East West Rail is a once in a generation opportunity to connect communities between Oxford and Cambridge with jobs, education and opportunities.

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 limiting their 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. 

East West Rail connects people to what matters most. 

Shaking hands

New job opportunities

The delivery of the line between Oxford and Bletchley/Milton Keynes is expected to directly employ 980 people and support around another 500 in the wider supply chain, bringing around £1.1bn into the local economy in 2021/22.

Old building

Better connections

East West Rail will make it quicker and easier to get around – connecting people to their jobs, homes and families, leisure destinations, as well as businesses to their employees, suppliers and customers

Green traffic light v2

Eased pressure on roads

By offering rail travel as an alternative to road, and ensuring it is well connected to other modes of transport, East West Rail can help to ease traffic on local roads.


Growing local economies

East West Rail will make places more appealing for people wanting to start and grow businesses – attracting and retaining the best talent in the region, while encouraging new investment to support the economy

Map of East West Rail connecting with education and job clusters

Faster journeys, regular trains

Travelling by train with East West Rail means faster journeys and regular trains.

We aim to develop an attractive, predictable ‘clock-face’ service at regular intervals. This means that trains would call at most stations at the same minutes past each hour all day, and that train services would be evenly spaced as far as possible. 

An East West Rail journey from Oxford to Cambridge would be considerably faster compared with other modes of transport. 

Oxford to Cambridge minimum and maximum journey time comparison by mode


Quickly moving train

Project objectives

    Improve east-west public transport connectivity by providing rail links between key urban areas (current and anticipated) in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc

    Stimulate economic growth, housing and employment through the provision of new, reliable and attractive inter-urban passenger train services in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc

    Meet initial forecast passenger demand and consider and plan for future passenger demand, making provision where it is affordable

    Contribute to improved journey times and inter-regional passenger connectivity by connecting with north-south routes and routes beyond Oxford and Cambridge

    Maintain current capacity for rail freight and make appropriate provision for anticipated future growth

    Provide a sustainable and value for money transport solution to support economic growth in the area.

Delivery of East West Rail is underway