Heathrow Southern Railway Limited welcomes UK Transport Secretary’s invitation of proposals for privately financed southern rail access to London Heathrow Airport

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

In an announcement from the UK Department for Transport, Mr Grayling stated that southern access to Heathrow is one of the first projects for which the UK Government is seeking market led proposals for improving the main line rail network in Great Britain.

Welcoming the Secretary of State’s announcement, HSRL Chair Baroness Jo Valentine said:

“We welcome the Transport Secretary’s invitation and stand ready to fulfil this once in a generation opportunity to open up Heathrow to train services from London and the south of England whilst also transforming connectivity across the whole region.  We want to put many more communities within easy reach of the UK’s only hub airport by train, enabling them to reap economic benefits whilst at the same time reducing road congestion and improving air quality.” 

HSRL Executive Director Graham Cross said:

“HSRL’s scheme for southern rail access to Heathrow is well developed, and the work carried out by AECOM and the rest of our expert team confirms it is viable, deliverable and affordable. The Transport Secretary’s invitation to the promoters of market led proposals is a crucial next stage in enabling our project to proceed.  HSRL will now prepare to submit its proposal for a new rail link serving Heathrow Airport to the Government.”

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

Notes for editors:

  1. The UK Secretary of State for Transport’s announcement may be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-heathrow-rail-link-to-lead-the-way-for-future-transport-funding-schemes.
  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. Electric trains will operate between Heathrow 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. The HSR infrastructure also provides a direct fast link for non-airport passengers from Surrey and Hampshire to London Paddington and Old Oak Common (for HS2 and the Elizabeth Line).
  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.

HSRL forecasts that the new rail link will be used by 33,000 passengers per day and could be open as early as 2025.

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