Project overview

East West Rail is a nationally significant railway project which aims to deliver much-needed transport connections for communities between Oxford and Cambridge by:

  • Upgrading an existing section of railway between Oxford and Bicester
  • Bringing back a section of railway between Bicester and Bletchley
  • Refurbishing existing railway between Bletchley and Bedford
  • Building brand new railway infrastructure between Bedford and Cambridge

Services will be introduced in three connection stages. You can learn more about them further down this page.

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East West Rail would connect people with the things that matter most

The vibrant communities between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge blend beautiful landscapes and a rich cultural heritage with globally renowned centres of education, business, technology and an increasingly dynamic business scene.

Together they contribute around £111 billion to the national economy each year.

While it’s a fantastic place to live and work, people are being let down by a lack of good east-west transport links. This is constraining growth and limiting people's ability to enjoy everything the area has to offer – from easy opportunities to commute between home and work, to days out with friends and family.

New services and destinations will be introduced over three connection stages

    East West Rail services will run from Oxford to Bletchley/Milton Keynes.

    Building on the work completed in Connection Stage 1, East West Rail services will then extend from Oxford to Bedford.

    This  stage completes the full East West Rail connection, and will see services run from Oxford to Cambridge via Bedford and Bletchley. 

    Take a look at our Connection Stages video which helps describe the connection stages in more detail.  

Construction is underway

Connection Stage 1

A major upgrade of the existing railway line from Oxford to Bicester was completed in December 2016, and services are already running on this section of the line (operated by Chiltern Railways). However, we've needed to construct the section of railway between Bicester and Bletchley, plus associated works, and this is almost complete with the aim of the first passenger services starting from 2025. EWR services will better connect businesses and academia in Oxford with their current and future workforce and help people in Oxford to access opportunities across the region.

Connection Stages 2 and 3

The second and third stages of East West Rail, from Oxford to Bedford and Oxford to Cambridge are still in planning, and are dependent on final government funding and approval. 

Here, you can find out more about the planning process, which stages two and three will be subject to.

In the Chancellor's Spring Budget announcement, it was announced that work on the Marston Vale Line will be accelerated in order to accommodate one train per hour between Oxford and Bedford by 2030. More details will be shared on this in due course.



Our role

At East West Railway Company our role is to oversee construction of the project between Oxford and Bletchley - which is now underway. We're also designing the section of railway between Bletchley and Cambridge, making sure we build a railway which is affordable, sustainable and at pace.

Learn more

Our delivery partners

East West Rail is a complex project, particularly given there are multiple sections of railway line and several delivery partners. Here is a quick guide to the partners helping us deliver East West Rail.

Learn more