East West Rail: making meaningful connections
East West Rail is creating a new direct connection between Oxford and Cambridge, and beyond. Serving communities across the area, it will bring faster journey times and lower transport costs as well as easing pressure on local roads.
Improving everyday journeys makes the biggest difference. We're making it easier for you to get from home to work or wherever else life takes you.
Our mission at the East West Railway Company, is to deliver all of this safely, quickly and as cost-effectively as possible.
While our ways of working have changed, the team remains dedicated to creating your new connections, and the team are still working hard. We will continue to follow Government advice and keep you up do date as we adapt to a new way of working.
Delivery is underway
East West Rail is being built in phases, which will allow services to start running sooner. Once complete it will create a world class rail link connecting Oxford, Bicester, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Cambridge, and communities in between.
Oxford to Bicester
Western Section Phase 1
Completed on 12 December 2016, Phase 1 of the Western Section involved a double-track upgrade between Oxford and Bicester Village to enable future East West Rail services.
The upgrade also allowed for Chiltern Railways to begin running services from Oxford through to London via Bicester.
Bicester to Bedford
Western Section Phase 2
East West Rail Phase 2 reinstates and upgrades railway lines to enable new train services to run between Oxford and Milton Keynes, between Oxford and Bedford and between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury.
It also involves creating a new station at Winslow, building two new platforms at Bletchley, installing 8 new over-bridges, 22 new footbridges or subways, and making changes to 97 railway crossings.
Some enabling work has already been completed, and major work will begin in late 2019, with the first of these services to be introduced from the end of 2024.
Bedford to Cambridge
We're developing options for the Preferred Route Alignment of this section, which will link existing stations in Bedford and Cambridge with communities in Cambourne and the area north of Sandy, south of St Neots. Once these options are sufficiently advanced, we'll present them as part of a second non-statutory consultation, which follows on from our first public consultation in 2019.
Bedford to Cambridge community events - on hold
In light of the Government advice to avoid all non-essential social contact, the final six in a series of fourteen events planned for the Bedford-Cambridge section of East West Rail were put on hold. We intend to rebook them later in the year if the situation allows.
The team is extremely grateful to everyone who took the time to visit one of the events already, to share views or ask questions about the project.
Our team are in contact with your representatives – Parish Councillors, Ward Councillors, MPs and Local Authorities - and talking with them about the best ways to stay in touch with local communities during these extraordinary times.
Please rest assured that all our methods of communication remain open, and we’d love to stay in touch, so please do contact us if you have any questions or comments. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Land surveys underway
As we develop the project we need to undertake surveys in and around the area, to learn as much as we can about the land and local environmental features. Understanding these important characteristics at this early stage of the project will help us identify the potential benefits and impacts of the project and get the right design for the communities we’re serving and the environment.
We are working with local conservation bodies and we have begun engaging with local residents and landowners about these surveys, and initial surveys are now underway.
Benefits at a glance
Faster and cheaper journeys
East West Rail will provide a quicker, cheaper and more reliable alternative to the current transport options. Find out more about the route.
A boost for the local economy
New connections will make the area more commutable, which will open up new job opportunities, support local business and help the economy to grow.
While the line is being built, there will be jobs and contracts supporting our planning and delivery - and when that's all done there will be jobs operating the railway too. Read more about job opportunities.
Improved access to housing
By improving travel locally and across the UK, East West Rail will make it easier to live closer to work and support the creation of new communities. Read more about the benefits.
A realistic timeline for delivery
The connection between Oxford and Cambridge is expected to be complete mid 2020s, when construction of the Central Section is planned to finish and trains will run directly between Oxford and Cambridge. This follows the expected completion of the Western Section, with the first services expected to start running by the end of 2024.
These dates have been agreed between the East West Railway Company and the Department for Transport, but we are doing everything we can to safely accelerate planning and construction timelines to bring new services online sooner.
If, as the project progresses, it becomes necessary to change our delivery dates we will publish changes here. Alternatively, if you'd like regular updates, scroll down and sign up to our newsletter.