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Heathrow Express passes delivery milestone

first_imgJUNE 23 saw the first Heathrow Express Class 332 EMU built by Siemens and CAF handed over to airport operator BAA plc at a ceremony at the new HEx Old Oak Common Train Care facility in west London. BAA Chief Executive Sir John Egan received a three-car set from his Siemens plc counterpart Jürgen Gehrels. Further deliveries will bring the fleet up to 14 four-car units (RG 1.97 p27).With the ’15min every 15min’ service from London Paddington to Heathrow Central not due to start until June 1998, BAA plans to launch an interim ’FastTrain’ operation this autumn, providing an integrated rail/road service using a temporary station at Heathrow Junction. Passengers will transfer, with assistance for heavy luggage, to road coaches for the onward journey to the airport terminals using a dedicated bus lane along the M4 motorway spur. The journey will take 30min, with trains running at 15min intervals. The Railtrack safety case approval process for the Class 332s is expected to be completed by early October, ready for the start of FastTrain services.The fleet will be maintained by Siemens Transportation Systems under a 9-year contract. Technical support will be provided by Interfleet Technology Ltd, which advised BAA on the procurement process.BAA is due to make an announcement within the next few weeks about its proposed second airport service, linking Heathrow to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link terminus at St Pancras. Planned to open in 1999 or 2000 following upgrading and electrification of an existing Railtrack orbital route through northwest London, this would require about 12 extra trains to the same design. oCAPTION: The interior design of the Heathrow Express EMUs was developed for BAA by Design Trianglelast_img read more