Heathrow Southern Railway Limited welcomes new agreement for continued operation of Heathrow Express passenger rail service

Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL) – the independent venture set up to transform the rail network serving Britain’s busiest airport – has welcomed the agreement between Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL), First Group PLC and the UK Department for Transport (DfT) for continued operation of fast, non-stop rail connections between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport.

As part of the arrangements, the DfT will progress the development of the proposed new western and southern rail links to Heathrow. These new links would make it quicker and easier for people from the across the south and west of England, and south Wales, to get to the airport.

HSRL Executive Director Graham Cross said:

The team at Heathrow Express have done a fantastic job in growing the proportion of passengers accessing the Airport by rail.  Incorporating the service as a dedicated brand operated by the Great Western franchise is a timely next step.  HSRL’s proposal for a new, privately-financed rail line into Heathrow from the south envisages the fast London Paddington to Heathrow trains being extended to serve Woking, Guildford and Basingstoke with a call at Old Oak Common for interchange with the Elizabeth Line and HS2.  We look forward to working with the operators of the Great Western and South Western franchises as well as the Department for Transport and Heathrow Airport Ltd to make these plans a reality.

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


Notes for editors:

  1. HAL’s announcement may be found here: http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Corporate-operational-24/9298.
  2. The UK Government’s revised draft Airports National Policy Statement requires Heathrow Airport Limited to “maximise the proportion of journeys made to the airport by public transport, cycling and walking to achieve a public transport mode share of at least 50% by 2030, and at least 55% by 2040 for passengers..[and]…details of how it will achieve a 25% reduction from the current baseline of all staff car trips by 2030, and a reduction of 50% by 2040 from 2017 levels”.  These conditions will be legally binding on HAL.
  3. 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 to connect with Network Rail’s Wessex Route.  This will enable electric trains to run from Surrey and Hampshire to Heathrow Airport and on to Old Oak Common (for HS2 and the Elizabeth Line) and London Paddington.
  4. The proposed new HSRL infrastructure will also enable trains to operate between Heathrow Airport and London’s Waterloo terminus via Clapham Junction, Putney, Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, Staines and other intermediate stations.  Waterloo East and Clapham Junction will make Heathrow accessible from Kent and Sussex with just one change of train.
  5. 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.
  6. HSRL forecasts that the new railway will remove 86 million car kilometres from the road network each year.
  7. HSRL forecasts that the new rail link will be used by 33,000 passengers per day and could be open as early as 2025.
  8. HSRL’s next step us to submit its plans for the new Heathrow Southern rail link to the Department for Transport as a leading Market Led Proposal for investment in Britain’s rail network.

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