Airtrack-Lite

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by cjohnson, 28 Oct 2011.

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  1. cjohnson

    cjohnson Member

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    Wandsworth Council have come up with a proposed solution to the withdrawn Airtrack scheme (the main initial objections being too many trains over level crossings on the relevant lines), called "Airtrack-Lite".

    Their plan involves:
    • Dividing existing Windsor services at a new Staines station - one portion for W&ER, the other for Heathrow
    • Replacing Waterloo-Weybridge via Brentford services with Waterloo-Heathrow via Brentford
    • Replacing the Staines-Weybridge paths with Heathrow-Weybridge (and possibly beyond) services

    Map of services proposed is here.
     
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  3. cle

    cle Established Member

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    Not a bad idea.

    The Waterloo-Weybridge service is really for the Hounslow loop and Whitton - any further west would take a train via Richmond. So it doesn't matter where it terminates. Chertsey and Addlestone people could change at Weybridge or Staines - especially if Crossrail was extended to there.

    The Windsor splitting idea might be more problematic in the current Staines with just two platforms. This plan would need at least 4/5. Would allow overtaking by Reading services, and also Crossrail to terminate.

    No net increase on the level crossings - good idea. Hopefully some faster Heathrow trains could be run via the Hounslow loop too.
     
  4. aleph_0

    aleph_0 Member

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    And of course, the old bay platform has recently been filled in with the lift/extension work :P (ok, it probably wouldn't have been salvageable). I assume the plan is to split the service at a new Staines High Street station.

    Of course, Staines High St. was dropped from the original proposal because:
    (http://www.heathrowairport.com/asse...atic files/HeathrowAirtrack_Consultation2.pdf)

    I believe residents were worried about people using Staines as a Park & Fly. But overall, a sensible proposal. Some may object due to the risk of feature-creep (once the infrastructure is in place, there will be a temptation to run more trains over the level crossing).
    Edit: I can't find any proof behind this belief. In fact, the council seem to have objected when Staines High St. was removed, suggesting it may have been more about the money.
     
    Last edited: 28 Oct 2011
  5. cle

    cle Established Member

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    Staines HS was a deal breaker for the town I thought?

    Maybe they could create a more northerly station, or just attach/deattach in the middle of nowhere? Bit odd and crap, but would be cheap in terms of not rebuilding the station.

    Crossrail would change that though as thyey'd need at least another (12 car) platform.
     
  6. aleph_0

    aleph_0 Member

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    Can we enter fantasy land? We could connect up the Windsor stations, and have a shuttle service from Slough to Staines (ideally Central, but High St. is more realistic), with cross-platform interchange (at least in one direction, no reason why it can't be both at Staines High St.) with the London trains. Now Airtrack is free to take over the Windsor paths without any messy splitting. Bonus: A neater way around weekend engineering work between Staines and Reading.
     
  7. Andrew 1974

    Andrew 1974 New Member

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    A very long new section of track would be required to link Slough with Windsor. The Central station is very much higher than Riverside.

    Slough is on the Great Western mainline which has a direct connection with Heathrow airport near Hayes.
     
  8. SwindonPkwy

    SwindonPkwy Member

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    With the plans for Crossrail services to exit Heathrow to the West, are there enough platforms at Terminal 5 for Airtrack Lite?
     
  9. cjohnson

    cjohnson Member

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    I thought Crossrail plans were to take over existing Connect/Express services (i.e. into platforms 3/4). Airtrack(lite) would use the safeguarded platforms 1/2 which face the right way back to Staines/Feltham.
     
  10. SwindonPkwy

    SwindonPkwy Member

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    [/QUOTE]
    I thought Crossrail plans were to take over existing Connect/Express services (i.e. into platforms 3/4). Airtrack(lite) would use the safeguarded platforms 1/2 which face the right way back to Staines/Feltham.
    [/QUOTE]

    Yes, that would make sense. I hope it can get funding.
     
  11. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Wicki has it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathrow_Terminal_5_station
     
  12. Rational Plan

    Rational Plan Member

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    Yes, the council wanted a High street station, as it allowed people to get to the centre of town and allowed people to access trains to Reading and Guildford. It provided the town with some compensation for the extra rail crossing closures. There were some local objections to the station, but it was not that big a deal. The main hue and cry was over the rail crossings.

    Airtrack abandoned the station in the 2nd consultation, but the reasons did not ring true to me.

    If airtrack was going to miss egham and staines town centres then they shoul have sent the track down the M25 and joined the rail line outside of town. That would have missed the worst level crossings.
     
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