A mainline station linking Heathrow to the national rail network and Channel tunnel could transform Europe’s most congested airport into a world class transport hub, according to a proposal put forward by Arup, the civil engineering consultants.

Under the plans the new rail station built on the Great Western main line would make the airport more accessible to the west, the south-west, Wales and the Midlands. Cities such as Birmingham, Oxford and Cardiff would have direct services to the airport.

The engineering group is proposing in a first step to extend the present high speed rail line from the Channel tunnel, which currently terminates at London King’s Cross-St Pancras, to the new Heathrow Hub station, which would be built 3.5km to the north of the airport, just to the northeast of the junction of the M25 and M4 motorways.

The development of the hub station would make it more attractive for many air travellers to arrive at Heathrow by rail than by road, said Mark Bostock, an Arup director.

Financial Times