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Arup proposes Eurostar extension to Heathrow

16 May, 2008

By Sarah Richardson

http://www.building.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=284&storycode=3113854&c=0

New line would extend high speed continental rail link to the north of England via a huge new transport hub at Heathrow

Eurostar services would be extended to carry passengers directly to Heathrow Airport under proposals put forward by Arup to improve the airport’s effectiveness.

A study published by the engineer today, which is the culmination of three years of research, makes the recommendation as part of a package of measures to improve access to the airport, add capacity and address environmental concerns.

Arup recommends the creation of a new station at Heathrow which would link it directly to rail services from continental Europe and would also serve national rail services on the Great Western Main Line, linking the airport to the South west, Wales and the Midlands.

Currently, only 22% of passengers arrive at Heathrow by rail, including the Underground, compared with 65% by car.

Mark Bostock, a director at Arup, said: “The proposal to link Heathrow into the rail network would enable people travelling from some of Heathrow’s principal markets to arrive at the aiport by train. Moreover, these plans fit in with emerging proposals to extend high speed rail lines north. Looking to the future, we could see travel times from Heathrow to Leeds and Manchester by rail reduced to less than two hours.”

Mike Forster, BAA director of strategy, pledged that the organisation would work with Arup to develop the idea.

Forster said: “An enhanced rail link to Heathrow, complementing a third runway, could increase passenger choice and create a modern inter-modal hub to compete with other major European airports. This is an interesting propsla which deservices further consideration and we look forward to working with Arup and others to develop it further.”



 
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As said on the other thread that so-called Heathrow station is going to be quite a distance from Heathrow. One of the rail magazines had a much better idea of diverting the Great Western fast tracks from Hanwell direct into Heathrow and reconnecting at Maidenhead.

Surely that would best serve Heathrow and also allow a connecting HS2?
 

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Arup proposes Eurostar extension to Heathrow
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New line would extend high speed continental rail link to the north of England via a huge new transport hub at Heathrow
It sounds to me like a direct copy of the UK Ultraspeed proposal with minor changes and a different technology.
http://www.500kmh.com/
The two have far more in common (rights of way, business plan) than in opposition.

Either project would be great to have. But to have both competing would be lunacy.

Either would be great for a Dublin-Wales link too. Ultraspeed maglev is more likely though for that one (Belfast-Dublin-Llandudno Junction-Manchester Airport-Birmingham-Heathrow) Mostly funded by Ireland, partly funded by Wales and Northern Ireland.
 

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How do they intend to get the line from Stratford to Heathrow? By tunnels? Surely trains can't run at full speed in tunnels?

Is it not a better idea to get HSL to run from Stratford and up north from there?
 

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Bring Constantinople back
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Surely trains can't run at full speed in tunnels?
Why ?
There are several tunnels between Lyon and Marseille where trains run at 300 kph.
 

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Currently, only 22% of passengers arrive at Heathrow by rail, including the Underground, compared with 65% by car.
I fail to see how a high speed line from Edinburgh or a Eurostar extension is going to significantly increase that?

Moreover, these plans fit in with emerging proposals to extend high speed rail lines north. Looking to the future, we could see travel times from Heathrow to Leeds and Manchester by rail reduced to less than two hours.”
They already are (or will be come December) less than two hours to London.
 
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Why ?
There are several tunnels between Lyon and Marseille where trains run at 300 kph.
Indeed, although I gather the high speed line in Germany which connects Frankfurt to Hannover has lower limits imposed on it because of a frequent amount of tunnels.

Besides which a high speed train going from HS1 onto HS2 is going to have to slow down to about 80km/h to pass through St Pancras junction. Then the distance between there and Heathrow (accounting for acceleration and de-acceleration distances) means top speed will not be achieved on that leg of the journey so it matters not.

Most likely the North London line would have an extra couple of tracks added between St Pancras and Chalke Farm. But the section between Chalke Farm and Willesden will probably need an extra tunnel.
 
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Is it not a better idea to get HSL to run from Stratford and up north from there?
For an Eastern HSL yes, a short section of tunnel could be built just East of Stratford up to the M11 and a new line could be built up to Leeds and beyond.

But for a Western HSL then Heathrow is going to be the way to go.
 

