For both engineering and financial reasons, the WLR would be delivered in a number of phases. The most immediate phases are defined in greater detail with the later ones at this stage still being aspirations. However, each link builds upon the previous one creating more value and enabling more convenience for travellers.
Hover your mouse over the above schematic to pause on a particular phase.
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Page last updated 21.2.2016
Phase 1 would connect Slough to Staines via Windsor.
The first service to use this would be the existing Waterloo to Windsor Riverside service, extended onto Slough. This would provide two trains per hour in each direction from Waterloo to Slough direct via Windsor.
The second service would be to provide a further two trains in each direction between Slough and Staines, giving four trains per hour in total (a train every fifteen minutes) in both directions.
The base case is that the second service would just shuttle between Slough and Staines. These trains would be synchronised with the fast trains to London, giving an overall reduction in travelling time despite the interchange time. It is anticipated that there would be demand for this additional service especially from the park-and-ride facility from a new station at Chalvey, making it easier for people to get to the town centres of both Slough and Windsor. An alternative scenario is that the Slough to Staines service will continue beyond Staines, either direct to London to provide a fast service or to another destination in the SWT network.
Phase 2 would provide (i) a connection from the Great Western Mail Line (GWML) to Heathrow, as specified in the government’s rail announcements in 2012, and (ii) a connection from the Southern region, similar to that provided by BAA’s Airtrack scheme.
The GWML service would start at Reading and terminate at Heathrow terminal 5, stopping at least at Twyford, Maidenhead, Slough Trading Estate, Slough, Chalvey and Windsor. It is possible that this could be an extension of Crossrail or an extension of the shuttle service from phase 1 above. This service is likely to comprise four trains per hour although it is possible that more frequent services could be available. Passengers from the main line would be able to change at Slough for additional services.
From the south the service pattern would be as proposed by Wandsworth council, Airtrack Lite. This proposal would provide four trains an hour from Waterloo to Terminal 5 with stops including Clapham Junction and Putney. It would make use of the existing services from Waterloo, extending them onto Heathrow Terminal 5 (thus avoiding lengthening level crossing down-time).
The demand for both the GWML and the southern access to Heathrow has been independently established by Slough BC and BAA respectively.
Future services are yet to be defined. However, the ambition is to build upon the first two phases extending the benefits both to the north and the south.
To the north, the proposal is to re-connect to High Wycombe, via Maidenhead. This will enable the trains that currently serve Bourne End to continue to High Wycombe from Maidenhead, as well as enabling new through services from Oxford, Buckinghamshire and the midlands.
To the south, once level crossing issues are resolved (using money saved from a cheaper link to Heathrow) the idea is to extend direct services to Wokingham, Bracknell, Farnborough (via Ascot) and Guildford (via Ash Vale) in the south.
The long term aspiration is to create better connected region and the beginning of an M25-style orbital railway for London.