Test run paves way for Heathrow construction railhead

Thorney Hill aggregates terminal, on the Colnbrook branch, saw its first train for six years on June 21. 

GB Railfreight (GBRf) operated a test train into the reactivated facility, which is three miles to the north of Heathrow, and close to the site of the planned third runway. 

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Class 66 No. 66775 HMS Argyll hauled what is hoped to be the first of many trains into the sidings. 

GBRf Class 66 No. 66767 pulling away from Shirebrook on June 27 with 12 new ‘cut-and-shut’ bogie hoppers, modified by W H Davis from ex-DB Cargo and Fastline coal hoppers. All carry Touax/GBRf/Cemex livery, and will be used for Derbyshire stone traffic. 

Land owner Link Park and site operator Ashville Aggregates reinstated the unloading sidings in January and February this year. They were last used in 2013 and subsequently removed. 

The former sidings were retrieved from beneath a layer of compacted material, the trackwork lifted and relaid to a new layout, with replacement sleepers and rails as required. 

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Read more in the August 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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About the Author

Sam Hewitt