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London councils add support to new Heathrow rail link

Hounslow and Hammersmith & Fulham councils have added their backing to Wandsworth Council’s proposal for a new direct rail services between Waterloo and Heathrow.

Wandsworth unveiled its proposal last year, which is based on BAA’s Airtrack scheme and aims to ease congestion on the Piccadilly Line and improve access to the airport.

The new version – renamed Airtrack Lite – would provide four trains an hour from Waterloo to Terminal 5. It avoids routing extra trains through level crossings in Mortlake and Egham which was the key problem with the original scheme and led to it being scrapped in April last year.

The service would include stops in the borough at Queenstown Road, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Town and Putney.

The proposals have now been discussed at meetings with the Department for Transport and BAA and the scheme has now been included in the tender documents for the Great Western Rail Franchise. The next franchisee will be expected to help develop the proposal further as a means of improving links to Heathrow.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Included in the Great Western franchise tender docs? A service to Waterloo (deep in SW Trains territory) presumably with 3rd rail electric trains? This sounds a way for DfT to kick it into the long grass.

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