Connecting people and businesses in the communities between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge.

The new railway would open up new journeys, cut travel times, ease congestion on local roads and brings jobs within reach of people living locally. East West Rail is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to connect the region with a new fast, affordable and sustainable public transport solution.


Unlocking the region’s potential

Businesses in the corridor which runs from Oxford to Cambridge help make the UK a global leader in life sciences, technology and innovation. The region has huge potential but is constrained by poor transport connectivity – restricting people’s opportunities and holding back progress. EWR is key to unlocking potential and sustainable growth.

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Greener for the environment

Putting environmental sustainability at the forefront of East West Rail presents opportunities that will benefit our natural environment, and the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve. Environmental sustainability is at the heart of our decision making and we continue to consider how the railway can improve to protect the environment.

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How East West Rail would benefit the region

    Across the proposed EWR route there would be connections to most north-south main lines, making it easier to travel further afield as well as locally. Via connecting services, you could also reach five international airports from the area. 

    With more choice and a reliable, faster alternative to private road vehicles, East West Rail would ease traffic on local roads and offer better connectivity around the area.

    The railway will make it easier for people to commute to different locations across the region, especially vibrant economic hubs such as Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge. That means more people can reach quality jobs across the route, expanding talent pools within commuter distance.

    Despite being a short distance apart, journeys from towns such as Milton Keynes and Bedford to Oxford and Cambridge currently take a long time because of congested roads and the lack of public transport. By offering rail travel as an alternative, EWR can help to ease traffic on local roads by reducing people’s reliance on cars. It will also give people more choice, offering more sustainable ways to travel and opportunities to relax or work while travelling. 

    Compared to a car journey, travelling by train can reduce emissions up to two thirds and our aim is to become a net zero carbon railway. EWR would help take cars and lorries off local roads resulting in cleaner air, safer roads and less congestion.

    Journeys between Oxford and Cambridge could be completed in around 1h 30 minutes with East West Rail, meaning those with friends and family across the route will be within easier reach For friends and family further afield, connections with most north-south main lines will provide new connections within this region and beyond.

    EWR would make it easier to reach cultural hotspots, areas of beauty and tourist attractions in the local area and beyond. It will open up new journeys because of its key intersections with most north-south main rail lines – including the East Coast Main Line, Midland Main Line and West Coast Main Line

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In the media

NCE v2

Stations nearly complete as testing gets underway on EWR stage 1

Winslow and Bletchley stations almost complete as construction on connection stage 1 approaches the final phase.

Rail Business Daily v9

David Hughes to take over as CEO of East West Rail

David will take up the role from 3rd June 2024.

Railway Technology

Intelligent way-finding for a more inclusive railway

EWR’s Innovation Manager, Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain, explains how innovation can help improve accessibility in rail.