New West London Tube Line Proposed

Orbital underground would serve Brentford, Ealing and Park Royal

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A new underground line for West London is being proposed which would run from Surbiton to Brent Cross through Ealing and Brentford. The proposal is a result of a feasibility study done by Capita Symonds for the West London Chamber of Commerce.

The West London Orbital would connect together the many radial railway lines in west London, creating a comprehensive rail network for use within west London, rather than providing for journeys mainly into and out of central London. The line would be complementary to Crossrail and would serve as a feeder to it.

A number of routes have been examined for the new metro and the most promising one would run between Brent Cross and Surbiton via Wembley, Ealing Broadway and Richmond. The aim would be to reinvigorate the local economy and stop the increasing trend of West London towns becoming dormitory areas for Central London.

The proposed line would operate using short driverless trains, similar to the Docklands Light Railway and updated to the most modern standards broadly similar to the recently opened Copenhagen metro in Denmark. The transit time from Brent Cross to Surbiton would be 28 minutes, with a maximum train speed of 80km/h. No station on the route would be more than 15 minutes from the interchange with Crossrail at Ealing Broadway. The 25km line would link together 20 different radial rail or tube lines.

Proposed Line

Public sector funding would be needed to cover the expected £1.75 billion including rolling stock. It has been suggested that revenue from future road pricing projects or fuel surcharges could be used to fund the project. Land acquisition costs could be covered by the sale of development rights and, as the line will be relatively short with trains running at frequent intervals, station sizes would be small. The track and platform would be 18 metres below the surface where there would be relatively few problems with existing tunnels.

Transport for London are to be asked to conduct their own study into the project which if it is allowed to proceed could be up and running in about a decade.

April 18, 2008