that when it comes to suburban EMUs a reversal during a station call is no big deal, and if Staines station was rebuilt to provide a third platform on the up side, trains to/from the Virginia Water direction could reverse at Staines in the middle road without much conflict at all...

Paul 


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 13, 2012, 10:36:17 am
Should we even look further out of the bag - at where people want to go from Heathrow, and forward much of the 15 years of the next franchise?   Where do people who fly into Heathrow want to go?   Let's see ... Southampton for a cruise.   So - Heathrow - Reading - Winchester - Southmapton - Bournemouth hourly.   The North and Cambridge - so Heathrow - Reading - Oxford - Bicester - Bletchley - Bedford - [Sandy, Cambridge, Norwich] hourly.  And Heathrow - Reading - Leamington Spa - Coventry - Birmingham - Stoke - Manchester hourly.  

There's an awful lot of potential destinations, but bear in mind that the Heathrow Tunnels are not passed for anything other than overhead electric trains though.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: ChrisB on July 13, 2012, 10:50:17 am
Crossrail already replaces HConnect, this has always been part of the deal.  NR's  London and SE RUS further does propose HEx becoming part of Crossrail, as part of its GWML capacity strategy.

I knew I had read that somewhere. HEX's life as a standalone entity has a limited life. I believe their contract with NR for services has a date limit of something like 2018.

Quote
All it takes is DfT to agree that BAA/HAL can be bought out of their existing deal.  That won't be easy, but it is the plan.

See above - I understand that their contract is time-limited.

Not sure if the BBC are speculating - or whether they got more info, but they seem to think there will be direct services from the west....
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-18817874#TWEET172297


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: mjones on July 13, 2012, 11:01:59 am
Scrapping HEX as a separate service would make much better use of track and platform capacity. As currently planned Crossrail will leave a lot of local trains still terminating from the West while adding a whole lot more terminating from the East, which rather seems to undermine the purpose of creating a new through route at vast expense! There may be some concern about increased journey time if non-stop HEX services are replaced with stopping Crossrail ones, but for such a relatively short trip the greatly increased frequency, leading to reduced waiting times, and reduced need for interchange should more than compensate in terms of what transport modellers call 'Generalised Time'.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: grahame on July 13, 2012, 12:38:40 pm
http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/5/Catchment%20area%20analysis%20working%20paper%20-%20FINAL.pdf

Ah yes - thanks

Page 36 - Heathrow Catchment (2010) - significant hottest spots outside the London area are Swindon, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Cambridge, Southampton, Portsmouth and  Bournemouth.

Page 55 - Foreign residents often travel for quite a long time from Heathrow; contrast to shorter journeys to LHR for UK residents on page 54.

I'm thinking that 4 an hour from PAD to LHR - electric trains on to Bournmeouth, Birmingham, Cambridge and Bristol might do rather nicely in the (far?) future.  Journey times on areas where there are clear passenger flows already would be cut anyway, and I think that newcomers to the UK would much prefer a slighly slower train than having to change?

Once you get to Reading, you're probably NOT looking at new trains to Bournemouth nor Birmingham.   Think about what already reverses there TWICE an hour, and look at carrying one on to Paddington


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: stebbo on July 13, 2012, 08:29:09 pm
The bigger issue here is surely whether the Government wishes (has the balls?) to look at airport capacity in the South East. If you were to build a new London airport in the Thames then why build a new link to Heathrow?

To my mind - as I've just written to my MP - the logical answer is to expand Heathrow so, yes, build the western link. But the Government needs to get a grip on the airport issue first.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on July 13, 2012, 09:06:05 pm
For all the other options they talk about, Heathrow itself isn't ever likely to close is it? 

I can foresee a situation where Heathrow is just dealing with cross Atlantic & South American traffic, and 'some other place' is taking over most routes to the east.

Aren't there are also far too many freight shipping businesses around Heathrow to move them all somewhere else?

Paul


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Electric train on July 14, 2012, 08:57:07 am
I agree I cannot see the day when Heathrow is cleared for housing, the Heathrow economic foot print is to large for any Government to risk.

My thoughts on a service from the west would be HEX extended to Reading - Paddington - Heathrow - Reading "fast" possibly every 3 per hour with a Maidenhead (or Reading) Crossrail via Heathrow 2 per hour.  It has to born in mind that BAA own the infrastructure from Airport Junction and set the fares so for anyone wanting to get off of a Crossrail service at Heathrow they would have to pay the "BAA surcharge"

The other thing to take into the equation is "Airtrack lite" this would take up capacity in Heathrow (the project does have legs, the NR Route are doing feasibility studies), Airtrack lite I recall from an earlier post / thread has been included in the GW franchise (I could be wrong)


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on July 15, 2012, 09:33:33 am
The other thing to take into the equation is "Airtrack lite" this would take up capacity in Heathrow (the project does have legs, the NR Route are doing feasibility studies), Airtrack lite I recall from an earlier post / thread has been included in the GW franchise (I could be wrong)

It was, and I think there was a a few people wondering why that was at the time the consultation came out. 

