26 MARCH 2012
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With the Great Western rail franchise replacement consultation open until 31 March, Richard Brown, Managing Director of North Star Consultancy, has highlighted the fact that any Heathrow mention is restricted to details of when the Connect stopping service will become Crossrail and acknowledgement that rail access to Heathrow from the West might be possible by 2020. He says that the Heathrow Express could be downgraded to allow services on the fast lines to serve the Thames Valley.
With the end of the Heathrow Express track access agreement in sight (2023) and the 2030 vision of capacity, Mr Brown has some sympathy with the suggestion that Heathrow could be served by a 10 trains per hour Crossrail service to Central London. But he asks “Can Crossrail become a proxy rail service for 6m travellers who use the Heathrow Express?”. Crossrail trains are not designed for airline passengers with their luggage but commuters, a different type of passenger.
The paper also highlights the planned western access to Terminal 5 (Staines/Waterloo) has a very low priority with a link to Slough and Reading now on the agenda. www.northstarconsultancy.com
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