Western Rail Link to Heathrow mothballed – won’t be revived…

western-rail-link-to-heathrow-mothballed-–-won’t-be-revived…

Western Rail Link to Heathrow mothballed – won’t be revived…

Western Rail Link to Heathrow mothballed – won’t be revived until airport’s finances improve
2021-04-23 10:32:00
Network Rail has now confirmed that staff working on the Western Rail Link to Heathrow  have been moved on to other projects, as there isn’t enough money to keep building it. The proposed link goes from the Great Western Main Line at Langley to Terminal 5.  Plans to build a £900M western rail link have been brought to a “controlled pause”, or mothballed, by Network Rail due to the impact of Covid-19 on the aviation industry and Heathrow’s finances. Heathrow is currently unable to commit any funding to the project due to its precarious financial position, with a £2 billion loss announced in February.  The indefinite delay to the rail link was disclosed in the minutes of the Network Rail board meeting on 20 and 21 January 2021, published in March. It is possible that the scheme could be resumed  at some future.  The DfT would periodically update its business case for the Western Rail Link to Heathrow, in the light of significant changes to both the aviation and rail sectors as a result of Covid. The delay will continue, if Heathrow does not get passengers – and earnings – back. The scheme will be pushed further down the priority list.  .Tweet   Mothballed Heathrow rail link will not be revived until airport’s finances pick up 23 APR, 2021 BY ROB HORGAN (New Civil Engineer) Network Rail staff working on the Western Rail Link to Heathrow have been moved on to other projects with no sign of the mothballed scheme restarting any time soon. Plans to build a £900M western rail link to Heathrow Airport have been brought to a “controlled pause” by Network Rail as a result of the impact of Covid-19 on the aviation industry, as revealed by NCE last month. Network Rail has now confirmed that staff working on the scheme have been moved on to other projects, until Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) is able to commit to its share of the project’s funding. HAL is currently unable to commit any funding to the project due to its precarious financial position as a result of passenger decline due to Covid-19. In February HAL announced a £2bn loss for the financial year, with passenger numbers down 22M in 2020 compared to the year before. NCE revealed in December that work on the scheme to provide west-facing direct rail access from the Great Western Mail Line (GWML) to Heathrow Terminal 5 was being pushed back by at least a year. However, the indefinite delay to the project was disclosed in the minutes of the Network Rail board meeting on 20 and 21 January this year, which were published in March. Until late last year, it was understood that the Department for Transport (DfT) had instructed Network Rail to its development consent order

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