It does makes sense to mention it if at some time in the next franchise it was up and running in conjunction with Western Access.  You could see two types of services over Airtrack lite; maybe from Crossrail as far as Staines and terminating there, and other overlapping services from the SWT network such as Reading that ran only to Heathrow.

Things in neighbouring areas seem to be mentioned in ITTs even if they are nothing much to do with the franchise in question's future operations. I assume it is if they might impact on future fares revenue, even if only slightly.

Paul


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Electric train on July 15, 2012, 03:54:20 pm
Crossrail to Staines is unlikely the Crossrail trains are single traction, therefore Airtrack lite which is W'loo - Heathrow will have to be dual traction with an ac / dc interface between Staines and T5.  Although there is a GRIP 2 study into converting some dc lines to ac any conversion is not likely to happen until CP6 (i.e. at least 10 years time)


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on July 15, 2012, 04:54:13 pm
Forgot that they weren't going to allow OHLE across Staines Moor. I had an idea that for Crosrrail perhaps Staines could be the end of the wires, and trains off the SW could change during a Staines call.  But having to use dual voltage on Crossrail is probably a step too far...

Paul


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Electric train on July 15, 2012, 06:49:03 pm
But having to use dual voltage on Crossrail is probably a step too far...

Paul
Yep to the extent that at Abbey Wood it will be a segregated railway, the only connection between the North Kent Lines and Crossrail is a non-electrified engineers standage line


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: stebbo on July 15, 2012, 09:00:54 pm
I can foresee a situation where Heathrow is just dealing with cross Atlantic & South American traffic, and 'some other place' is taking over most routes to the east.

But doesn't this cause a problem with connecting flights into Europe/the rest of the UK as you have to duplicate them from "somewhere else"? I recently travelled out from Heathrow from one terminal and returned to another - that's irritating enough.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Btline on July 20, 2012, 10:01:17 pm
Brum airport can double its flights - it will become a new terminal for Heathrow, with HS2 providing regular 30 minute long services between them.

Gatwick can have a 2nd runway.
There is room for 3 more runways at Stansted (although ancient Woodland would have to be axed to make way)

Of course, what we need to do is build Boris Island with 4 runways so planes can take off and land every minute over water 24 hrs a day without keeping half of London awake. With that capacity you could close Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Standsted, Southend and Kent and still have room for more!

The third runway will affect thousands of people in North West London who's homes will be blighted by constant noise and fumes all day forever! This is unacceptable, even without the homes/schools/churches that will have to be bulldozed to make way.

..."Airtrack lite" this would take up capacity in Heathrow ...

Actually, in a wonderful piece of forward planning, space for two terminal platforms exists at Terminal 5 station for Airtrack. Airtrack Lite must happen, there is no reason for it not to. I can't believe they're doing studies, it's a no brainer!

And for goodness sake, will someone announce the extension of Crossrail to Reading and Gravesend before I scream!!! >:( >:( >:(


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: ellendune on July 20, 2012, 10:33:09 pm
You don't need all these. If you build Boris Island then Heathrow would close - according to the plan - and airtrack would be redundant.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Btline on July 21, 2012, 12:33:52 am
You don't need all these. If you build Boris Island then Heathrow would close - according to the plan - and airtrack would be redundant.

I'm assuming Boris Island isn't going to get built. ;)

Of course, what we need to do is build Boris Island...
With that capacity you could close Heathrow...


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: TonyK on July 22, 2012, 10:37:35 pm
Gatwick already has two runways - look  at the  chart (http://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/eadbasic/pamslight-8B4B8FC84396C30BD5BACC7370E1491C/7FE5QZZF3FXUS/EN/Charts/AD/NON_AIRAC/EG_AD_2_EGKK_2-1_en_2012-06-28.pdf). Admittedly, they are too close together to use simultaneously. Heathrow is in the worst possible place, to the west of a major city, with the predominant windflow from the west. Paris has major airports north (Le Bourget and Charles de Gaulle) and south (Orly) of the city, meaning that flights do not overfly the most populated areas. Boris Island makes perfect sense. Build it first, with high-speed rail into London, the use Heathrow for housing or industry, and you might even make a profit. It will never happen.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 23, 2012, 10:03:50 am
Having spent the night in Windsor recently, I was woken to the sound of jets coming in to land with a flight path directly over Windsor and the Castle.  Whilst they more normally come in to land from the west it did strike me as odd that the queen might have to put up with that racket every couple of minutes!


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Btline on July 23, 2012, 10:10:54 am
Having spent the night in Windsor recently, I was woken to the sound of jets coming in to land with a flight path directly over Windsor and the Castle.  Whilst they more normally come in to land from the west it did strike me as odd that the queen might have to put up with that racket every couple of minutes!

