W South­ern route plan

Rail (UK) - - News - @PaulCliftonBBC

use the con­gested Slow line with the Egham level cross­ings. You come off the South West Main Line at West Byfleet, al­ready grade­sep­a­rated with a dive-un­der, go round to­wards Chert­sey, and then along­side the M25.

“No bay plat­form at Wok­ing is needed be­cause the in­ten­tion is to run to Bas­ingstoke and Guild­ford. There is an is­sue around what is hap­pen­ing to the planned fly­over at Wok­ing to take the Portsmouth lines. It would cer­tainly make the Heathrow op­tions eas­ier, but it is not im­pos­si­ble with­out the fly­over.”

Net­work Rail’s 2015 Wes­sex Route Study pro­posed fly­overs at Wok­ing and Bas­ingstoke with an ex­tra plat­form at Wok­ing. It said th­ese were es­sen­tial to meet fu­ture ca­pac­ity needs on the SWML.

“Go­ing Up, it would run on the Slow line to West Byfleet,” ex­plained Gar­nett. “On the Down, it dives in un­der­neath the main line and comes onto the Slow line. That’s the beauty of this - it does not in­ter­fere with the Fast line.

“Also, you could use it to ex­tend the El­iz­a­beth Line from Heathrow to Staines if you put in an­other plat­form at Staines. That would give peo­ple an­other jour­ney op­tion.

“There is one com­pli­cated bit where we cross the M3 near the M25 in­ter­change. You have to build a bridge over the M3. But it is all doable.”

A Water­loo ser­vice via Clapham Junc­tion would re­quire a new con­nec­tion to the Wind­sorS­taines line be­tween Staines and Wrays­bury.

The to­tal cost is es­ti­mated to be be­tween £1.2 bil­lion and £1.3bn. The ear­li­est com­ple­tion date would be 2025. Heathrow South­ern Rail­way says there is a “very strong” pay­back on pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment, with or with­out a third run­way at the air­port.

Gar­nett added: “The traf­fic from Wok­ing to Heathrow is not enor­mous - it’s the through traf­fic that makes the real dif­fer­ence. It’s slightly longer than go­ing to Water­loo, but it gets you to a dif­fer­ent part of Lon­don - it links to HS2 and to the El­iz­a­beth Line. The eco­nomic ben­e­fit is in the to­tal traf­fic. Th­ese trains will run full from Day 1. This is a big mar­ket.”

Gar­nett is 71, and moreor-less re­tired. “It’s just such a good idea,” he said. “The need is ob­vi­ous and the case for do­ing it is so over­whelm­ing. We have the right peo­ple, too.”

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