New Local Rail Line In Mayor's Transport Strategy

West London Orbital would serve Brentford, Syon Lane, Isleworth and Kew Bridge



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The Brentford area could be getting a new rail service after proposals for the West London Orbital line have been incorporated into the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. A feasibility report into the scheme suggests that the service could be operational within the next eight years.

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 Brentford. The total cost of the scheme is estimated to be around £600 million.

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 needed the time that needs to be taken for completion is shorter than most rail projects.

The Mayor’s office said the strategy which was published on 28 February, will 'ensure affordable public transport for all, support London’s economic growth, and create a fairer, greener and healthier city'. It is due to be presented to the London Assembly next week.

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.

Councillor Julian Bell, Chair of the West London Economic Prosperity Board said, ''This is a major victory for the boroughs across West London, and for London as a whole. It is a testament to what we can achieve when we work together around a shared vision for growth. The West London Orbital Rail Line will unlock huge opportunities for residents and businesses. It will also allow people from all our communities to get around without being reliant on the heavily congested road network and help to reduce levels of air pollution.''


February 28, 2018

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