They say that an American once asked staff why they built Windor Castle in the flightpath. ::)


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Electric train on July 23, 2012, 03:32:20 pm
Having spent the night in Windsor recently, I was woken to the sound of jets coming in to land with a flight path directly over Windsor and the Castle.  Whilst they more normally come in to land from the west it did strike me as odd that the queen might have to put up with that racket every couple of minutes!

With 3ft plus tick walls i don't think noise is too much of an issue inside the castle


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: WSW Frome on July 23, 2012, 05:20:57 pm
Gatwick Airport only has a single runway and that is a planning condition that was imposed when the "modern" airport was first built. This planning condition has several years to run before any new application could be submitted (I have not checked the dates). The parallel track is the TAXIWAY.

An aircraft did land on the taxiway once and the pilot got something of a surprise and no doubt followed by extensive "retraining" in ?Siberia.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on July 23, 2012, 05:48:53 pm
It's definitely also usable as a runway though, it would be used if the main runway was undergoing maintenance.

Quote
Runway Length 26L/08R: 3316m x 46m
Runway Length 26R/08L: 2565m x 45m - this runway used only when 26L/08R is not available.
http://www.ukaccs.info/profiles.htm

The 'no 2nd runway' rule runs until August 2019.

Paul


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Btline on July 23, 2012, 06:08:52 pm
Good, so a second one can be added there affecting fewer people than at Heathrow!


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Surrey 455 on July 24, 2012, 11:09:56 pm
it did strike me as odd that the queen might have to put up with that racket every couple of minutes!

My understanding is that when the Queen is in residence aircraft are diverted away from Windsor.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: JayMac on July 24, 2012, 11:33:54 pm
it did strike me as odd that the queen might have to put up with that racket every couple of minutes!

My understanding is that when the Queen is in residence aircraft are diverted away from Windsor.

Really?

Does Brenda really have the power to divert the hundreds of flights in and out of Heathrow on a day to day basis? Does she pay for the Air Traffic Control diversions that would be necessary to ensure that there are no flights over Windsor Castle when she's in residence?

Does the Govt. make a telephone call to southern England ATC informing them that HMQ will be bedding down at Windsor Castle and asking kindly if they wouldn't mind diverting flights so that Brenda won't be disturbed?

I think not.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: eightf48544 on July 25, 2012, 07:55:30 am
As i can see the flight path over Windsor I can assure you it makes no difference if she is residence or not. It depends on the wind nd what way they are landing.

It is when they are landing from the West when it is most noticeble as they start coming off the stacks over Maidenhead and as far out as Woodley and then form an orderley queue 3 miles apart. Not quite over the castle but along side it. I can often see three or more planes in line coming in to land.

Take off to the West is not a problem they either fly North over my house or turn South over Staines avoiding the Castle.

The Normal flight pattern with a Westerly wind or very light winds is in over London and out as I say over my house. Althiough that changes depending on if they are using the Burnham Beacon.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Tim on July 25, 2012, 10:03:55 am
It's definitely also usable as a runway though, it would be used if the main runway was undergoing maintenance.

Quote
Runway Length 26L/08R: 3316m x 46m
Runway Length 26R/08L: 2565m x 45m - this runway used only when 26L/08R is not available.
http://www.ukaccs.info/profiles.htm

The 'no 2nd runway' rule runs until August 2019.

Paul

It is used when the main runway is undergoing maintenance.  There was a problem a few months ago where the planned maintenance meant that the secondary runway was being used and un-seasonal fog reduced capacity on the secondary runway (which lacks all the instruments required for landing in fog)


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Btline on July 25, 2012, 05:30:02 pm
Out of interest, is there a website with maps of the flightpaths?

Apparently, they have to be very careful, as Heathrow landing planes fly over City airport!


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: TonyK on August 11, 2012, 11:18:58 am
Out of interest, is there a website with maps of the flightpaths?

Apparently, they have to be very careful, as Heathrow landing planes fly over City airport!

All the information is in the  in the Aeronautical Information Service  (http://www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/public/index.php%3Foption=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=94&Itemid=143.html) website.  This chart (http://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/eadbasic/pamslight-00BFAEB585C87C9F5074D228ABB4B8FB/7FE5QZZF3FXUS/EN/Charts/AD/AIRAC/EG_AD_2_EGLL_7-12_en_2011-06-02.pdf) shows, for example, how the aircraft leave the stacks at Biggin Hill or Ockenham to follow the approach path to line up to land on runways 09L or 09R. At the point on the chart marked I-AA D10 or I-BB D10, about 6 miles west of Windsor, the aircraft descend to 2500 feet, on a 3 degree glidepath. I reckon that puts them below 1500' as they pass a mile or so south of the Castle. Inbound flights are generally quieter than outgoing flights. For the latter, noise abatement procedures are in place, as described by eightf48455, although probably won't make much difference  to Her Majesty. The change  of runway in use during the day helps to spread the misery, and give some relief. Modern aircraft, with high bypass engines, are much quieter than their predecessors. Flights arrive and depart into the wind, which dictates the direction. The prevailing wind is from the west, although in fine weather it tends to be from the east. This, more than anything, shows why Heathrow is in the wrong place, as all flights arrive or depart over London. Paris has its major airports north and south of Paris, giving a lot less flying over heavily populated areas.