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All sounds exciting and worthwhile.... now how to convince the French or Chinese to build it for us, so that it gets finished on time, within budget and actually works? The other part is: Who's going to pay for it?
 
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All sounds exciting and worthwhile.... now how to convince the French or Chinese to build it for us, so that it gets finished on time, within budget and actually works? The other part is: Who's going to pay for it?
Now now ST, we've got more then enough skilled and experienced people in the UK who can deliver HS2. But it doesn't hurt to get experience in from France aswell seeing as they've pretty much wrote the book on HSL's in Europe.

I'm not sure how to respond to your last question though, would have thought with all the money the Treasury rakes in from motorists and various other taxes there would be funds available.

Probably have to be significant private investment aswell though.

My main worry would be who would run it?

Last thing we want is split ownership/management of tracks, trains, stations, depots for a new line.
 

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Either would be great for a Dublin-Wales link too. Ultraspeed maglev is more likely though for that one (Belfast-Dublin-Llandudno Junction-Manchester Airport-Birmingham-Heathrow) Mostly funded by Ireland, partly funded by Wales and Northern Ireland.
Don't see that happening in our life time! Ireland would be better off improving its existing railways first, where evidently a lot of improvement is needed.
 

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All sounds exciting and worthwhile.... now how to convince the French or Chinese to build it for us, so that it gets finished on time, within budget and actually works? The other part is: Who's going to pay for it?
China is useless at construction. The Three Gorges Dam is a huge cracking white elephant. Their Maglev line goes from no where to no where.

Construction is cheaper because there's so much cheap labour & no health & safety - workers can be lost in the concrete and quickly replaced.

They are always on budget but then if we had a state censored media then so would every construction project in the UK.
 

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All sounds exciting and worthwhile.... now how to convince the French or Chinese to build it for us, so that it gets finished on time, within budget and actually works? The other part is: Who's going to pay for it?
HS1 was built on time, to budget, and it appears to work. So, maybe we could build it?
 

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Don't want this to become a "we can/can't build this/that on time/on budget", BUT no one can deny that there is a poor record in this country of project costs spiralling, and the completion dates slipping. Wembley stadium is just one example of many, and the Olympics are already turning into a sink hole for money.

In other countries, similar complex projects are completed with comparative ease. The Americans, as another example, are fantastic builders - check out the new SF Oakland Bay Bridge project. So, my solution is this: get Arup to design it; put American project managers in charge; use French/German technology, Chinese workers; and the Irish who have all of Europe's money, can pay for it out of their structural funding planet, that is a ball of cash the size of Jupiter!

The Celtic reward for paying for it will be to own it, and of course charge a fair rental for its use, just like the British did in Ireland for years in fact.
 

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Can someone explain me how are they going to connect the so called Heathrow Hub with the line going to the north? Are they going to connect it with the WCML at some point between Watford and Leighton or will they connect it at Beaconsfield and use this line to go to Birmingham?
Another question: I've seen on the map that there is drawn a line between York and Leicester. Is it the classic line that is going to be upgraded and electrified to permit high speed services or will it be a new line?
Thanks
Anyway, I think it is a great new if the UK is (finally) going to invest on HSL and mostly that is going to connect its main airport to the HS network. Congratulations! I hope to see one day a direct train from Leeds or Manchester all the way to Paris through Heathrow and London in no more than 3.30 hours!!!
 

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I still think that Greengauge21 have the best concept with a Heathrow spur line joining HS2 with a triangle junction at Northolt.

 

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Don't want this to become a "we can/can't build this/that on time/on budget", BUT no one can deny that there is a poor record in this country of project costs spiralling, and the completion dates slipping. Wembley stadium is just one example of many, and the Olympics are already turning into a sink hole for money.
But the only high speed railway we've built so far was ok, Wembley was built by an Aussie company (therefore having no reflection on our ability to build something) and the Olympics is the hands of politicians - need I say more. On the other hand SnailTrain, you're so great at digging holes for yourself on these threads maybe you should build it, just take a laptop to St Pancras approaches and start posting, you'll be in Heathrow in no time.
 

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couple of questions.

1) is peak oil with us?
2) how long will it take to build this line?
3) how many flights do they expect to go through heathrow in 30 years time?

white elephant!
 
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