Heathrow Southern Railway Limited says Williams Review must not delay progress on privately financed new Airport rail scheme

Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL) – the independent venture set up to transform the rail network serving Britain’s busiest airport – has reacted to the announcement by the UK Secretary of State for Transport of an independent review into the structure of the rail industry in Great Britain under the chairmanship of Keith Williams.

HSRL Chief Executive Graham Cross said:

“Our proposal for a privately promoted and financed railway connecting Heathrow with large areas of London and the South East represents a new way of providing rail infrastructure, so we welcome opportunities for fresh thinking in the industry.

It is clear that the existing model of the public sector specifying and delivering rail infrastructure enhancements has run into severe problems which the Williams review has been established to address.

Nevertheless, a great deal of work has already been undertaken to create processes facilitating new infrastructure beyond the existing plans of Network Rail.  The Department for Transport (DfT) is currently considering submissions from promoters such as ourselves for a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow which has been acknowledged by the House of Commons Transport Committee as being urgently needed for the congested two-runway Heathrow and as essential for the planned expansion of the Airport.

Railway development experts in our team – including those provided by our investor AECOM – have spent two years refining HSRL’s proposed route into a mature, fundable and buildable scheme.  It is, therefore, essential that the Williams Review does not blight or in any way delay the DfT’s selection of a market led proposal for the implementation of a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow.”

For further information visit www.heathrowrail.com or contact Mark Walker on 01733 767244 or 07742 925753.

Notes for editors:

  1. The UK Department for Transport is currently reviewing submissions made under a market sounding exercise with potential private sector promoters of and investors in a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow.
  2. HSRL intends to create fast, easy and relaxing rail access to Heathrow Airport by building 8 miles of rail infrastructure from the west end of the existing Terminal 5 station, enabling trains to run from Woking, Guildford and Basingstoke to Heathrow Airport and on to Old Oak Common (for HS2) and London Paddington (for the Elizabeth Line).
  3. HSRL’s scheme will also enable electric trains to operate between Heathrow Airport and London’s Waterloo terminus via Clapham Junction, Putney, Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, Staines and other intermediate stations. Connections at Waterloo East and Clapham Junction will make Heathrow accessible from Kent and Sussex with just one change of train.
  4. The best rail journey times projected by HSRL are 16 minutes from Woking to Heathrow, 26 minutes from Guildford to Heathrow and 6 minutes from Staines to Heathrow.
  5. HSRL forecasts that the new railway will remove 86 million car kilometres from the road network each year, will be used by 33,000 passengers per day and could be open between 2025 and 2027.