Being careful over City airport is a bit of a red herring. Pilots are careful everywhere as a rule. Heathrow is in Category A airspace, and you are not allowed in there without an air traffic controller directing your every move. City airport is in Category D airspace. That is controlled to a lesser extent, but you cannot enter the zone without clearance. There are standard instrument arrival and departure procedures for each airport, designed to keep the aircraft at a safe distance from each other. You need not be alarmed, someone has thought about this. If you flew directly down the runway at London City, with no control inputs or wind, you would pass over Heathrow and Filton.

During the current sports event in London, just about everywhere east of Oxford is being treated as one big control zone, with the threat of being joined by a Eurofighter or getting a missile up the jacksie if you don't do what you are told.[/THREADDRIFT]


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Surrey 455 on August 11, 2012, 05:40:21 pm
Heathrow landing planes fly over City airport!
If you look at the live flights map at http://www.flightradar24.com/ you'll often see a Ryanair or other flight flying north over Heathrow on it's way from Europe to Stansted or other airports. They're at a much higher altitude though.

In the following screenshot I didn't have time to wait for this to happen but here's a Stansted bound plane flying over Hounslow. It's the red plane.
Sometimes I can watch this site for an hour or so clicking on each plane to see where it's going.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: JayMac on August 11, 2012, 07:46:57 pm
Virtual planespotting. I like it!!!

Can we have similar for National Rail please? I know there's a TfL train tracking site as well one for services operated by East Coast, but UK wide would be cool.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: TonyK on August 11, 2012, 08:41:05 pm

If you look at the live flights map at http://www.flightradar24.com/ you'll often see a Ryanair or other flight flying north over Heathrow on it's way from Europe to Stansted or other airports. They're at a much higher altitude though.

Which is no accident. Passenger jets follow clearly defined airways when under control of a traffic controller - the one over Heathrow is designated L9, and is 10 NM wide. Altitude depends on direction. Above FL 245 (which is 24500' with altimeter set to 1013.25 HPa, so that all the big boys measure height the same way), flights with a magnetic track between 0 and 179 degrees fly at odd numbered levels, 180 to 359 degrees at even numbers. Routing flights via large airports makes for great visual reference points, plus radio beacons and radar service, and somewhere with emergency facilities to glide to land if everything goes quiet unexpectedly.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Btline on August 11, 2012, 11:44:56 pm
Wow - what an amazing website! Thanks for sharing. Now I'll know what planes fly over my house at 30,000 ft leaving streaks (but thankfully no noise, so presumably at 30,000 ft)

- although it's made me feel sorry for those living near Heathrow as a Quantas jet has just taken off at 11.45pm eastbound flying right over South West London. Not fair for residents trying to sleep.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Rhydgaled on August 12, 2012, 12:43:45 am
Virtual planespotting. I like it!!!

Can we have similar for National Rail please? I know there's a TfL train tracking site as well one for services operated by East Coast, but UK wide would be cool.
I've not heard about an East Coast train-tracking site. Is it like the aircraft site posted just above where it gives the type of aircraft (for East Coast I'm thinking does it identify which trains are IC125s and which are IC225s, and whether they are short-formed/in reverse formation and things like that)?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: JayMac on August 12, 2012, 12:53:56 am
The East Coast map only features one train, that has been fitted with a GPS tracker. The headcode for whatever service (timetabled or ECS) the set is on is included:

http://bbarker.co.uk/eastCoast/

Currently shacked up for the night at Heaton TMD.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on February 27, 2013, 11:01:52 pm
From the Reading Chronicle (http://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2013/02/27/87052-moving-forward-with-transport/?#):

Quote
Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle says the ambitious ^500m western rail link to Heathrow is key to rejuvenating the British economy.

The senior Labour MP welcomed the plans when she visited Reading last Wednesday to host a party policy forum canvassing supporters' views on transport services ahead of creating a blueprint for the party's 2015 election manifesto.

Speaking before the meeting at the Cornwell Centre in Tilehurst, the MP for Liverpool's Garston and Halewood constituency said: "It's sensible increasing connectivity to Heathrow. Airports and other transport centres are an important way of increasing economic growth and we are supportive of it."

By 2021, the proposed Western Rail Access to Heathrow (WRAtH) will provide direct rail services from Reading to the airport, slashing journey times to 28 minutes.

Companies in this area spend up to ^10m annually on taxi fares to Heathrow because train travellers face either face a lengthy detour through London or catching Rail Air link buses from Reading Station which take 40 minutes to complete the road journey.

