Network Rail starts work for Heathrow Crossrail services - Network Rail release

By Network Rail

Network Rail starts work for Heathrow Crossrail services - Network Rail release

Work has begun on the Stockley Interchange in west London, a crucial part of the Crossrail network that will allow Crossrail services to operate to and from Heathrow.

When Crossrail services begin, even more trains will travel along the Great Western Main Line so work is needed to improve capacity. The current junction at Stockley allows trains to leave the main line and continue to Heathrow Airport.

Network Rail, on behalf of Crossrail Limited, will build a new single track viaduct for all trains from Heathrow towards London. Work is due to complete in 2017. Existing train services to Heathrow will continue to run throughout.

Stockley Interchange will allow Crossrail trains to join the branch to Heathrow without delaying - or being delayed by - fast trains to the west, thus increasing capacity and reliability on the extremely busy Great Western Main Line.

Jorge Mendonça, Programme Director for Network Rail, said: “The Stockley Interchange is critical to unlocking the benefits of Crossrail. We’ve spent years planning and preparing to reach this point, so today is an important milestone. As well as starting the building works, we’re planning the rest of our programme to make sure that passengers and our lineside neighbours notice as little disruption as possible. This represents a very successful start to our delivery of this Crossrail structure.”

Matt White, Crossrail Surface Director, said: “The major works at Stockley Interchange will allow Crossrail services to operate to Heathrow. Crossrail will provide four ten-car trains per hour on the Great Western Main Line in each direction during the peak between central London and Heathrow with two per hour to West Drayton and four per hour to Maidenhead.”

Crossrail trains from Heathrow will run into Paddington and under London in newly-constructed tunnels. The service will offer the ability to travel from Heathrow to the West End, the City, and Canary Wharf without changing, reducing journey times and inconvenience.

When Crossrail opens, passengers will be able to reach Heathrow from Canary Wharf in 39 minutes, Liverpool Street in 33 minutes and Bond Street in 26 minutes.

Network Rail is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the parts of Crossrail that are on the existing network, covering 70km (43.5 miles) of track and 28 stations from Maidenhead in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.

Notes to Editors:

The current junction at Stockley is used by Heathrow Connect in both directions and Heathrow Express in the London direction. The viaduct will start on the western side of the existing airport lines. It will then cross over all of the tracks in the railway corridor, turning eastwards and will continue on the northern side of the railway tracks.

The viaduct will then widen and a junction for Crossrail and Heathrow Express services will be installed on the track. This junction will allow Heathrow Express services to cross above the slow lines and descend to main line track as at present. Crossrail services will remain on the northern side, descend on a second ramp and run on a dedicated track, which will then connect with the existing up slow line via a new junction constructed at a point just before Hayes & Harlington station.

The timetable for the works is as follows:

  • Late March 2012 – Installation of a retaining wall begins
  • February 2014 – Western flyover completed
  • December 2014 – Northern viaduct completed
  • September 2017 – Project completion

As this work progresses it is likely to involve some night-time and weekend working, as some sections can only be built when train services are not running. 

Network Rail delivering Crossrail

Network Rail is a key partner in Crossrail and is making significant investment in upgrading the network around the capital to deliver it. This complements Network Rail’s other work to increase capacity and improve performance across Britain. 

Network Rail is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the parts of Crossrail that are on the existing network. Its work will integrate Crossrail with the national rail network, delivering faster, more frequent trains into central London from the east and west. The work includes upgrading 42 miles of track, redeveloping 28 stations, and renewing 15 bridges, as well as removing around 1m cubic metres of spoil from the tunnel excavation by rail, reducing the need for construction traffic on the roads. 

About Crossrail

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn.

The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118 km (73 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.

Explore Crossrail