A consultation on a new rail link from the West into Heathrow airport has, unsurprisingly, gained support from the respondents.

A railway consultation has to do something pretty bad to result in people not approving of improved rail connections, and this one would make it much easier to get to Heathrow from Reading and beyond. In total, 72% of respondents supported the plan, while 23% were opposed.

The plans would see a new rail spur leave the line half way between Langley and Iver and then dive into a tunnel that would run to Heathrow airport, and could potentially even run though to Paddington station as well.

Of those in support, the majority favoured a slightly cheaper option which removes the ability to terminate trains at Terminal 5, which could have an impact on how many trains can use the line, as they would have to share space with services currently running to Terminal 2 and 3.

It would however open up the possibility of the future Elizabeth line running to Reading via Heathrow skipping a couple of stations on the mainline route at West Drayton and Iver.

The main concern appears to be down to the plans needing a road near Iver to be closed permanently. This road, Hollow Hill Lane runs under the mainline railway tracks through a narrow bridge right by where the tracks would split off for the new spur to Heathrow.

The local residents are understandably concerned about that closure, and are repeating calls for a relief road to be built in the area to help divert traffic from the town centre.

A recent report commissioned by the council based on temporary closures of the road found a lot of traffic was redirected to the High Street, adding pressure on the road, and strength to the calls for the relief road bypass.

Further traffic modelling is being carried out to assess the effects of the planned permanent closure of Hollow Hill Lane/Mansion Lane. The results, expected in early 2019, will inform discussions to be held with local highway authorities about proportionate measures to reduce the impact of the closure.

If the plans are approved, construction on the £500 million rail link could start in 2021 with the first trains arriving at Heathrow from 2028.


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  1. Rupe says:

    If they can join this to a north-facing HS2 junction by the M25, they’d have a cost-efficient Northern link as well as a Western one…

  2. Paul Harley says:

    There’s no need to close Hollow Hill Lane.

    It currently goes under the GWML. If a road bridge was built, it could cross over it plus the new Heathrow rail link.

  3. Richard Ferries says:

    There are already stations within reach of Heathrow from the west. There are none from the south. From Woking, you need to head for London and then change at least twice for Heathrow.

  4. Fred Finn says:

    There are many ways to get to Heathrow from West it nothing north and south
    There is a bus link from Woking, nothing from Surbiton to Guilford via Claygate and Effingham and it’s either going into London and out to Heathrow or taxi

  5. Andrew Gwilt says:

    I think it’s beneficial that a new Western rail link to Heathrow Terminal 5 is a brilliant idea. Plus it means that journey times from Reading to Heathrow Airport could take around 30 minutes with a new Heathrow Express direct service between Reading and Heathrow Terminal 5.

    Plus to build a spur line from Heathrow Terminal 5 to Heathrow Terminal 4 is also a great idea. Not forgetting the new rail line that could connect from Staines or Feltham to Heathrow Airport which means that a new direct service from London Waterloo to Heathrow Airport could also happen.

    Aswell Heathrow Express providing the Paddington-Heathrow Terminal 4 & Terminal 5 direct service and Elizabeth Line operating service between Shenfield & Abbey Wood to Heathrow Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 and to Maidenhead & Reading.

  6. Ulrike Koerner says:

    Transport to airports is always good but why always connecting areas that are already connected. There is no public transport from High Wycombe / Beaconsfield to Heathrow at all, not even a bus route anymore.

  7. Sue says:

    If Hollow Hill Lane is closed it means that Langley and Iver villages get snarled up, especially at school times. Why not build a new bridge there for the traffic either over or under the existing bridge or build a new road to straighten the existing road.

  8. Andy Solly says:

    What about reopening the link from Staines, this would enable trains from London via Clapham Junction, Guildford and Reading (with limited stops) to capture a wider catchment area?

  9. cjw714 says:

    WRATH, or whatever it’s latest name is, is an absolute no-brainer and should have been built years ago. Currently almost everyone travelling from west of Reading arrives by car or coach which is both environmentally unfriendly and adds to the congestion on the m4 which is bad enough already.
    The problem with this scheme is that it relies on private investment and as the numbers don’t stack up very well there is every chance it won’t be built. Building it should have been made a condition of the planning permission for Terminal 5 and Heathrow should definitely not be allowed to build a new runway without being forced to improve rail access.

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