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Proposals for a direct rail link from the west to Heathrow

05 February 2014

The future rail link, subject to planning permission, will give passengers a direct rail service from Reading via Slough, to Heathrow airport. Currently, passengers wishing to access Heathrow by rail have to travel into London Paddington station before changing to dedicated airport services.

Update February 2015: for the latest information visit Improving rail links to Heathrow.

Economic growth

Direct rail access to Heathrow from the west could deliver an increase in business productivity, quicker journeys to the country’s busiest airports and a boost to economic growth.

“Our plans for a new rail link to Heathrow from the west will dramatically improving rail links, reduce congestion on existing rail services and provide a boost to the local economy.

It’s important that we take the opportunity to discuss these plans so we can ensure the investment made in a bigger, better railway delivers maximum benefit.”

Patrick Hallgate, Network Rail route managing director Western route  

Western Rail Access Programme proposal

We met with MPs and other local stakeholders to discuss the detailed plans – known as the Western Rail Access Programme – that would provide significant economic benefits for the growing number of businesses in the Thames Valley, M4 corridor and south west England and south Wales.

The proposals would see a new junction created between Langley and Iver stations, linking with a 5km tunnel for trains to access Heathrow Terminal 5.

We will need to secure a Development Consent Order to deliver the Western Rail Access Programme. A steering group of industry leaders, from organisations including Network Rail, Department for Transport, Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, Slough Borough Council and Heathrow Airport, is working together to progress the proposals.

If planning permission is granted, we would begin initial highways enabling work at the end of 2016, with tunnel enabling work starting in early 2018.

The project would be complete in 2021.