The Department for Transport is to explore what it calls the “market appetite” for developing proposals to link Heathrow Airport from the south and the west by rail. DfT issued two Prior Information Notices (PINs) on May 8. The aim of both PINs is to explore how interested the wider market beyond Network Rail is for developing both links – including sharing the risk of the development process and exploring how “non-railway benefits” could provide funding for the projects.
They also seek to understand what expectations external parties may have of the process. The most developed of the two concepts is the Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLH) project, which comprises a new railway between Langley and Heathrow Airport Terminal 5. This project has been divided into two packages. Package A is an approximately 3.1-mile line, including a new twin-bore and separate cut-and-cover tunnel to link to the existing railway at Terminal 5. The DfT is considering private sector involvement in
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