The rail link, backed by the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), would serve Reading with four trains every hour, with two services calling at Maidenhead and Twyford and options include building a tunnel linking the Western Mainline east of Langley with platforms already built at Terminal 5.

Ms Eagle who also met Reading West electoral candidate Victoria Groulef, warned spiralling rail fares and Government plans for 'super peak' tickets - which could see passengers paying more to travel at the busiest times in an attempt to reduce overcrowding - are taking their toll on passengers and added: "There are hard pressed commuters in Reading trying to get to work and they can't take much more of a squeeze. They are seeing their cost of living going up and fares going up."


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: stebbo on March 04, 2013, 09:25:24 pm
What if they decide to close Heathrow (unlikely, I know)? Surely the decision on the western link should follow the decision on the airport's location? Which says, hurry up and get on with it.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: ellendune on March 04, 2013, 09:54:52 pm
Mind you a taxi from Swindon is cheaper than the Train via Paddington & HEX full fare!


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: swrural on March 04, 2013, 10:26:37 pm
Is there market analysis on Heathrow pax market from the west country?  We have existing Reading Link data (somebody has).  All I remember is that in the analysis of the West Coast traffic to Heathrow, it was estimated at 10% of the total flow to the London area.  That resulted in the Lord Malwhinney recommendation not to send HS2 to Heathrow but to stop off at OOC (and then just some of the services).

I find it difficult to envisage that flows from the GW area would justify a better link than that which failed to be feasible from the North West. 


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: TonyK on March 05, 2013, 12:30:58 am
I think the pax numbers from the West country to Heathrow will be only part of the calculation. There will be opportunities for faster travel to Heathrow from Wales, Oxford, even the likes of Birmingham. Although I have flown from Heathrow on holiday a couple of times, it is seen primarily as the departure point for those carrying a briefcase rather than a bucket and spade, and the quality of traveller is likely to have some impact, as well as the quantity. It will also have some impact on the number of passengers travelling between Reading and Paddington, as anyone from west of there heading for LHR will have a choice other than bus or Paddington then back by HEX.

It is not only air passengers who will benefit. I have read that more people work in Heathrow than in the entire city of Newcastle. That may be apocryphal, but Heathrow has around 70,000 employees including franchises, not all of whom live in nearby Staines. When this scheme is operational, it will provide extra direct services from Woking and Bracknell, as well as Waterloo, Clapham Jct, Guildford, and a few other places. In short, it will link a major employment zone with several high-density residential areas, some of which are not easily accessed by public transport, as well as connecting the west to Heathrow. In terms of benefit cost ratio, it will score highly. The new infrastructure will be following existing very busy roads (mainly the M25) or be underground. No outstanding beauty issues have been identified. Some level crossings will be closed more than now however, and the consultation has addressed that point, if not resolved it.

This could be a situation where the skills of the demographist and the statistician prove to be crucial, and possibly more important than those of the civil engineer. There may also be development effects along the routes concerned, and my guess is that this development will be followed by universities, to inform future opinion.

I don't think the value of this project is influenced to any great degree by the Heathrow / Boris Island argument. My own thinking is that the Boris island idea is a goer, and that Heathrow should not have survived the 1950s, but that major infrastructure decisions are seldom driven by anything other than the potents for the  next election. We are therefore stuck with the imperfect Heathrow for many years. A  western rail link will ameliorate the problems that causes. Or solves.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Andrew1939 from West Oxon on March 05, 2013, 04:20:25 pm
Heathrow workers live over a wide area but the further away from Heathrow, the numbers fall. Here in Hanborough I know someone who works at Heathrow (reason: housing much more affordable). However he travels to and from work by private car and says that it is relatively quick as he works permanent nightshifts on aircraft maintenance leaving Hanborough for work around mid evening and returning home early morning when the heavy trafic flows are in the other direction.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Electric train on March 05, 2013, 05:01:07 pm
There would be uproar from the taxi drivers in the Maidenhead area when the western rail connection is made, they thrive on the fact the buses are pants almost 2 hours and the current rail journey is a pain with the over bridge interchange at Hayes where there is no lifts to help with luggage.

There does not need to be passenger numbers to justify it the creation of new journey opportunities is also a perfectly acceptable case for the DfT


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: eightf48544 on March 05, 2013, 11:42:08 pm
It will also give extra capacity between Hayes and Langley a couple of Crossrail trains going via the Airport can be overtaken by Padd Reading Semis on the Relief line.

One point what will the fare be? Will there be a stupidly excessive  add on like Hayes to Heathrow on the Connect. Presuambly passnegers will be able to catch trains from Langley and westwards going via the airport at the same price as along the main line. Just a thought!
 


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: ChrisB on March 06, 2013, 09:33:28 am
Doubt it - the infrastructure in place from the Airport to Airport Junction is owned by the airport operator, not NR.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: eightf48544 on March 06, 2013, 09:45:39 am
Doubt it - the infrastructure in place from the Airport to Airport Junction is owned by the airport operator, not NR.

