Transforming Rail Access to Heathrow Airport

An innovative, privately financed new railway expanding train connections across London and southern England

Heathrow Southern Railway (HSR) is a privately financed proposal for Southern Access to Heathrow Airport (SAtH).

HSR is all about allowing fast, easy and relaxing access to Heathrow Airport through the construction of up to 8 miles of new railway from the west end of the existing Terminal 5 station, linking with the existing South Western network.

HSR would open up access to and through Heathrow from the south west and south east of England by enabling trains to operate between Heathrow and Waterloo via Clapham Junction, Putney, Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, Staines and other intermediate stations; and between Heathrow, Woking, Guildford, Farnborough and Basingstoke. Direct trains could operate to Heathrow from as far away as the south coast.

Our new railway will also improve connectivity between Surrey and London for commuters, creating a new route from Basingstoke, Guildford and Woking via Heathrow Airport to Old Oak Common (for HS2 and the Elizabeth Line) and London Paddington. In addition, it would provide for an extension of the Elizabeth Line to Staines-upon-Thames.

As civil aviation continues to recover from the pandemic, many more passengers and airport workers need to access Heathrow by train. The Government’s M25 South West Quadrant Study ruled out widening the motorway.

Consumers are becoming ever more aware of how their own choices have environmental consequences and will expect to be able to undertake end-to-end journeys by the most sustainable means possible. An airline passenger of the near future will be more likely to choose an airport that can be accessed by zero-emission public transport. Heathrow acknowledges the need to improve in this regard.

HSR provides the alternative, switching traffic from the roads and contributing to improving local air quality. We estimate that each year HSR will reduce the number of road journeys by around 3 million and avoid the release of around 2 tons of NOx and 8,600 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Crucially, many of the road journeys removed would otherwise use the M25 which, adjoining Heathrow, is the busiest motorway in Europe and contributes to the current illegally poor levels of air quality around the Airport.

HSR can be financed privately and potentially operate at no cost to taxpayers. With the right support, our railway could be open by the early 2030s.

Nevertheless, to proceed we need the active support of a number of organisations including Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL), Transport for London (TfL) and the UK Department for Transport (DfT).

All three organisations are owners of existing stations and infrastructure that we need to connect with. They are also able to direct passenger train services to travel over our railway and pay the dependable access charges which will allow us to access low cost private capital for construction.

We are open to the possibility of capital funding support from these and other stakeholders reflecting the economic, environmental and societal benefits of our project

Our construction plans minimise the impact on neighbouring communities by providing a route mainly in tunnel and using only electric trains. Unlike the previous “Airtrack” proposals, HSR avoids level crossings in the Egham area.

Through this website we introduce our project. Further information will be posted as the plans for HSR are developed. We welcome enquiries from residents, communities, elected representatives, media, businesses and other stakeholders. Please go to our contact page if you would like to get in touch.

Watch the video of our parliamentary launch

House of Commons Adjournment Debate

Wednesday, 22 July 2020
Economic Benefits of a Southern Heathrow Rail Link
Angela Richardson MP, Guildford