Benefits by region
WLR achieves faster door-to-door journey times to Heathrow, despite a slightly longer route, by more frequent services at more stations. This includes more 4 trains per hour (versus 2 for separate links) from both Maidenhead and Twyford. WLR also proposes new stations at Poyle, Windsor, Chalvey and Slough Trading Estate all with direct services to Heathrow.
Three new park-n-ride stations (on the M25, M3 and M4) will serve customers who prefer to start their journeys by car or bus, relieving traffic congestion on roads closer to the airport.
East Berkshire suffers from some of the worst air quality in the country. Providing faster journeys by train around the region will address this through modal shift (reducing congestion on the roads) and offset some of the increase caused by an expanded Heathrow.
WLR’s phase 2 proposals include a number of sites that would be enabled for potentially thousands more homes (in addition to those in Windsor in phase 1).
WLR’s design allows for direct services from the west of England to Heathrow. This will result in faster and more convenient services from cities such as Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Plymouth, Gloucester and Oxford.
Note that not all services will be direct but these are expected to be more available off-peak, when the lines are less congested with commuter trains.
Windsor is the most visited tourist destination in England outside of London. By linking Windsor to Heathrow and providing direct trains from Windsor to the west, more of these will be encouraged to visit regional cities, distributing the benefits of tourism more widely, without adding to road congestion.
Long-distance rail fares in the UK are already expensive. By providing a more cost-effective solution, of use to a wider range of people, fares on the Windsor Link Railway are expected to be lower than travelling on dedicated links to Heathrow.