Alternative Crossrail proposals from Hounslow Council
Scheme envisages line splitting at new station at Chiswick Business Park
With Crossrail still seeking feedback from the public over the current plans for the high speed East West London link, Hounslow Council have come up with some suggestions which they believe will maximise the benefits of the scheme whilst minimising the impact on the public.
When originally approached in February they suggested consideration of Chiswick Business Park as the main interchange point for the West London area and continuing the line along the existing Hounslow Loop to serve Feltham and Hounslow.
Crossrail did not take up these options when they published their amended scheme earlier this month but after viewing the latest proposals Hounslow Council have responded with alternative arrangements for which they are seeking backing from elected representatives. The options will be presented to Chiswick Councillors at their area committee meeting on 12th November.
Under the existing 'benchmark' proposal from Crossrail, from the new Turnham Green station, the Crossrail tunnel would continue as a cut-and-cover construction under the back of Chiswick Common, with the portal located immediately west of Fishers Lane. The Crossrail tracks would then link into the District Line tracks through to Richmond, replacing District Line Richmond Branch services. Silverlink North London Line services would be unaffected.
The principal tunnelling worksite would be at Old Oak Common but significant construction traffic would need to access Chiswick Common, with the majority of the Common land to be taken as a worksite for several years. Even when completed, the additional numbers of passengers seeking to access the new Turnham Green interchange station could put a strain on the narrow roads at Turnham Green Terrace, South Parade and Bath Road.
The option now being put forward by Hounslow Council would see the tunnel alignment completely changed, to run under Acton Green instead of via Turnham Green. An interchange at Chiswick Business Park would probably replace the proposed Turnham Green interchange instead of supplementing it, in order to minimise the need to lengthen the tunnel. Either way both Hounslow Council and Crossrail would be hopeful that London Underground would agree to allow interchange with the Piccadilly line.
Under Hounslow's Option 5 (options 1-4 were put to Crossrail in February) the tunnel would extend under Chiswick Business Park and Gunnersbury Station, emerging near Chiswick Village and joining the North London Line through to Richmond. Stations would be constructed under the rear part of Chiswick Business Park and possibly also near Chiswick Village and/or in southeast Acton.
Depending on train frequencies and track alignment, Council transport experts think it might be possible to retain the District Line Richmond Branch services, which would continue to use Gunnersbury Station. Ideally, the tunnel would be extended under the Thames to a new portal immediately south west of the river, although this would be considerably more expensive.
An additional or alternative proposal would be for the new tunnel alignment as suggested above to provide a link to the Hounslow Loop Line. In this case a cut and cover station would be created at Chiswick Business Park and the tracks would then rise to merge into the freight spur northwest of Silver Crescent.
Given the opposition from some quarters to the closure of the District Line's Richmond branch, Hounslow Council believe that it may be possible to split the Crossrail service into a Hounslow/Feltham branch and a Richmond/Kingston branch leaving track capacity for a continuance of the District line service.
Hounslow and Richmond Council have been in discussion about the Crossrail project and are planning to work closely together to maximise the benefits of the scheme for West and South West London.
Crossrail are holding a series of public information meetings over the next few weeks, details of which are given above.
If you can't make it to one of these there is a 24 hour seven day a week helpline on 0845 602 3813 and an e-mail address email@example.com as well as a web site www.crossrail.co.uk which contains background information about the project.
November 14, 2003