East West Rail – Western Section

How this section of the East West Rail project will provide new journey opportunities between central, southern and western England

Development of this section – in two phases – will introduce direct rail passenger services between Bedford and Oxford, Milton Keynes and Oxford, and Milton Keynes and London Marylebone via Aylesbury.

Exciting new journey opportunities will include:

  • Oxford and Milton Keynes, stopping at Oxford Parkway, Bicester, Winslow and Bletchley.
  • Oxford and Bedford: stopping at Oxford Parkway, Bicester, Winslow, Bletchley, Woburn Sands and Ridgmont.
  • Milton Keynes to Aylesbury with stops anticipated at  Aylesbury Vale Parkway,  Bletchley and Winslow. For London Marylebone passengers can travel from Aylesbury via the Amersham or High Wycombe route.
Western section phase 1 and 2 map

Western Section Phase 1

This phase completed in December 2016 and upgraded the rail connection between Oxford and Bicester. The first new section of railway, connecting Oxford Parkway and Bicester, opened in October 2015, with the section linking Oxford and Oxford Parkway completing in December 2016.

The project is part of the Chiltern Railways scheme to provide more choice for passengers wanting to travel from Oxford to London by introducing a new service between Oxford and London Marylebone.

Noise and vibration reports for phase 1

Western Section Phase 2

Phase 2 of the Western Section will upgrade and reconstruct existing and mothballed (no longer in use) sections of line that link Bedford with Bicester, and Milton Keynes with Princes Risborough. This phase is being funded by the Department for Transport with a contribution from the East West Rail Consortium.

This improvement project will mean that passengers and freight services can make the journey between Bedford on the Midland Mainline and Bicester on the Chiltern Mainline without needing to travel via London. It will also link Milton Keynes on the West Coast Mainline with London Marylebone on the Chiltern Mainline via Aylesbury.

Public consultation

The first public consultation for the Western Section Phase 2 took place in September and October 2015 with a  second round of public consultation taking place from 30 June – 11 August 2017.  This was open to all and invited people to view, discuss and give feedback on our plans.

Since the second  round of consultation we made some changes to the scope and delivery of the scheme in some areas, and held a third round of public consultation to share these updates. This took place from 12 January – 9 February 2018.

A summary of the feedback submitted during consultation is included in the Consultation Report which forms part of the Transport and Works Act Order application documents.

Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO)

Following our public consultations, we prepared a TWAO application which was submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport on 27 July 2018.  There followed a statutory period in which any letters of support or objections could be made to the Secretary of State for Transport by 7 September. We will now review these and a public inquiry is likely to be held in the spring.

For further information on the TWAO process please contact:

Secretary of State for Transport c/o Transport and Works Act Orders Unit, General Counsel's Office, Department for Transport, Zone 1/18, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 4DR.

You can also contact them by email: transportandworksact@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Application documents

Contact us

If you have any questions you can email us ewrpublicinformation@networkrail.co.uk or call our 24-hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41.