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.

Scheme map of the rail link between Cambridge and Oxford

Services will be introduced in three “Connection Stages”

  • Connection Stage One: Services will run from Oxford to Bletchley/Milton Keynes
  • Connection Stage Two: Building on the work completed in Connection Stage One, services will extend from Oxford to Bedford
  • Connection Stage three: This stage completes the full East West Rail connection, and will see services run from Oxford to Cambridge via Bedford and Bletchley.

By delivering the project in this way, we can create real benefits: 

  • Minimise disruption for local communities – we are looking to find the best way to reduce the length and severity of disruption for local communities
  • Deliver the best value for taxpayers – by properly integrating the whole railway all the way from planning to operations we will find efficiencies and cost saving for the taxpayer
  • Increase reliability of our services – the project is about more than just laying down steel and concrete: we’re thinking about how timetables and connections with other parts of the rail network will impact your journeys, so we can be confident of delivering reliable services from day one.

Connection Stage one

Development of this section – in two phases – will introduce direct rail passenger services between Oxford and Bletchley/Milton Keynes.

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.

More information on Chiltern Services between Oxford and London can be found on the Chiltern Railways website.

Noise and vibration reports for phase 1

Phase 2

Map of Connection Stage One – Bicester to Bletchley/Milton Keynes

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

Find out more about the project

Connection Stages two and three

Connection Stages Two and Three are being developed by the East West Rail Company.

Find out more