Rail News

Government Invites Third Parties to Invest in the UK Rail Network

Private companies have been asked to come forward with ideas to deliver a new southern rail link to Heathrow Airport. The link will be one of the first projects under government plans to invite third parties – such as local authorities and private sector companies – to invest in the rail network, over and above the £47 billion the government is already planning for the next 5 years.

A call for ideas on market-led proposals to enhance the nation’s railways was launched today (20 March 2018) by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. There are already a number of consortia looking to construct the southern link to Heathrow.

UK Rail Network
Heathrow Express EMU. Photo Credit: Hugh Llewelyn (license)

New Tier of Investment in Rail Infrastructure

Access to the UK’s busiest airport is just one example of ambitious proposals that would generate significant improvements for passengers across the entire network, creating a new tier of investment in rail infrastructure from the private sector.

Related Post:  BLS Will Not Run Long-Distance Services in 2020 Due to SBB Complaint

Proposed schemes would need to make commercial sense, build on the government’s significant investment in rail infrastructure and have the needs of passengers at their heart, without the over-arching need for government support.

Mr Grayling said:

We are investing in the most significant modernisation of the UK rail network since Victorian times, and I want the knowledge and expertise of investors and local partners to contribute to delivering new connections, more services and better journeys for passengers.

This has already proved effective on a number of roads schemes in the UK. By encouraging innovative ideas and new investment on our railways, we can relieve the burden on taxpayers and fare payers with projects that match our transport needs. This can also support our economic and housing aspirations to ensure everyone benefits from an enhanced rail network.

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.

Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline

Today, the government also set out a new process for ensuring that taxpayer-funded rail projects are planned and scrutinised more effectively in the future.

Related Post:  German Centre for Rail Transport Research Opens

As part of the new Rail network enhancements pipeline, new rail schemes will be decided on in a staged – develop, design, deliver – approach to allow for greater assessment of feasibility and value for money.

The department is also continuing to work on developing plans for a western rail access to Heathrow.

Original press release credit: Department for Transportation


News categories

    15 Jul 2019
    Industry Insider Week 28 – 10 Must-Read Rail Stories
    01 Mar 2019
    All Sectors Covered at Railtex 2019 as Last Few Exhibitor Spaces Remain
    16 Oct 2018
    £1.3bn of Private Investment in UK Rail Industry During 2017-18
    03 Sep 2018
    Elizabeth Line: Opening of Central Section Delayed Until 2019
    31 Aug 2018
    UK: Department for Transport Responds to Draft Determination for Control Period 6
    16 Aug 2018
    UK: Network Rail Invests £725,000 as Part of the Great North Rail Project
    20 Jul 2018
    ‘HS2: Realising the Potential’ Report Describes Positive Economic Impact
    13 Jul 2018
    MECX Group Acquires Major Interest in PPS Rail Limited
    Subscribe to Railway-News
    Get the latest contract alerts and Railway News emailed directly to your inbox.

    We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously.

    Please tick to confirm you would like to receive emails we think may be of interest to you. We sometimes tailor the content you see to what we think you'll find interesting, and so monitor your interaction with our website and email content (find out more).