Update on the train connection to Heathrow

Author: Cyril Richert

The proposal – which is based on BAA’s Airtrack scheme – should provide 4 trains an hour from Waterloo to Terminal 5 with stops at Clapham Junction (and Putney). At the end of October 2011 a Council’s press release announced update and changes to the plans for a new direct rail service from south London to Heathrow.

Wandsworth has come up with a new plan – called Airtrack-Lite – that routes two trains an hour from Waterloo via the Hounslow loop. Two existing services on the Waterloo-Windsor line would split at Staines to provide a further direct link to Terminal Five.

The new scheme would require a new station at Staines and a new stretch of track from here to Terminal 5. The rest of the route would run along existing lines.

The plans avoid routeing extra trains through level crossings in Mortlake and Egham, which was apparently a key problem with the original scheme which was scrapped by BAA in April.

We reported on the plan more than 2 years ago when we presented the original Airtrack plan linking Clapham Junction directly to Heathrow.

The council is now discussing the case for Airtrack-Lite with the Department for Transport but, even minimal, the new scheme requires a new station and tracks and is unlikely to be completed before 2014.

Although it is rather confusing and a bit complicated, Wandsworth Council corrected us recently on the difference between Airtrack and CrossRail2, as we wrote in our dossier: “Another name given to the Airtrack project above is Crossrail 2“. As we explained in a previous article, CrossRail2 proposes a tunnel from Euston/Kings Cross via Victoria to Clapham Junction. However the scheme shows further lines towards Clapham Junction and therefore Airtrack.

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