A multi-million pound train service will be rolled out across the borough next spring and Times reporter USHMA MISTRY was flown out to Germany for a sneak preview on board the new trains and a chance to get behind the controls.

I WAS given the chance to live every little boy's dream by getting behind the controls of a train.

My invitation to take the wheel coincided with the delivery of the Siemens Desiro train which will service the new Heathrow Connect.

This a new stopping service that will operate between Paddington and Heathrow Airport via Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell, Southall and Hayes.

Heathrow Express Operating Company, the company behind the £35 million project, flew me out to the Siemens manufacturing and testing depot in Wildernath to see the new Heathrow Connect trains.

The trains have been specially commissioned and designed for the new service and the first four-carriage train is due to arrive in the UK soon.

Brian Raven, managing director of Heathrow Express Operating Company, explained why new trains had to be designed for the Heathrow Connect service. He said: "As these trains will be stopping more frequently than the Heathrow Express trains they need to accelerate faster between the stops so they have been designed accordingly."

The Paddington to Heathrow journey on the Heathrow Connect will take just under 25 minutes including all the stops and the service will run every 30 minutes.

With all the talk of just how great the new Heathrow Connect trains are it was time to see for myself if it was true. We were driven out to the test track to board the new Siemens Desiro train and, without sounding too much like a trainspotter, I must admit I was suitably impressed.

I was pushed towards the driver's seat and asked if I wanted a go at driving the train. I was a bit nervous at first as I did not want to be responsible for a multi-million pound train if anything went wrong but I was assured I would be fine.

I sat down in the driver's seat and was told to adjust it just as you would a car seat so that my feet reached the pedals and I could reach the controls.

I was then instructed to pull a lever towards me and the train began to accelerate.

I was told to pull the lever so that the train picked up speed and reached 80mph and then I was told to push the lever back. The train glided along the track and I was surprised to learn that it steers itself around the bends of the track and all I had to do was control the speed and brake.

We then hit the emergency stop button to see if everything was in order and thankfully the train came to a gradual stop.

After all the fun and games, we were given a guided tour of the new train which the passengers will be using and they were suitably impressive. The carriages are roomy and well-lit. Heathrow Connect is hoping to provide a service for thousands of Heathrow Airport staff who live in the borough and in the surrounding Thames Valley area. Currently there is no existing train service which operates from these areas straight to the airport.