What a crazy world we live in!


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 06, 2013, 10:30:36 am
Doubt it - the infrastructure in place from the Airport to Airport Junction is owned by the airport operator, not NR.

Might that situation change should this through link get built though?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: ChrisB on March 06, 2013, 10:40:06 am
Why should it - I bet they're making good money....


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: swrural on March 06, 2013, 10:54:02 am
I looked up a fare.  ^5.60 for 4 kms as the crow flies.  ^1.40 per mile, correct me if I am wrong.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 06, 2013, 11:07:34 am
Because the nature of the service will be completely different.  The present structure was determined when all that would operate is a designated Heathrow Express link operated by BAA.  As a through service will presumably be operating when the western link is operational, then BAA will not be operating those services (again presumably) and I can see the link becoming more of a proper National Rail route and then it would make sense for Network Rail to take over full responsibility for it - after all, they might not own it, but they do still maintain it.

Either that, or you have a high surcharge for travelling on a through service from, say Slough to Ealing Broadway that goes via the airport (can't see that happening), or you only pay the surcharge if your journey is actually to/from one of the airport stations.

Personally, I can see BAA being 'persuaded' to give up Heathrow Express operation and hand it over to the National Rail network when this link goes live.  There are already murmurings of significant changes to the HEx services as a result of Crossrail.  


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: ChrisB on March 06, 2013, 11:10:54 am
When does the HEx contract expire with NR?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on March 06, 2013, 11:25:51 am
HEx track access expires in 2023 I believe, from memory of a discussion somewhere last year.  About 10 more years anyway.
 
There are a number of different options for the mid '20s covering Heathrow in the London ands SE RUS, including for example a maximum of 10 tph from Crossrail subsuming both HEx and Connect.  Western Access is also considered, with as many as 8 through trains.  Too much to repeat here really...

Paul



Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 06, 2013, 11:31:45 am
HEx track access expires in 2023 I believe, from memory of a discussion somewhere last year.  About 10 more years anyway.

Perfect timing?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: ChrisB on March 06, 2013, 11:33:29 am
That's why I asked the Q....


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on March 06, 2013, 12:06:20 pm
If the length of the original TAA was intended to give them enough time (25 years from '98?) to cover most of their capital costs of the airport branch and tunnels, perhaps it's all been part of an overall cunning plan anyway...

Paul


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 06, 2013, 12:12:21 pm
That's why I asked the Q....

And that's why I suggested things might change when you made your 'Why should it?' and 'Doubt it' posts this morning.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: TonyK on March 06, 2013, 02:00:26 pm
I looked up a fare.  ^5.60 for 4 kms as the crow flies.  ^1.40 per mile, correct me if I am wrong.

Correction - ^1.40 per km, or ^2.253 per mile.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: swrural on March 06, 2013, 04:02:02 pm
I looked up a fare.  ^5.60 for 4 kms as the crow flies.  ^1.40 per mile, correct me if I am wrong.

Correction - ^1.40 per km, or ^2.253 per mile.

Well, I did ask.   :D

My mainland background has led to a split personality.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 09, 2013, 07:34:06 pm
A preferred route is likely to be announced very soon:

http://www.sloughobserver.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2013/10/09/93876-final-route-for-500m-western-rail-access-to-heathrow-to-be-announced-by-end-of-year/ (http://www.sloughobserver.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2013/10/09/93876-final-route-for-500m-western-rail-access-to-heathrow-to-be-announced-by-end-of-year/)


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: stuving on February 05, 2014, 01:50:34 pm
BBC news were reporting that Network Rail have announced their proposed plan, involving a "5-mile tunnel under Heathrow". I can't find it on their website yet, but there is this (http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/News-Releases/Direct-rail-link-from-the-west-to-Heathrow-could-be-in-place-by-2021-1fbb.aspx) news release from NR. It says the proposals have been "laid out", but not where.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Jason on February 05, 2014, 04:38:12 pm
I also found this http://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2014/02/05/97438-route-unveiled-for-western-rail-access-to-heathrow-wrath-project/ (http://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2014/02/05/97438-route-unveiled-for-western-rail-access-to-heathrow-wrath-project/)


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on February 05, 2014, 04:57:22 pm
...and here's the Network Rail source press release:

Quote
1. If planning permission is granted, Network Rail would begin initial highways enabling work at the end of 2016, with tunnel enabling work starting in early 2018. The project would be complete in 2021.

2. The proposals would see a new junction created between Langley and Iver stations, linking with a 5km tunnel for trains to access Heathrow Terminal 5.

