Heathrow Southern Railway Limited welcomes Transport Secretary’s intentions on privately-financed Airport rail link

Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL) – the independent venture set up to transform the rail network serving Britain’s busiest airport – has welcomed UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s intention to invite private investment proposals for southern rail access to Heathrow.

Responding to a question from Luke Pollard MP (Labour & Cooperative, Plymouth Sutton & Devonport) during a hearing by the House of Commons Transport Committee into the Airports National Policy Statement,

Mr Grayling said:

“We are currently in initial discussion with would-be private promoters of southern access. Indeed, we intend to invite proposals for private investment in southern access to Heathrow in the next couple of months. I think that there is a genuine opportunity there to lever in private financial support for that particular investment.”


HSRL Executive Director Graham Cross said:

“The Secretary of State’s remarks recognise the importance of southern rail access to the future of Heathrow and the contribution private investment can make to its early construction.  This new railway is needed even with the existing two-runway Airport but, if expansion is approved, Heathrow Southern Railway could be open before the additional North West Runway bringing immediate mitigation to road congestion and air quality.”

In addition to serving the Airport, Heathrow Southern Railway will offer fast train service opportunities between Woking/Guildford and London Paddington via Heathrow and Old Oak Common.  This will enable easy interchange with the Elizabeth Line for London’s West End, City and Docklands, and with HS2 for the Midlands.

Chris Grayling also informed the Transport Committee that his Department is:

“…making passive provision initially at Old Oak Common for a Chiltern station. That is something I will want to see happen in the 2020s. I think there is a strong case for it. As you will know, there is a line that goes from Old Oak Common and links into the Chiltern line, which provides potential connections up to Aylesbury, and, indeed, when East West Rail is fully open, beyond that up to Milton Keynes.

HSRL Executive Director Graham Cross said:

“This welcome initiative from the Transport Secretary would open up a range of additional easy interchange opportunities between Surrey, Heathrow, Buckinghamshire and the Midlands using our proposed new line.”

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

Notes for editors:

  1. The Secretary of State made his remarks to the House of Commons Transport Committee on 7 February 2018 and the full transcript is now available here: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/transport-committee/airports-national-policy-statement/oral/78105.pdf
  2. The 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. Electric trains will operate between Heathrow and London’s Waterloo terminus via Clapham Junction, Putney, Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, Staines and other intermediate stations.  The proposed route provides a direct fast link between Woking/Guildford and Heathrow whilst improving connectivity between Surrey, Hampshire and London Paddington via Old Oak Common (for HS2 and the Elizabeth Line).

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