Harrow to get Old Oak connection

The Government has announced plans to create an extra Crossrail service linking Harrow to the superhub at Old Oak.

The Government will conduct a feasibility study to look at how a new rail link between Old Oak Common and the West Coast Main Line could benefit commuters in Harrow and beyond.

The proposed changes would see Crossrail services extended to Hertfordshire, providing direct journeys into the City and the West End, and a significantly improved link to Heathrow Airport.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “It is vital we seize every opportunity to make the most of these once in a generation schemes. That is why I have asked HS2 Limited to work closely with the Crossrail sponsors to look at extending Crossrail services to key destinations in Hertfordshire. Not only would this be a huge boost to passengers and the local economy, it would also provide flexibility when building HS2 into Euston, making sure we create a lasting legacy for the station.”

Stations that could be serviced by Crossrail include Tring, Hemel Hempstead, Watford Junction, Berkhamstead and Harrow and Wealdstone. Any changes will not affect the timetable or planned service pattern for the existing Crossrail scheme which is scheduled to be fully operational by 2019.

Initial analysis suggests 40% of passengers travelling into London from these locations finish their journeys within 1 kilometre of a Crossrail station, compared to just 10% within 1km of Euston. The link would have the added benefit of reducing congestion at the station, specifically for passengers using the southbound Northern and Victoria lines.

David Leam, Infrastructure Director at London First, said: “Any investment to improve crowded commuter rail links into London is to be welcomed. It is also good news that Government is now looking at how major schemes like Crossrail and HS2 might interact with each other.

“We next need to see detailed proposals on the costs of additional track and trains and on the impacts on existing rail and Crossrail service patterns, so that commuters can gauge whether they will benefit or lose out under these plans.

“It is also imperative that we continue to protect Crossrail from the ‘scope creep’ that has bedevilled major infrastructure projects in the past. Delivering Crossrail on time and on budget must continue to be the top priority.”

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