23 NOVEMBER 2015


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Article from BTNews 23 NOVEMBER 2015

Gatwick’s Silvertown?

BTN's Andrew Sharp, former director general of the International Air Rail Organisation, reports on the “Delivering High Speed Rail” conference

Readers will know of BTN’s interest in reopening Silvertown Station, historically on the North London Line and now on the southern (Abbey Wood) branch of Crossrail – and very convenient for London City Airport. Crossrail is unwilling to contemplate this now: if the decision is reversed, it will be a retrofit (and therefore could be expensive). 

A parallel situation may be developing at Old Oak Common. The first two speakers at the “Delivering High Speed Rail” conference in London last week were Robert Goodwill MP, Parliamentary under secretary for transport, and Simon Kirby, chief executive of HS2. 

Both referred in their presentations to east-west connections at Old Oak Common – to Crossrail, Heathrow Express and the Great Western Railway. 

BTN asked about north-south connections, specifically to Gatwick. This would be relatively easy, since the West London Line is at the east end of the site: it would just need platforms and pedestrian connections to the main station.

In response, the minister said he did not want to speculate on airport connections in advance of the runway decision, but he may look at more airport connectivity once the decision has been taken.  

This seemed odd: Gatwick isn’t going away and would certainly benefit from better connectivity (from the north and from Heathrow) whatever happens about runway capacity.  http://www.transporttimes.co.uk/conferences.php/delivering-high-speed-rail-49

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Andrew Moor, London

Clearly improved access to Gatwick is crucial even if Heathrow becomes the hub airport.