More details emerge on Crossrail's plans

Tunnel would emerge on Chiswick Common whereas overground route could mean the closure of the level crossing on Churchfield Road

Further details have emerged this week on Crossrail's proposals to link South West London with the high speed trans-London rail line. The so-called Norbiton branch would either cross Acton by a viaduct or emerge in Chiswick through a 5.3 km tunnel.

Crossrail have said that the evaluation of the various possibilities for tunnel alignments is still going ahead. A spokesman said, "At this stage the analysis indicates that the arguments for and against each of the route options are relatively closely stacked." They have confirmed that if the option to tunnel under Chiswick is pursued (Corridor 6) then the tunnel portal will be located near Chiswick Common, and beyond there Crossrail will take over the existing District line tracks and replace the District line service. It is hoped that a clear recommendation on the route of the project can be made to Ministers in this month.

Option 1 - Crossrail passes through Acton Central by viaduct

Option 2 - 5.3m tunnel through Chiswick

Chris Calvi-Freeman, the Head of Transport at Hounslow Council said, "The �Norbiton Alternatives� (one via Gunnersbury and a new Chiswick Park station and one via Gunnersbury and Acton Central) represent a fabulous opportunity for Chiswick. Fast, modern, high capacity services to central London and beyond would provide an alternative to the current tube and SW Trains, and a real incentive for people to use public transport. " However he cautioned that the proposals would have to looked at in detail. Hounslow Council is preparing a comprehensive response to Crossrail for this Friday with the details to be released to the public in due course. The report may be discussed at an area committee meeting at the end of March.

Councillor for East Acton Philip Portwood said that it was unlikely this spur of the project would be implemented and that it was "basically a sop to objections to Crossrail from South West London." Cllr Portwood has raised concerns about the plans at a recent council meeting. These worries about the impact of the probable need to remove the level crossing at Churchfield Road, and the possibility that a Crossrail service would replace existing connections to North and South West London. He added that the benefits of the new plan were limited compared to the core east-west project which would pass through Acton main-line station.

His view is that improvements to the existing network could be more effective, "What we need on the North London Line is a more reliable, improved and better promoted service, stressing the benefits of a "rail M25" that can get you from Acton to Hampstead or Richmond in around ten minutes without having to go through either inner London or Ealing."

�Crossrail 1� is a proposed high capacity east-west rail link across London serving Heathrow, the West End, the City and Docklands. The �Core Route� will link Heathrow, Stratford and the Isle of Dogs, via the Great Western Line to Paddington (i.e. the route currently taken by the Heathrow Express) and a deep underground tunnel under central London. Stations will be at Heathrow Terminal 5, Terminals 1-3, Hayes, Southall, Hanwell, West Ealing, Ealing Broadway, Acton Main Line, then deep underground at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, and the Isle of Dogs. The service is due to commence in 2012, subject of course to funding.

February 13, 2003

Crossrail could be coming to Chiswick and Acton

More details on the scheme

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