First rail line to be built with private money has five bidders
Five bidders are in the running to build the first railway line under new government proposals aiming to fund new tracks entirely with private cash.
Hong Kong-based transport giant MTR, which runs South Western Railway from Waterloo to the West Country with FirstGroup, and a scheme involving Baroness Valentine, the HS2 director, are among those vying to build a line linking towns and cities south of Heathrow directly with the airport.
Bidders were invited to submit proposals in March as part of plans by ministers to inject extra cash into the railways.
Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, has been vocal about his desire for rail access to Heathrow from the south, as improved transport links bolster the argument in favour of the third runway expansion proposals. First rail line to be built with private money has five bidders