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Govt Calls For Bids For Huge Heathrow Rail Project
The government has invited companies to bid on a huge rail project at Heathrow Airport, which is expected to cost between £700 and £900 million.
Earlier this week, the Department for Transport (DfT) published a prior information notice for two construction packages that includes the Western Rail Link, connecting Heathrow with the Great Western Main Line.
The 6.5 km line will consist of open railway and a new tunnel that joins existing underground links at Heathrow, stretching to Terminal 5. DfT wants investors to put their bids forward not just to help finance the project, but also deliver and maintain it.
Over the next two months, DfT will run industry engagement sessions to look at assumptions concerning the proposed public-private partnership (PPP) for the initiative, before opening up invitations to tender in July next year.
The link is expected to be ready for use by 2027, allowing eight years for construction to take place.
The second package is a £1.4 billion Southern Rail Link that will connect Surrey/Hampshire to Heathrow via Waterloo. This project, allowing the south better access to the travel hub, is not as developed as the Western Rail Link and experts are still determining if there is market appetite for it and what its route and infrastructure options are.
Dft plans to have an update on this 15 km package by autumn 2018, with intentions to publish a contract notice the following September.
Heathrow Airport is constantly evolving to meet the demands of its millions of passengers. Indeed, in 2017 alone, more than 78 million people travelled through the airport, with almost 214,000 using the facility every day. Therefore, gaining better access to the UK’s busiest airport would prove very useful to both UK travellers and international visitors.
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