New high speed railway proposed to connect two London airports

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HS4Air Proposed route map feature 1

UK: London based engineering consultants Expedition have developed a proposal for a new high speed railway connecting Gatwick and Heathrow Airports.

HS4Air (High Speed for Air) is a new high speed railway that connects the existing HS1 rail line to the planned HS2 railway along a route that passes via both Gatwick and Heathrow airports to the south and west of London. HS4Air also includes a connection to the Great Western Main Line railway (GWML) to the north of Heathrow airport.

Expedition director Alistair Lenczner, who has led the development of the HS4Air proposal, says: “HS4Air has been developed to allow rail and aviation infrastructure projects in south east England that are currently unconnected to become joined-up. This will offer greatly enhanced benefits for users and provide better value for the investments currently being made in the UK’s strategic infrastructure.”

“The proposed HS4Air project is an example of integrated strategic planning that spans across multiple infrastructure sectors that are too often planned within separate “silos”. Such integrated planning allows projects to achieve better results in terms of their land-use efficiency and investment value.”

According to Expedition, HS4Air would offer fast direct rail access to both Gatwick and Heathrow airports from major UK cities to the north and west of London. Rail passengers will be able to travel directly to both airports on fast regular services from cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Cardiff without any need to change trains.

It will also offer a 15-minute journey time between Gatwick and Heathrow airports using a dedicated high-speed shuttles between airport stations on the HS4Air railway.

HS4Air facts and figures:

  • 140km long route
  • 20% of HS4Air will run in tunnels
  • 40% of HS4Air’s geographic route re-uses the existing Network Rail tracks
  • HS4Air is estimated to cost approximately £10bn.