Western rail link for Heathrow

Network Rail has announced plans for a preferred route for a new rail link from the Great Western Main Line with the UK’s only hub airport, Heathrow.

The Great Western Main Line runs from south Wales via Reading in to London Paddington. At the moment passengers travelling from the west have to go to Paddington then back to Heathrow. The new direct link would stop that, taking nearly an hour off the journey from Swansea to Heathrow. Reading Station would be 27 minutes closer to Heathrow.

As well as making travel abroad much easier for passengers, the plans would also provide a major boost to the economy in the Thames Valley, the M4 corridor, South West England and south Wales. The link will allow businesses there to connect directly with Heathrow.

Colin Matthews, Heathrow’s chief executive, said: “Network Rail’s plans will drive economic growth through improved access to overseas markets. Heathrow is already in a better location than any other UK airport. Western Rail access will build on that strength, helping to make sure that the whole of the UK benefits from the growth opportunities global connectivity brings.”

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