Heathrow Airport Secret Platforms

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class57basher

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Watched this video on Youtube yesterday and was wondering where these "Secret platforms" are too. I assume the branch it shows is the cross over outside terminal 5 where the train crosses to use the normal platform as opposed to the one used by Heathrow Connect to stable in between runs.

Many thanks

Link to video

http://www.youtube.com./watch?v=vqOyqEiC
 
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starrymarkb

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They are west facing for the abandoned Airtrack. Provision was made it during the construction of T5 (would have cost much more to add later, where as it didn't add much to build during T5 build)
 

najaB

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Watched this video on Youtube yesterday and was wondering where these "Secret platforms" are too. I assume the branch it shows is the cross over outside terminal 5 where the train crosses to use the normal platform as opposed to the one used by Heathrow Connect to stable in between runs.
A little search fu brings up this earlier thread...
 

TheKnightWho

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Will they likely ever be used? I've heard they want trains from Heathrow running west at some point.

EDIT: Apparently something's been posted about it today by ITV.

http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2014-03-03/direct-trains-from-reading-to-heathrow/

ITV News said:
It's been proposed to run direct train services from Reading to Heathrow. Network Rail is planning to build a £500m tunnel off the current Great Western line between the Berkshire town and Paddington by 2021 that will link into the airport.
 
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swt_passenger

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They are west facing for the abandoned Airtrack.
All four 'heavy rail' platforms are designed to allow for adaptation for future through running, so the term 'west facing' is not quite accurate. The original build allowed for various service options in future, and although Airtrack was nominally a 'Waterloo' service, the proposals also included a bay platform at Staines for an extended Hex service, and AIUI through services Waterloo to Paddington wouldn't have been a problem if that had been considered useful.
 

swt_passenger

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GodAtum

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Wikipedia:

In addition to the above rail links, the T5 Rail Station also has two safeguarded "heavy rail" platforms for use by a west-facing connection to the National Rail network. This proposed link starting from near the existing Staines railway station is called Heathrow Airtrack and would offer half-hourly services to London Waterloo, Reading, Woking and Guildford.[7] BAA have published as part of the Airtrack consultation that they also want to extend the Heathrow Express to a new platform at Staines railway station. The plans originally included the rebuilding of Staines High Street railway station but, due to local opposition and passenger projections, the station has been dropped
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathrow_Terminal_5_station
 

TheKnightWho

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'Western Route access to Heathrow' (WRatH) is a specified DfT requirement for CP5. It should be operational by 2021 cording to NR, a recent decision was announced that confirmed the expected route of the new branch off the GWML (subject to planning permission):

http://www.networkrail.co.uk/news/2...ect-rail-link-from-the-west-to-Heathrow/?cd=1
I'm not sure why they want a new tunnel, when I'd've thought a new chord at the existing junction would have sufficed...

I suppose it does mean that they could run through services without causing congestion in the existing tunnel.
 

OxtedL

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I'm not sure why they want a new tunnel, when I'd've thought a new chord at the existing junction would have sufficed...
Interesting point. However I don't think there is enough room for a new chord there - the site is bounded by a lake, some warehouses with houses not far beyond.

Further, the point where the west facing chord would have to join the GWML is near a dual carriageway crossing over the railway, which would make another flyover extremely expensive. It'd be virtually impossible to join up a diveunder/tunnel to the existing airport line before it disappeared into its existing tunnel, and a new underground junction would be very, very expensive and very disruptive to existing trains whilst under construction.

I reckon that if an actual engineer looked at some of the things I've listed above then the chord comes out as extremely expensive (we are easily talking £100Ms), not to mention very disruptive to build, and for less benefit than the west access line due to the slower journey times.

The West Access should proportionally cheaper as there's just about enough open land to achieve it and you're much less constrained by existing track alignment. I reckon it's certainly much better value - it might even work out cheaper, although I wouldn't know where to start to try that calculation.
 
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JN114

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The airport branch isn't at 90 degrees to the GWML - it's more like 75-80. Given the proximity of New Stockley Bridge and the gradients involved to get a West Curve to meet the Airport Branch, it just isn't practical/feasible. Besides which I was of the understanding that the ponds were declared a site of special scientific interest during the drafting of the crossrail bill, precluding some of the proposals for how to adapt Airport Jn.

The new junction at Langley will have the room to be Grade-Seperated, the route is mostly free from obstacles such as housing etc, it really is a no-brainer. Through services via Heathrow would also most likely provide enough trains west of Airport Jn to justify Crossrail completely replacing GW Thames Valley services on the relief lines. Your 4 HX paths could be reused by GW to run 2tph PAD - fast to Heathrow, SLO, MAI, TWY, RDG and all stations to Oxford; 1tph PAD - fast to Heathrow, SLO - RDG - (DID) - OXF (as per current 1Dxx services) and 1tph fast to Heathrow, MAI - RDG and semi-fast to Westbury (similar to the hourly fast Bedwyns today)
 

starrymarkb

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It looks as though they're building a new junction and flyover at Airport Junction now, what's that for?
Crossrail. The upgraded junction will be fully grade separated from both fasts and slows. Presently Heathrow Connect services heading for the airport have to run wrong line over the flyover and services from the airport have to cross the slows on the flat.
 

D1009

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Crossrail. The upgraded junction will be fully grade separated from both fasts and slows. Presently Heathrow Connect services heading for the airport have to run wrong line over the flyover and services from the airport have to cross the slows on the flat.
Mains and reliefs if you don't mind:).
 

ess

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At Airport Junction I've been wondering when BA would be changing the sign on the bmi building. Turns out they've demolished the building instead.

Must be room for a left turn now.
 

swt_passenger

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Crossrail. The upgraded junction will be fully grade separated from both fasts and slows. Presently Heathrow Connect services heading for the airport have to run wrong line over the flyover and services from the airport have to cross the slows on the flat.
I've attached a sketch of the future layout (snipped from ORR's pdf information), an interesting change is how the route from the airport to the up main is taken right round the relief side, so that it can cross over the down relief to airport line. It's a far more complex layout than I would have initially expected...
 

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JN114

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At Airport Junction I've been wondering when BA would be changing the sign on the bmi building. Turns out they've demolished the building instead.

Must be room for a left turn now.
You'd never make a junction before the tunnel portal, and moving that convergence underground would be prohibitively expensive.
 
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