The proposed rail link will enable passengers from the west of England to travel directly to Heathrow Airport from Reading and Slough without having to change at London Paddington.
Jacobs will provide consultancy and design services for the project over the next 27 months.
Under the terms of the contract, Jacobs is supporting Network Rail’s development consent order (DCO) submission. The initial project work is focused on defining a preferred option to take through consultation. Once a recommendation is agreed, Jacobs’ role is to lead the multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental design component to an approval-in-principle level of design for the new 3.1 mile tunnelled route. This includes completing the environmental impact assessment to produce the scheme’s environmental statement.
Bob Duff, Jacobs senior vice president for buildings and infrastructure, said: “We started supporting Network Rail on its feasibility plans for this essential rail link in October 2011. Being able to continue our collaboration in an effort to help Network Rail realize the extensive social, economic and environmental goals of this important project is exciting. We are leveraging our experience with the DCO process to support the delivery of sustainable design and compelling application."