The Department for Transport is to hold a series of engagement events to test market interest in funding western and souhern rail links to Heathrow.
The proposed link to the West Coast Main Line through a tunnel is the subject of a current Network Rail consultation, and has estimated costs of £900m. The £1.4bn Southern Rail Link which involves a considerably longer tunnel, is less advanced, and is also being promoted by Heathrow Southern Rail, a private sector organisation. It would provide links from Waterloo/Clapham Junction, and Woking/Guildford.
Both projects would be delivered with private sector involvement in financing, delivery and maintenance.
The industry engagement sessions in May, June and July 2018 are designed to test interest, and to test the assumptions in a Public Private Partnership model. It is likely that a tender for the western access would be published in July 2019, with September the target date for southern access.