Thursday, October 23, 2008

BAA wakes up to the sound of locomotives?

Train- © hfng - Plane- © Lars Christensen - Fotolia.comBAA changed their whining pitch and now says that Heathrow 'needs rail links as well as third runway' (Evening Standard).

That's of course after the Tories said they were in favour of a £20bn plan for a 180mph rail link instead of Heathrow third runway.

At a conference BAA urged the rail industry to work with the aviationsector to generate a "once-in-a- generation opportunity to create aworld-leading air and transport hub at Heathrow". BAA said its aim isfor a "third runway built within strict environmental limits and ahigh-speed rail network that will connect the UK's hub airport withevery major centre of population across the country".

Yeah right. Seems like they want to have their cake and eat it. Personally, I frankly doubt they really want high-speed rail: in France, the SNCF predicts that the introduction of high-speed trains running at 360 kph (224 mph) would mean that the airlines passenger share between Paris and Toulouse (585 km or 360 miles) would fall from 80% to 30%.

But they kept some of their usual lies: "Mr Condie highlighted Paris and Frankfurt, which have both developed high-speed rail links and have more runways than Heathrow."
This of course is misleading as they compare Heathrow (2 runways) instead of London (5 runways, plus one un-used in Gatwick) to other capitals. What is true is that both France and Germany have linked high-speed trains (TGV and ICE) to airports.

Read also my other posts on Heathrow expansion.

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