3. Network Rail will need to secure a Development Consent Order (DCO) to deliver the Western Rail Access Programme. A steering group of industry leaders, from organisations including Network Rail, Department for Transport, Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, Slough Borough Council and Heathrow Airport, is working together to progress the proposals.

http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/News-Releases/Direct-rail-link-from-the-west-to-Heathrow-could-be-in-place-by-2021-1fbb.aspx

Paul


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: wabbit on February 06, 2014, 07:16:22 am
For completeness sake here's a link to WrATH news release as well.

http://thamesvalleyberkshire.co.uk/NewsDetails/rail-access-to-heathrow-route-announced-4026 (http://thamesvalleyberkshire.co.uk/NewsDetails/rail-access-to-heathrow-route-announced-4026)


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: eightf48544 on February 06, 2014, 11:58:28 am
Having seen it on BBC South my wife's just asked will the trains stop at Taplow?

Ideally it should be served by the 4 tph Crossrail trains running through to Reading.

May need an extra platform at Heathrow Termainl 3 for the terminal 4 shuttle plus a double junction to eliminate the double slip thta all trains from Terminal 3 to T4 and T5 have to pass over in each direstion.

Would one still need Heathrow Express and Connect?

That would be some integration for the "Bean Counters" in the  Treasury to get their heads around and transfer the money into the right buckets.



Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 06, 2014, 04:46:16 pm
You and your bean counters!   ;)  I'd say there would be a good chance of services using Taplow going via Heathrow, yes.  It all depends what sacrifices are deemed sensible journey time wise I guess, as I would expect 3-5 minutes to be added to through journeys that go via Heathrow which might be enough to put some of the players off.  Heathrow Connect will cease to be long before this service starts.  I'd put money on Heathrow Express going the same way eventually, too.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Electric train on February 06, 2014, 05:22:21 pm
Having seen it on BBC South my wife's just asked will the trains stop at Taplow?

Ideally it should be served by the 4 tph Crossrail trains running through to Reading.

May need an extra platform at Heathrow Termainl 3 for the terminal 4 shuttle plus a double junction to eliminate the double slip thta all trains from Terminal 3 to T4 and T5 have to pass over in each direstion.

Would one still need Heathrow Express and Connect?

That would be some integration for the "Bean Counters" in the  Treasury to get their heads around and transfer the money into the right buckets.



The Heathrow Connect ceases when Crossrail commences in 2019, my guess in 2021 there will be 2 tph to Reading via Heathrow, 2 tph to reading via West Drayton to Reading and perhaps a further 2 tph terminating at Maidenhead, the route via Heathrow will not be quick and is likely to be all stops


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: paul7575 on February 10, 2014, 04:55:19 pm
Here's Heathrow Express's idea for a service:

Quote
Heathrow has announced its ambition to run its Express service to Slough and Reading along a new link from the Great Western Main line, due to be built by 2021.

The Great Western Main Line currently runs from Swansea, through Cardiff, before going on to Reading and London Paddington.

Under plans announced by Network Rail last week, a new rail link will join the main line directly to Heathrow, meaning rail passengers travelling from the west will no longer have to double-back on themselves via Paddington.

Heathrow Express is looking to operate services on the link between Heathrow, Reading and Slough, which would see journey times to the hub airport reduce from 55 minutes to under 30 for passengers journeying from Reading, and from 40 minutes to 10 from Slough.

https://www.heathrowexpress.com/news/2014-02-09-ambition-for-heathrow-reading-express-service-unveiled


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Windsorian on February 17, 2014, 05:27:10 am
The 4 tph Crossrail service Paddington to Maidenhead from December 2019 was only an indicative proposal i.e. subject to review.

Crossrail trains are due to take over the Heathrow Connect service when its contract expires in May 2018, though this may initially be from Paddington mainline station before moving later to the new underground Crossrail station.

Network Rail's WRAP (Western Rail Access Programme) is costed at ^500M though we don't yet know what Heathrow's contribution will be ... if any !  Recently Heathrow had it's contribution to Crossrail reduced from a proposed ^230M to just ^70M on the grounds that LHR is almost full and will not be able to accept more passengers.

Heathrow Express is the most expensive rail journey in the world; even more expensive per mile than travelling on the Orient Express. Network Rail in their July 2011 L&SE RUS proposed Crossrail takes over the Paddington / Heathrow route when the HEx contract expires in 2023; this would free up platforms 6 & 7 at Paddington and 4 tph fast line slots for additional services to the West of Reading.

There are no plans at present to stop at Taplow. Slough's WRAtH proposal on which WRAP is based, is proposing a 4 tph service from T5 with 4 tph at Slough, 2 tph at Maidenhead, 2 tph at Twyford and 4 tph at Reading; this is how the projected time of 27 minutes from T5 to Reading has been calculated.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Umberleigh on February 17, 2014, 09:53:06 am
....


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: John R on February 17, 2014, 10:50:26 am
Looks like HEx are desperate to find a reason to keep their existence post 2023 (or even earlier as I expect their business to plummet post Crossrail.) Why would we want another operator when Crossrail and whoever runs the GW franchise are running services in the area?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Windsorian on February 17, 2014, 11:25:40 am
@ John R

Fully agree; think it unlikely passengers from East of Paddington will want to change trains to HEx, particularly if the NR skip / stop station proposal is adopted for Crossrail trains West of Paddington.

