Latest Rail News

20.03.18

New Heathrow southern rail link could be funded entirely by private sector

The Department for Transport has today revealed plans for a new southern rail link between Waterloo station and Heathrow Airport, which could be built entirely by private-sector firms.

It would be one of the first major infrastructure projects to be developed outside the government’s pre-prepared CP6 plans and signals a willingness to begin commissioning upgrades to the rail network through the private sector.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has called on firms to submit bids for the new 8-mile line, which is reported to cost as much as £1.5bn and would be built separately from Network Rail.

If a private firm was to be chosen for the project, it would mean they own the track and would apply access charges in order to draw a profit from the line.

Grayling likened the plans to a number of road infrastructure schemes in the UK which had been completed privately and offered “innovative ideas” and relieve the burden on public funds.

“This can also support our economic and housing aspirations to ensure everyone benefits from an enhanced rail network,” the secretary of state said.

“Heathrow is a perfect example of where this can make a real difference. Such schemes will help ensure the benefits of our major international hub are even more accessible to those across the west and south of the UK, providing vital links for travellers and exporters and attracting inward investment.”

While Network Rail announced a total of £35bn of government funding over the course of CP6, almost none of the investment was earmarked for completely new projects, meaning it is likely that much of the future infrastructure in the UK will work under the private investment model.

The news follows last week’s announcement that there will be special premium charges on the Elizabeth Line to Heathrow, although TfL said that prices across the rest of the line will be the same as similar journeys on the tube.

Top images: AmandaLewis

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

18/10/2019NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

Switch up your playlist with the first #WeAreRTM podcast, gain exclusive insight into the leaders running the rail industry their opinions on recent headlines, visions for the future and meet the personalities behind the job titles. It's no... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >