Heathrow T5C Rail Link

The light railway system that will serve Heathrow’s T5C when it opens next summer is now fully equipped with three new cars. (BAA)

The light railway system that will serve Heathrow’s T5C when it opens next summer is now fully equipped with three new cars. (BAA)

TERMINAL 5’s second satellite building – T5C – is set to open early next summer.  In July the light rail system that transports passengers between the buildings gained three new cars in preparation.
The underground service, called a Track Transit System (TTS), is currently made up of two trains, each with three cars and these already serve T5A and ’B.  The new cars will be stored in a maintenance base and introduced as part of preparations for the opening of the second satellite.
Each car weighs 16 tonnes and is large enough to carry around 60 passengers.  They were craned into the system through a hatch on the airfield during an operation that took place over three nights.
Steven Morgan, BAA Capital Director said: “The TTS is an essential service for passengers using Terminal 5 and it will be even more important when T5C opens.
“Delivering these cars was a major challenge.  The fact that this has been undertaken so safely and successfully on the world’s busiest international airfield, with no impact on daily operation of the TTS, is a credit to all involved.”
Tim Houghton, T5C BAA Delivery Manager said: “This is a great example of team work between Heathrow’s operational and airfield teams, and the delivery team for the project.
“A significant amount of planning went into ensuring there was no impact to the airport’s operation and I am delighted with the success achieved by all involved.”
T5C will provide Terminal 5 with an additional 12 stands, eight of which can accommodate new generation aircraft such as the A380.  The stands are to be served by air bridges providing a better experience for passengers.
The second satellite was always due to open after the main building; however parts of T5C, including infrastructure for the TTS, were constructed while the main development was underway.  BAA says this should make introducing the extended rail service much simpler when T5C opens.