How the East West Rail project will make travel across Britain easier.

The East West Rail scheme will re-establish a rail link between Cambridge and Oxford to improve connections between East Anglia and central, southern and western England.

The proposed East West Rail route falls into three distinct sections:

  • Western Section (Oxford to Bedford and Milton Keynes to London Marylebone via Aylesbury)
  • Central Section (Bedford to Cambridge)
  • Eastern Section (Cambridge to Norwich and Ipswich)

Western Section

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.

  • Phase one was completed in December 2016 and upgraded the rail connection between Oxford and Bicester.
  • Phase two of this section was approved by the Secretary of State for Transport on 4 February 2020 allowing main construction work to start.

Visit our Western Section page for more information.

Central Section

The new Central Section will improve rail transport between the Bedford area and Cambridge and provide a direct rail service between Oxford and Cambridge. This section of the route is being undertaken by East West Railway. For more information about the Central Section and route options visit East West Railway's website.

Related documents

East West Rail – Central section – Engineering Summary Report
788 KB
February 2016
East West Rail – Central section – Summary
2 MB
March 2017

Eastern section

The Eastern Section includes the services east of Cambridge through to East Anglia and the east coast ports. A detailed study is underway that will explore options. For more information please visit the East West Rail Consortium’s website.

The East West Rail Consortium, a group of local authorities and strategic partners, was formed in 1995 with the objective of promoting and developing a strategic railway connecting East Anglia with central, southern and western England, to include the reinstatement of a Cambridge to Oxford rail link and an upgraded line to Aylesbury.

Watch the video below to find out more about the project.

Related pages