A new Southern Rail proposal is getting closer to being accepted as an additional form of transportation between Heathrow Airport and Waterloo, Guildford and Basingstoke (potentially via Feltham and Hounslow).
The highly anticipated and long-awaited rail link would cost between £700m and £1.8bn but is likely to adjust slightly depending on which route is finally decided upon. The proposal is said to have been completely justified by Network Rail, regardless of whether the 3rd runway is built at Heathrow, claiming it is financially worthwhile.
Chris Joyce, Head of surface access at Heathrow Airport, said: "A new rail link connecting Heathrow to south London and Surrey is a huge opportunity to connect an additional 4.8m passengers and allow us to treble our rail capacity by 2040.
"This is great news for passengers who will have even more public transport options to and from the airport. It’s also really good news for Heathrow’s neighbours as it will minimise road traffic in the area.
"Southern rail access in addition to Crossrail, Western Rail Link, HS2 via Old Oak Common and an upgraded Piccadilly Line service will place Heathrow at the heart of an integrated rail system."
After completing research on the possible options for the selected route, Network Rail suggested a semi-fast train service from Heathrow to Waterloo and breaking this down into 2 potential options:
A stopping service to Waterloo, with two trains per hour via both Hounslow and Richmond
And a new tunnelled rail line linking Feltham to Heathrow Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 in four to five minutes
Network Rail have said that one of the main reasons for carrying out such extensive research was not only to decide on the best route option, but also to inform the government and allow potential funders to decide whether they believe that the project is financially reasonable. Research which began in February this year over the proposed Western Rail Link to Heathrow, which would cut journey times between the airport and Reading to 26 minutes.