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Author Topic: Western Rail Access to Heathrow  (Read 45847 times)
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« Reply #120 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» (Network Rail - home page) crossing closure program might kill two birds with the same stone?
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« Reply #121 on: February 19, 2014, 09:10:50 am »

...Airtrack resurrected ...... the level crossing issue

The NR» (Network Rail - home page) 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 (Route Utilisation Strategy) (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 (Western Rail Access to Heathrow)) will provide a similar service via the GWML (Great Western Main Line).
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« Reply #122 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 (South West Trains) franchise that would set the service level. (Though I do wonder whether DfT» (Department for Transport - about) 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.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 10:57:35 am by stuving » Logged
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« Reply #123 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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