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Author Topic: Western Rail Access to Heathrow  (Read 45687 times)
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2012, 04:38:39 pm »

Is it definitely off the GWML (Great Western Main Line), 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» (Network Rail - home page)'s CP5 (Control Period 5 - the five year period between 2014 and 2019) Initial Industry Plan: 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.
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paul7575
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« Reply #31 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» (Network Rail - home page) wrote it they still though Crossrail might not happen...   Grin

Paul
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« Reply #32 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.
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« Reply #33 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
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« Reply #34 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.
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« Reply #35 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 (Route Utilisation Strategy), but it is still only a proposal.  Next week's HLOS (High Level Output Specification) announcement may of course change that completely.

Paul
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« Reply #36 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.
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grahame
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« Reply #37 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 (Great Western Main Line)?  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 (United Kingdom) 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.
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« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2012, 07:33:54 pm »

Today's aviation policy written statement includes:

Yet another project proposed by NR» (Network Rail - home page) 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 (Control Period 5 - the five year period between 2014 and 2019) 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 (Intercity Express Program / Project.) 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!
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« Reply #39 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
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JayMac
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« Reply #40 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 (United Kingdom) 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.
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« Reply #41 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.
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« Reply #42 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
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« Reply #43 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.
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« Reply #44 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.   
   
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