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Proposals for direct trains to Heathrow

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A proposal has been put forward that would see direct train links between south-west London and Heathrow airport.

The scheme is being promoted by Wandsworth Council and is based on BAA's Airtrack scheme. It would provide four trains an hour from Waterloo to Terminal 5.

Stops would include Vauxhall, Queenstown Road, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth and Putney. The plans avoid routing extra trains through level crossings in Mortlake and Egham. This was a key problem with the original scheme which was scrapped by BAA in April.

The new plan - called Airtrack-Lite - routes two trains an hour from Waterloo via the Hounslow Loop which serves Chiswick and Kew Bridge. Two existing services on the Waterloo-Windsor line would split at Staines to provide a further direct link to Terminal Five.

Two services an hour would also come up from Weybridge to Heathrow - again without adding extra frequencies over level crossings at Egham. The new scheme would require a new station at Staines and a new stretch of track from there to Terminal 5. The rest of the route would run along existing lines.

Map of Proposed Route:

 

Heathrow is one of Europe's busiest airports but is served only by the Heathrow Express to Paddington and by the tube's Piccadilly Line.

Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia said: "It's time Heathrow was put at the centre of a genuine local rail network which offered easy access to communities on all sides of the airport. It's the only way to get more traffic off the roads."

The council is now discussing the case for Airtrack-Lite with the Department for Transport as part of the Wandsworth Travel Choices campaign.

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October 31, 2011