Heathrow could be set to miss out on having a new direct high-speed rail link to the north, according to reports today.

Plans for a new hub station at the airport linking Euston via a new 15-mile tunnel and the Great Western Railway are reported to have fallen out of favour with new transport secretary Lord Adonis.

He is said to favour the hub being located closer to central London in Acton, close to Wormwood Scrubs prison. A White Paper due out next month is expected to be opposed by the Conservatives.

The original plans for the high-speed rail link with the hub at Heathrow were envisaged to take the place of many short flights and improve public transport to the airport.

However, revised plans would have Heathrow being linked to the new high-speed line via a separate non-high-speed loop.

Shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers said a high-speed rail hub at Heathrow would make it easier for people to switch from air to rail and offer a “low-carbon” alternative to flying.

The idea of high-speed rail has been mooted as an alternative to the expansion of Heathrow by those opposed to a third runway, including the Tory opposition party.

In particular, The Co-operative Travel Group is opposed to the plans to expand Heathrow and has suggested high-speed rail is a viable alternative to flying. To highlight the group’s views, senior delegates, including commercial director Shaun Hinds, travelled to The Travel Convention in Barcelona last year by train.