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DfT to sound out market for £900M Heathrow rail upgrade

The Department of Transport (DfT) has published a prior information notice for companies to deliver two construction packages for a proposed Western Rail Link to Heathrow.

A prior information notice has started to explore the market appetite for investment and participation in the 6.5km Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLtH), which includes a new 5km tunnel.

The £900M project would see the Western Rail Link to Heathrow leave the main line between Langley and Iver. It would then descend underneath the main railway line into a cutting before entering a new twin-bored, cut-and-cover 5km tunnel. The tunnel would pass under Richings Park and Colnbrook and then merge with existing rail lines underground at Heathrow Terminal Five.

A 5km rail link would connect into existing tunnels at Heathrow’s Terminal Five and the line itself would be the first railway line entirely funded by private means. Works to connect the new tunnel to the GWML, at a new Langley Junction, would be funded by Network Rail.

western rail link to heathrow map

western rail link to heathrow map

An estimated date of publication of a contract notice is July 2019.

DfT would like to hear from interested parties for the financing, construction, maintenance, provision of tunnel boring machines, materials and equipment supply, and other specialist works related to rail and tunnels construction.

Currently the plan is to submit a Development Consent Order application to the Planning Inspectorate in 2019, with construction starting in Network Rail’s Control Period 6 (the funding period 2019 to 2024) and to be completed by 2027.


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