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Other Heathrow Terminal 5

A new airport terminal on the former sewage works at Perry Oaks, along with associated road junction on M25 and rail and Underground links.


Terminal 5 was subject to the longest enquiry in plannning history at 3 years and 10 months. It will provide capacity for an additional 30 million passengers per annum, using 260 hectares of space. The cost of 4bn is providing the new terminal, 47 aircraft stands, 2 satellite terminals, a new control tower, a new motorway junction, a 4000 space car park, a new hotel, the rail links (both in bored tunnel) and diversion of the River Colne.

Associated transport improvements include a branch of the Heathrow Express (including new Heathrow Connect local trains) from Heathrow Central station, and a 200m branch of the Piccadilly Line from Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3. There will be a spur road from the M25 constructed as part of the M25 West widening project.

A new coach/bus station will be constructed at Terminal 5, with coaches having only a one minute access time between the M25 and the coach station. Through services will be diverted to the new T5 coach station (free transfer onwards from T5 to T123 or T4 by rail), as this will cut journey times significantly. National Express are proposing some service improvements on their network through Heathrow as a result of this and new demand.

A target of 40% of journeys to/from the airport by public transport has been set (an increase of 7% from the current 33% approx.).

Piccadilly Line

Piccadilly line service pattern when Terminal 5 opens

Piccadilly line service pattern once Terminal 5 is open

Terminal 5 station will NOT be on the current loop serving T123 and T4 - so a new service pattern is required, and was introduced on 13 January 2008.

10tph run from central London to Hatton Cross, direct to Terminals 123, on to Terminal 5 (although out of service until the terminal opens), and then back into London via T123. An additional 10tph run from central London via the loop from Hatton Cross to Terminal 4 where they pause before heading back to central London via Terminals 123. This means that the train frequency from central London to Terminals 123 (10tph) will be lower than the frequency in the reverse direction (20tph).

Construction of the branch

From the beginning of 2005 for 18 months until Sunday 17 September 2006, Heathrow Terminal 4 station was closed. Trains ran direct from Hatton Cross to T123 and then returned; a connecting bus service operated from Hatton Cross to T4, and passengers were able to use the Heathrow Express for free transfer between T123 and T4.

This was to construct a new junction on the part of the Heathrow loop between T4 and T123. The work required this closure because the ground in which the junction was built consisted of water-bearing gravel; the normal techniques used to build what is known as a "step-plate junction" could have caused the existing tunnel to collapse.

Instead, a "coffer dam" box was dug out from the surface to a depth of 20m, to hold the new junction. The T5 tunnel was bored from T5 towards the new junction, with the final breakthrough having to be made out from the box towards the nearly-finished tunnel (rather than the tunnel boring machine breaking into the box).

Heathrow Express & Heathrow Connect

The HEx branch is not quite so complicated. All HEx trains would be diverted to T5 (still serving Central). Heathrow Connect services would be extended from Central (T123) to T4, providing a half-hourly service; finally, alternating with Heathrow Connect would be a half-hourly shuttle service between Central and T4.

Construction will be relatively easy here compared to the Piccadilly line.


BAA are pushing for Airtrack, a project to link T5 into the Staines-Windsor line, in order to provide services from T5 to Staines then a variety of destinations.


(newest first)
T4 station reopens on Sun 17 Sep
2006-09-08 06:53:11

Heathrow Terminal 4 station on the Piccadilly line will re-open at 0545 on Sunday 17 September, following 20 months of preparatory works for the new Terminal 5 branch. T5 station will not open until the new terminal itself opens, so trains will resume running around the loop via T4 and then T123 as before.

20 month bustitution for Heathrow T4
2004-10-10 18:44:56

Heathrow Terminal 4 station on the Piccadilly line will be closed for 20 months from January 2005 with a bus shuttle in operation from Hatton Cross, so that the new Tube branch to Terminal 5 can be constructed.

BAA funds 200m Terminal 5 tube station
2004-06-19 12:20:46

BAA will be funding the 200m Piccadilly line link from Heathrow T123 station to the new station at Terminal 5. In return, it will receive a share of Piccadilly line ticket sales which could reach 123m.

Links & Sources

  1. BAA: Terminal 5
  2. Report on M25 access road
  3. BAA: Terminal 5 photos (large!)

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