East West Rail phases 1 and 2 geographical map

UK: The Secretary of State for Transport has approved Network Rail’s application for a Transport & Works Act Order granting legal powers for work to begin on the Bicester – Bedford section of the East West Rail project to develop a rail corridor between Oxford and Cambridge.

East West Rail phases 1 and 2 schematic map

Phase 1 of the Western Section between Oxford and Bicester was completed in December 2016.

Phase 2 which was approved on February 4 involves track and signalling upgrades between Bicester, Bedford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, including reinstating a disused section of railway between Bletchley and Claydon Junction.

Bletchley East West Rail station impression

The planned service would have two trains/h each way between Oxford and Milton Keynes, stopping at Oxford Parkway, Bicester, Winslow and Bletchley. There would be one train per hour each way between Oxford and Bedford, calling at Oxford Parkway, Bicester, Winslow, Bletchley, Woburn Sands and Ridgmont, and one train per hour each way between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury calling at Bletchley, Winslow and Aylesbury Vale Parkway.

‘East West Rail will transform the way people travel within and across the region, supporting communities, boosting businesses, unlocking job opportunities, and getting people out of their cars’, said Councillor Mark Shaw, Chairman of the East West Rail Consortium of local authorities which produced the original business case for the scheme.