Rail line linking airports already in existence

As always, Sir Peter Hall's column makes fascinating reading (Planning, 21 October, p40).

However, what people might not appreciate from reading about the government's idea for a high-speed "Heathwick" line between Heathrow and Gatwick is that there is already a pretty good set of rail tracks between the airports. It goes via Clapham Junction and all of it, except the new spur into Heathrow, has been regularly used by trains in the past.

Rough calculations using old timetables suggest it would take about 45 to 50 minutes to get from one airport to the other. The problem, if any, might be capacity on the main lines to Paddington from Heathrow and London Victoria from Gatwick. Investment in improving capacity there could be of more general benefit than an entirely new line.

Ian Macpherson, Guildford.

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