a London-based engineering consultancy firm, have revealed their proposal for a new high-speed railway called HS4Air (High-Speed for Air).
The new railway would connect the existing HS1 with the planned HS2, linking both Gatwick and Heathrow airports. Also included would be a connection to the Great Western Main Line railway (GWML).
Along this planned route, passengers would be able to travel to either airport from cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Cardiff without the need to change trains; reducing road congestion, air pollution and travel times. Journey duration from Sussex and Kent to the Midlands and the West would also be reduced by up to one hour.
Moreover, HS4Air would bring direct international train services, from the Midlands and the North to Europe via the Channel Tunnel. The high-speed rail service to the city centre of Paris, from both Birmingham and Manchester, would be faster in comparison to flying.
The proposal illustrates the route to be approximately 140km-long between the connections with HS1 at Ashford and HS2 near Denham. Twenty per cent of the line would be tunnelled to avoid impacting the landscape and 40 per cent would re-use the existing straight railway running between Tonbridge and Ashford which would require simple upgrading to operate high-speed trains.