Improving access to Heathrow Airport by train is an important environmental objective. Far too many passengers arrive at or depart from the terminals by car, contributing to congestion and notoriously poor air quality in the area.

With the UK Government supporting a third runway at Heathrow to facilitate a substantial increase in flights and passenger numbers, improving the proportion of surface access journeys by train has become an even more urgent priority. The Government has emphasised that an expanded Heathrow must meet a requirement for a 55% public transport mode share and ensure that the current level of road traffic to the airport doesn’t increase.

Whilst rail connections from the Airport to central London are good – with Heathrow Express, the Piccadilly Line and, from 2019, the Elizabeth Line – rail services from the south are non-existent.  We aim to change all that.  Our scheme would serve the following major markets:

  • Fast, direct and frequent rail access to Heathrow from the important airport catchment areas to the south and south west, currently not served by rail.
  • Operation of a frequent service to Waterloo, serving important catchment areas such as Richmond, Putney and Hounslow, and giving major connectional opportunities to south London, Sussex and Kent through Clapham Junction and Waterloo East.
  • Direct trains to Paddington from the south and south west via Heathrow, creating an alternative London terminal to Waterloo and with the Elizabeth Line providing excellent connections to the West End, the City and Docklands.
  • Direct trains to Old Oak Common, providing a ‘one stop’ connection to High Speed 2 and access to the proposed major development site.
  • Continuation of a fast Heathrow – Paddington service offering similar journey times to the current Heathrow Express.

HSR also provides significant crowding relief to the South Western main line and the London Underground network at Waterloo for onward journeys. The London-bound fast line from Surbiton during the morning rush hour is already busier than any other single stretch of main line in Great Britain and Network Rail forecasts a need for an additional 60% capacity in the high peak hour by 2043.  The proposed Crossrail 2 would solve this problem in the long term but HSR will provide critically important new capacity in the interim.