The Anonymous Widower

Feltham Station

I hadn’t intended to go to Feltham station, but whilst talking to a South West Trains driver, he suggested I go to look at the improvements there and the level crossing.

Location

This Google Map shows the station’s location to the South-East of the Airport.

Heathrow Airport And Feltham Station

Heathrow Airport And Feltham Station

Feltham station is the station in the South East corner of the map.

A Modern Station

Feltham station is a modern station, as these pictures show.

If it has one problem it is the level crossing at the Western end of the station.

Services

The station is well-connected with six trains per hour (tph) to and from Waterloo on weekdays and 5 tph on Sundays.

But there are a long list of stations, who have in excess of 2 tph connections to the station on weekdays and good connections on Sundays. The list includes.

  • Clapham Junction
  • Putney
  • Reading
  • Richmond
  • Staines
  • Twickenham
  • Weybridge
  • Windsor and Eton Riverside

It is an impressive level of connectivity to the buses that serve Heathrow’s terminals.

I was at Feltham station for about twenty minutes and saw several newish buses drive off towards Heathrow.

A railway called Heathrow Airtrack was proposed, but abandoned to link Waterloo to Heathrow, via Feltham.

It doesn’t seem to be mentioned much these days.

I just think, that because the services through Feltham are at a level of one train every ten minutes and because the line has several level crossings, that trying to squeeze an airport service into the mix, although probably not impossible, was difficult and would give rise to too many objections to fight off.

An Alternative Link

But Heathrow may have the solution in their hands and that would be to use an enlarged version of the Heathrow Pod system, that I wrote about in A Visit To Heathrow Terminal 5.

Or they could use some other charismatic system, that flew people at helicoptor-height over the route to and from Heathrow.

Several systems come to mind; cable-car, tram, monorail, a modern Schwebebahn or MAGLev.

The Schwebebahn in Wuppertal, was built over the River Wupper in the early Twentieth Century and it still running today. I wrote about it in The Wuppertal Schwebebahn. You wouldn’t build anything like this, but the construction of the Schwebebahn shows that you can put a lightweight railway over a river.

This Google Map shows Feltham station in greater detail.

Feltham Station And The Longford River

Feltham Station And The Longford River

Note the Longford River, which passes under the station.

This Google Map shows Terminal 4 at Heathrow Airport.

Heathrow Terminal 4 And The Longford River

Heathrow Terminal 4 And The Longford River

Again note the Longford River.

So could some form of lightweight aerial railway be created to run at perhaps fifteen metres above the river and some of the roads in the area. This picture shows the Heathrow Pod that connects some car parks to Terminal 5.

The Heathrow Pod Crosses To Terminal 5

The Heathrow Pod Crosses To Terminal 5

The Terminal 5 system is described here in Wikipedia and is 3.9 km long. I estimate that Feltham to Terminal 4 would be about 6 km.

As Heathrow are thinking of using the Heathrow Pod system to go all the way to Kingston, I would suspect that Feltham would be in range.

My big worry would be, that the number of pods required to transfer passengers to and from Feltham might be too large for the system.

So I think that even if the Heathrow Pod system couldn’t be used for the link, within a few years, someone will devise a system that would create the ultimate airport link between Feltham and Heathrow Airport.

 

 

 

November 22, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Feltham is ALMOST very convenient for the airport. I live in Balham, so Heathrow is, in theory, about 18 miles away, but the journey takes on average 1 hour 15 minutes, no matter what form of transport I take – taxi, Tube, main line + bus, private car. Lifts at Clapham Junction and Feltham stations make the changes easier than they were, and, as you note, there are plenty of trains. At Feltham, the 285 bus picks up right outside the up side exit, and there’s even a cafe and a cash machine to hand. So far so good – an all-too-rare example of joined-up transport.

    Where it falls down is on the bus. The single-deckers are unsuitable for people travelling with luggage and take too long to reach the destination because they call at every stop and go a long way round. In the past there was a dedicated rail-air bus service, but that’s long gone, and the current connection isn’t advertised – an opportunity missed.

    I understand that to accommodate 10-car trains, Bedfont Lane level crossing at the west end of Feltham station is to be closed and the SR footbridge replaced by a combined pedestrian and cycle bridge (mixing cyclists and pedestrians always results in clashes, but no doubt the planners all travel by car anyway so neither understand nor care). This, though, would be the ideal starting point for your pod. I would worry about the capacity of such a system though, so a monorail might be better and would have the advantage of being able to ‘stride’ over the complex tessellation of roads, housing, industrial premises, waste ground etc. Being a limited-stop system, the usual complaints about elevated systems – the inconvenience of reaching them from ground level – would not apply. There is almost nothing of aesthetic, historical, architectural or environmental value along the likely route, so objections on these grounds are likely to be easier to address. Due to a shortage of land for a new road (the exisiting one is plagued by traffic jams), and because of environmental concerns, a monorail solution has been mooted to link Seychelles Airport with the country’s capital, Victoria. If tiny Seychelles can contemplate this, why not Heathrow?

    It’s absurd that it remains SO hard to reach the UK’s main airport from places just 5-10 miles away. Rather than wasting money on that chimera, Crossrail 2, it would be far better to build a decent connection from the south (Croydon would be a good starting point) to Heathrow and then up to north-west and north-east London. Plus, of course, that desperately needed link we currently lack from the south to Docklands and the development areas along river towards Thames Gateway.

    Comment by Stephen Spark | April 2, 2018 | Reply

  2. Have you looked at my posts on Heathrow Southern Railway? This project propoases creating a rail link from Staines to Terminal 5.

    If it is built you will just take the trainto Claspham Junction and change for one to the airport.

    If the Victorians has designed Clapham Junction station, so that Heathrow to Gatwick was easy, there would be a link between the CJ – Staines and the CJ – Balham lines But planes hadn’t been invented.

    I’ll add a new post to my Heathrow Southern Railway posts about this.

    Comment by AnonW | April 2, 2018 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.