Heathwick is Impractical – It would take more than 15 minutes

Name me any city to city High Speed Rail route anywhere in the world which has 5 terminus’s at one city and one at the other end.  None  Its impractical.  You would have a terribly complex series of acceleration deceleration and merging/demerging of traffic.  Yet that would be necessary as having one route on a loop servicing 5 stations would be required to slow down and stop at each, and an HSR is not like a tube, loading and unloading takes some time.

How then can the Government consider that an HSR linking Heathrow to a two runway Gatwick is practical, even for a moment?  It is claimed that the transfer time would only be 15 minutes, but how to you load and unload at Heathrow?  The only practical solution would be to have a single HSR terminus at Heathrow and then distribute the traffic to terminal via some kind of people mover.  But this will add 10 minutes to the journey time, +15 minutes HSR time +10 minutes Headway, its creeping up to 35 minutes.  This means there is zero time advantage over a new hub north of Cotwolds/Chilterns solution on the existing or rerouted HSR route.  A route which could have three airports along it former RAF Gaydon (which has space for a four runway hub, is on the M40 and would be served by HSR (if slighly diverted) and the Chiltern Line, Former Coventry Airport site and Birmingham International.

Justin Greening calls for an end to ‘pub conversations’ about airport capacity.  But the classic dremt up in a pub by civil servants who dont know about the operational requirements of HSR solution is Heathwick.

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About andrew lainton

International Urban Planner

Posted on June 27, 2012, in urban planning. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. If memory serves, this idea ( RAF Gaydon) was canvassed around ten years ago and comprehensively rejected by the locals. Your phase 2 is precisely where a current application for five 150m wind turbines has been lodged, so if this get approved it will make a bit of a mess of your flight paths!

    In principle a great idea, but 10 years too late – nice try though!

  2. I’m a local and I’d support it!

    What might help is the fact that the current use (JLR and Aston Martin) is putting enormous strain on the Gaydon junction of the M40. Pressure is building inexorably to unpgrade the junction at a cost of £10m to the taxpayer. The pressure will only be increased by the windfarm application, which seeks to use the junction for construction traffic. You could make a pretty good case for sweeping away the whole lot and constructing a world class airport.

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