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.

View 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 Aylesbury. 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.

A second  round of consultation was held during July and August and some changes to the scope and delivery of the project were made in some areas.  A third round of consultation was held to update everyone on these changes in January and February 2018.  We thank everyone who responded to the consultation and feedback will be reviewed and assessed and used to form the final scheme before it is submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport .