Graham Cross, Chief Executive of Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL), writes:
“The pace of development is accelerating since the invitation from Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on 20 March 2018 for private sector investment proposals for southern rail access to Heathrow.”

Mr Grayling stated that southern access to Heathrow is one of the first projects for which the UK Government is seeking market led proposals for improving the main line rail network in Great Britain. On 8 May 2018, the Government took the next step by issuing a Prior Information Notice seeking to develop market-led proposals for a new rail link connecting Heathrow Airport from the south with Waterloo and Surrey/ Hampshire. HSRL made a major contribution to the Government’s Market Sounding exercise over the summer of 2018 and is looking forward to submitting its proposal to the Department for Transport, with a view to becoming the exclusive developer of a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow.

HSRL’s position was encapsulated as follows by our Chair, Baroness Jo Valentine:
‘We welcome the Transport Secretary’s invitation and stand ready to fulfil this once in a generation opportunity to open up Heathrow to train services from London and the south of England whilst also transforming connectivity across the whole region. We want to put many more communities within easy reach of the UK’s only hub airport by train, enabling them to reap economic benefits whilst at the same time reducing road congestion and improving air quality.’

HSRL’s scheme for southern rail access to Heathrow is well developed, and the extensive technical and financial work carried out by AECOM and the rest of our expert team confirms it is viable, deliverable and affordable. Provided good momentum is maintained we expect the new rail link will be open to passengers between 2025 and 2027.