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Author Topic: Reading to Heathrow link  (Read 2241 times)
grahame
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« on: September 22, 2020, 09:45:41 pm »

I'm sure there's a thread on this somewhere ... if any member can find it and post a link, I'll merge them.

From the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)

Quote
Heathrow rail link to be delayed by up to two years

Plans for a rail link between the Great Western mainline and Heathrow Airport will be delayed by up to two years.

A planning application for the long-anticipated scheme, which would allow people living to the west of Heathrow to travel direct to the airport, had been expected this year.

But Network Rail said the proposal had been delayed by the impact of Covid-19.

Reading Borough Council's lead for transport Tony Page described the delay as "deplorable".

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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2020, 10:15:22 pm »

This thread starts slightly confusingly, but seems to settle on WRATH... http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=9171.msg94187#msg94187
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2020, 10:27:13 pm »

This thread starts slightly confusingly, but seems to settle on WRATH... http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=9171.msg94187#msg94187

Thanks for that - not an easy one to find (for me, anyway!) .. I'll merge in the morning
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stuving
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2020, 10:40:33 pm »

This thread starts slightly confusingly, but seems to settle on WRATH... http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=9171.msg94187#msg94187

There's also what is really a continuation of that one in http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=15298.0 (also a bit confusing as it was a merger). This does not seem to even have a link back to the earlier one.
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stuving
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 11:16:33 pm »

There's no sign of that announcement on NR» (Network Rail - home page)'s site (as usual). And just in case you were feeling confusion-deprived ... this is dated yesterday, from New Civil Engineer:
Quote
Network Rail is seeking views on its approach to the proposed Western Rail Link to Heathrow project.

According to a periodic indicative notice published this week, this will support the project?s Commercial Strategy Review as the rail operator considers whether its strategy is ?appropriate in view of current market conditions?.

The market engagement exercise and request for information will focus on how the proposed procurement strategy is viewed, the capacity and capability in the market and potential bidding models to deliver the work packages.
...

So what's a "periodic indicative notice" then? It's something in the official contracting system. I can only find that term in the Utilities Contracts Regulations, but then the definition of "utility" does include railway "public bodies". But it sounds rather like another bit of the public contracts system, called a Prior Information Notice!

And then there's Heathrow Southern Railway Ltd, who want the government?s new Transport Acceleration Unit to do ... I wonder what?
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autotank
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2020, 09:14:29 am »

So what is all of the work going on the the field on the down side of the line between Langley and Iver? I was hoping it was related to this scheme, but if planning hasn't been approved then presumably not. This got the go ahead 5+ years ago - disappointing that planning hasn't even been gained yet for what is more or less a totally underground railway.
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stuving
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2020, 12:38:45 pm »

So what is all of the work going on the the field on the down side of the line between Langley and Iver? I was hoping it was related to this scheme, but if planning hasn't been approved then presumably not. This got the go ahead 5+ years ago - disappointing that planning hasn't even been gained yet for what is more or less a totally underground railway.

I think that's Cemex's "North Park" quarry. They got approval in 2016/17 (Buckinghamshire County Council application CM/51/16) to extract aggregates, then refill with ... other less useful stuff. They made a big point in their application that, once NR» (Network Rail - home page) had buried a railway, extraction would be impossible (the portal is in the middle of the Cemex site). So they proposed a six-year extraction phase, followed by 3 years of refilling, which could be combined with NR building their tunnel. The approval was conditional on cooperating with WRAtH (Western Rail Access to Heathrow).

I guess that would mean building the tunnel above ground, then raising the ground level so it becomes a proper tunnel. How Cemex are getting on in terms of timescale I don't know, but I doubt there's much chance of WRAtH being delayed by it!
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stuving
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2021, 04:32:49 pm »

If you want to follow what going on - little though that may be just now - there are notes of project update meetings with NR» (Network Rail - home page) on the Planning Inspectorate website. The are under "section 51 advice", since in theory NR are asking for the PI's approval of how they are proceeding. Currently, they are producing all the documents for the DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) itself.

The latest dates - already out of date, in that the new scoping report hasn't visibly gone in - are from the 2nd October meeting:
Quote
Future programme

The Applicant stated that it expected to submit its new Scoping Report in November 2020. A second round of Statutory Consultation would follow in spring 2021 with the anticipated submission of the DCO application in November 2021. In respect of the new Scoping Report, the Inspectorate noted that advanced warning of the actual submission date would be welcomed. The Inspectorate reminded the Applicant that a shapefile must be submitted at least 10 days in advance of submission of the new Scoping Report.

The Applicant anticipated enabling works would commence in 2024, with the main works being carried out in 2025. In addition, the Applicant provided provisional dates for commissioning and operation of the Proposed Development of 2029 and 2030 respectively.
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2021, 08:06:47 pm »

From New Civil Engineer

Quote
A £900M western rail link to London's Heathrow Airport could be funded by the taxpayer, because the airport can no longer afford to stump up the cash.

Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris has confirmed that he will ask the Treasury to pay for part of the line between Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and main railway line to the west of England and Wales.

The airport had agreed to pay for the majority of the transport link before withdrawing its pledge after a decline in revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

NCE revealed in March that work on the scheme to provide west-facing direct rail access from the Great Western Mail Line (GWML (Great Western Main Line)) to Heathrow Terminal 5 was being brought to a “controlled pause” due to a lack of funding.
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