12:00PM, Friday 08 September 2017
A privately funded project which aims to revolutionise train travel in Windsor has submitted a feasibility study to Network Rail.
The Windsor Link Railway (WLR) proposes connecting Slough railway station to London Waterloo with trains running via Windsor.
The ambitious plans, which could cost more than £200m, would also see a tunnel introduced under Windsor’s existing viaduct which trains would travel through before arriving at a newly built station in the town.
For the project to progress to the next stage, it needs to pass through Network Rail’s Governance for Railway Investment Projects (GRIP) process.
WLR managing director, former Royal Borough councillor George Bathurst, told the Express that problems including the fact that trains running out of Windsor and Slough currently run on different power sources had been addressed by the completed feasibility study.
Engineering consultants Pell Frischmann, who prepared the report known as GRIP 2, said: “While there are areas of complexity within the scheme, they are all capable of being solved by more than one solution.
“This means that the risk of the scheme from an engineering design and construction perspective is low.”
George told the Express that solutions included using bi-mode technology which allows trains to use different power sources.
Back in July, WLR was listed in The Hansford Review which looks at third party investment projects in the nation’s railways.
George added: “I think we’ve got a Secretary of State (MP Chris Grayling) who has been much keener than any of his predecessors to make private investment in the railways a reality.
“I think he’s been more active. There’s been cross-party support for getting new revenue into the railways but there’s a difference between saying that and making it happen.”
WLR aims to decide on a final option on which track layouts to use for its project in the next 12 months.
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