Our proposed route starts at the west end of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 station, and runs mainly in tunnel to minimise environmental impact. It rises to the surface to connect to the existing railway near Staines and near Chertsey or Virginia Water.
This direct route delivers much faster journey times from Woking than the earlier ‘Airtrack’ proposals put forward some years ago by airport operator BAA. It also avoids the level crossings in the Egham area which were a major problem for the abortive Airtrack Transport & Works Act Order application.
Services from Heathrow would use the existing Byfleet Junction, enabling trains to join the South Western Main Line “slow lines” between there and Woking. The junction at Byfleet already has a dive-under, avoiding any delays to trains an the intensively used “fast lines”
Network Rail’s 2015 Wessex Route Study proposes new flyovers at Woking and Basingstoke and an extra platform at Woking. These proposals, which Network Rail sees as essential to meet future South Western Main Line capacity forecasts, facilitate operation of the services we envisage.
Overall, construction of the new infrastructure can be carried out with minimal impact on existing railway operations. The only impacts would be the new junctions on the Staines – Windsor and Egham – Weybridge routes, both of which are lightly-used lines compared to the South Western Main Line.