Already some Gatwick Express trains have been extended to Brighton, the days of half empty airport trains being allowed valuable track space when mainline passengers have to stand - appears to be over. No doubt the competitors for the new GWR franchise will be viewing the 4tph HEx fast slots with envy.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: grahame on February 17, 2014, 11:36:32 am
Fully agree; think it unlikely passengers from East of Paddington will want to change trains to HEx, particularly if the NR skip / stop station proposal is adopted for Crossrail trains West of Paddington.

Already some Gatwick Express trains have been extended to Brighton...

Silly question - what about "AIRPORT express" - [Reading], Heathrow, Ealing Broadway, Kensington Olympia, Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Gatwick, [Brighton]?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: John R on February 17, 2014, 11:42:24 am
Sounds like an excellent idea.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Andrew1939 from West Oxon on February 17, 2014, 11:54:20 am
Would it be possible for Grahame's suggestion of an AIRPORT express service to run now from Heathrow to Gatwick? I understand that improvements are being done now (or shortly) to improve capacity at Gatwick so that the current hourly Reading/Gatwick service via the North Downs Line can be improved to half-hourly frequency and a through service (hourly) from Oxford to Gatwick would also be attractive with the Reading underpass being brought back into use. At present many Oxford area resident6s use the frequent coach service from Oxford to Heathrow and Gatwick, some simply because they do not like to change at Reading.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Windsorian on February 17, 2014, 12:09:59 pm
Quote
Silly question - what about "AIRPORT express" - [Reading], Heathrow, Ealing Broadway, Kensington Olympia, Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Gatwick, [Brighton]?

Looks like a Heathwick type proposal but would have the advantage of not requiring Paddington platforms; the problem is it would miss out Twyford, Maidenhead & Slough which are part of the WRAtH proposal for linking Reading to Heathrow.

Quote
Would it be possible for Grahame's suggestion of an AIRPORT express service to run now from Heathrow to Gatwick?

The Airports Commission have suggested a Heathrow southern route be investigated again, taking over from where the Airtrack proposal left off. One of the Airtrack routes was a semi-fast service from T5 to Guildford; this could be extended over an improved North Downs line to Gatwick.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: wabbit on February 19, 2014, 07:59:27 am
It would be good to see Airtrack resurrected again, but any new proposal will have to deal with the level crossing issue that got so many local residents riled up. A timely dovetail with the NR crossing closure program might kill two birds with the same stone?


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Windsorian on February 19, 2014, 09:10:50 am
Quote
...Airtrack resurrected ...... the level crossing issue

The NR crossing closure program has mainly been isolated crossings in rural areas; the problem with Airtrack was the level crossings are in heavily trafficked urban areas.

The July 2012 L&SE RUS (Option J3) proposed as an interim measure extending the existing HEx line from T5 to a re-built Staines station , allowing time for a measured review of the level crossing problem. Also it is questionable if Reading needs a semi-fast Airtrack service via Staines to T5, when WRAP (WRAtH) will provide a similar service via the GWML.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: stuving on February 19, 2014, 10:18:32 am
The Airtrack TWA was really about extending the line from T5 to Staines - reinstating it, if you prefer - in the sense that that was the only unavoidable bit of major works. I was always baffled that it need to have all this detailed consideration of how many trains run over a level crossing miles away. TWAs don't usually say much if anything about services - look at the one for Reading, it has not a word.

So why not just do that bit, and have all the arguments about the value of protecting Staines Moor from having a railway squeezed in alongside the M25, and extend trains to Staines ASAP. In terms of journey opportunities or travel times to the Airport that give 80-90% of the benefits of the whole Airtrack scheme. Any ideas about direct trains further, and putting in (or, again, reinstating) the Chord, need to be justified against changing at Staines.

How many trains run through Wokingham is an entirely separate issue. No-one really expected Airtrack to be a stand-alone branded service anyway, and if it ran as part of an SWT franchise that would set the service level. (Though I do wonder whether DfT could or would set a maximum number of trains to protect road users at the crossing.)

The other big issue that would need to be dealt with at this first stage is rail traffic (i.e. passengers) through Heathrow. The various parties have different interests in this, most obviously HAL who would like to prevent it altogether. Transport systems types would love an interchange at the airport, though I suspect the T5 "box" may not be big enough to hold all their aspirations at once.


Title: Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow
Post by: Windsorian on February 19, 2014, 10:48:10 am
@ stuving

Fully agree T5 - Staines is a stand alone project, with no road level crossings along its route. Also it does not require a dedicated fleet of trains with a special maintenance depot at Feltham, which accounted for much of the cost. My own opinion is BAA threw the baby out with the bath water, when they cancelled the whole Airtrack project.




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