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Tube one step closer for Heathrow Terminal 5

14 September 2006

Piccadilly line services to Heathrow Terminal 4 (T4) station will resume on the morning of Sunday 17 September, signalling the latest milestone in the project to extend the line to Heathrow Terminal 5 (T5).

We are one step closer to a brand new Tube line for a brand new Terminal by 2008

The 20-month closure of the Piccadilly line between Hatton Cross and Heathrow T4 was essential to allow for the construction of a complex new rail junction to connect the existing line to the new T5 extension.

The work has now been completed, on time and on budget, in partnership between BAA and London Underground (LU).

Passengers were provided with regular shuttle bus services throughout the closure. These will continue for a week after the Piccadilly line reopens to ensure passengers make a smooth transition back to the Tube.

Mike Challis, LU Piccadilly line General Manager, said: 'The reopening of Heathrow Terminal 4 station on Sunday, 17 September will mean passengers can once more travel direct between Terminal 4 and central London.

'It also marks an important milestone in the project to extend the line to Heathrow Terminal 5, which will be the first extension to the Tube network in nearly a decade.

'I'd like to thank London Underground passengers for their patience during the essential 20-month closure. The construction work now completed means we are one step closer to a brand new Tube line for a brand new Terminal by 2008.'

Constructing a key rail junction

In order to join up the existing Piccadilly line with the T5 extension, a new rail junction was required just west of Terminals 1,2,3, where the new Piccadilly line tunnels would join the existing Heathrow loop.

BAA Project Leader, John Oliver said: 'Working in a live airport environment without causing any disruption to airport operations is a huge challenge.

'All in all this has been a very successful project. Much of the tunnelling for the new rail extensions and the construction of the junction box occurred beneath the operational airport and in close proximity to both Heathrow Express and London Underground tunnels.

'All of it was delivered with no impact on rail or airport operations.'

To build the new junction, the T5 project team had to decommission two aircraft stands from Terminal 3 and drill down through the ground to access the LU network. A concrete box was then built to house the new junction, connecting up all four old and new underground tunnels for the existing Piccadilly line and the T5 extension.

When construction work was complete, the site was handed over to engineers from rail specialist Balfour Beatty, who installed track and conductor rails.

Then Tube infrastructure company Tube Lines installed and tested the signalling and communications equipment, which was commissioned during a three-day extended closure of the Piccadilly line in late August.

The final step, over the last few weeks, has been for LU to run test trains over the Heathrow loop to ensure the track and equipment is reliable before resuming passenger services on 17 September.

A new improved station at Heathrow Terminal 4

During the 20-month closure of the Piccadilly line to Heathrow T4, LU has taken the opportunity to refurbish the T4 station, improving the travelling environment and adding extra security and passenger information features.

Funded by Transport for London's (TfL's) £10billion Investment Programme and carried out by Tube Lines, the work has included the installation of:

Ian Copeland, Director of Projects at Tube Lines said: 'During the closure, our teams have worked diligently to complete the station refurbishment and the bulk of the work to extend the line to Terminal 5.

'All parts of both programmes were completed on time. Terminal 4's station upg

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