THE businessman behind the controversial Windsor Link rail plan believes it could be back on track - two months after a seemingly fatal rejection by the Government.

George Bathurst's £125million plan involves the creation of a new 'all in one station' in the town to replace Windsor's existing Riverside and Central stations.

It would create a direct line from Slough through Windsor via a tunnel towards Staines and Waterloo, the route eventually being linked directly to Heathrow.

After eight years of planning he presented it to the Government before Christmas to tie in with its call for 'market led' proposals, only to have it rejected by the Department of Transport.

Last Friday though Mr Bathurst received a letter from the Department which lifted his spirits, saying the first phase of his scheme had been assessed again. This is the part that would link Slough to Staines and Waterloo through Windsor and the letter described it as a 'scheme which creates the potential for town development by removing the rail corridor from the surface', adding that 'this could generate significant local benefit'.

Mr Bathurst says he believes the Government could be softening its attitude. He said: "They are feeling their way - their attitude is evolving as they start to get used to market led proposals.

"For 100 years only government have taken on major plans like this - this is something new."

Mr Bathurst says he may resubmit the scheme.

Back at Christmas Mr Bathurst, who lives in Trinity Place, Windsor, admitted he was 'really disappointed' with the Government's initial rejection.

The former Royal Borough councillor said: "It obviously was not helpful and some people like to kick you when you are down. It was a myth that former colleagues supported me because I was on the council with them.

"But with long term projects like this you have to accept setbacks."

He believes Windsor has transport problems not experienced by surrounding towns, saying: "People who attend public meetings to protest new plans are not the ones you actually see on 6am train."

He said hoped the plan could be up and running within five years.