New rail line would serve South Acton and Kew Bridge
Proposed route. Image: West London Alliance feasibility report
Hounslow Council have given their backing to plans for a new West London Orbital Line which was recently announced as part of the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy.
A feasibility report into the scheme suggests that the service could be operational within the next eight years and would serve the Chiswick area.
The line would run between Hounslow and Cricklewood and would not require new track to be laid. It would link existing lines on the Hounslow Loop and the North London Line. The proposed service would be part of the London Overground network and would provide a direct link with Brent Cross from stations such as Kew Bridge and South Acton. A new station is also proposed which would serve the stadium being built at Lionel Road. The total cost of the scheme is estimated to be around £600 million.
Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council, said, “We welcome the Mayor’s ambitious Transport Strategy which provides us with a blueprint of how we can improve the travelling experience for residents, businesses and visitors.
“We are pleased that the Strategy proposes improved rail links to outer London areas which will no doubt encourage economic growth and new jobs and homes. If approved, this line will encourage more people to switch to sustainable transport options which will benefit generations to come."
A preferred rail service option has been identified in a feasibility report with the first phase seeing a 4 train per hour service from West Hampstead to Hounslow, calling at West Hampstead, Cricklewood, Neasden, Harlesden, Old Oak Common (OOC) Victoria Road, Acton Central, South Acton, Brentford, Syon Lane, Isleworth, Hounslow. A second phase would see an additional 4 trains per hour from Hendon to Kew Bridge, calling at Hendon, Brent Cross, Neasden, Harlesden, OOC Victoria Road, Acton Central, South Acton to Kew Bridge. Phase 1 services are assumed to commence operation in 2026, with phase 2 services running from 2029.
The project has been led by the West London Alliance, with representatives of the boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing and Hounslow, along with Transport for London and Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, represented on the project Steering Group.
The plan has been incorporated into the Mayor’s 25 year transport strategy at the urging of the West London Alliance but, given the relatively small capital investment required, the time that needs to be taken for completion is shorter than most rail projects.
Implementation of the scheme is not without its challenges. The line is currently used by freight operators and they will need to be accommodated as well as South Western Railway who have the franchise to run trains on part of the proposed route. The level crossing and Bollo Lane is also anticipated to cause significant issues and a budget of £30 million has been suggested to avoid problems at this point.
March 23, 2018