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Good News as Transport Minister Grants Permission for East-West Rail's Western Section to be Completed

February 20, 2020 12:04 PM

Western Section East West Rail (East West Rail Co)The first direct rail link in more than 50 years between Oxford, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury has been given the green light for further work.

At the beginning of the month (4 February, 2020) the Secretary of State for Transport approved Network Rail's Transport & Works Act Order application. This means that permission has been granted for work to begin on Phase 2 of the Western Section of East West Rail.

This will connect communities and businesses between Oxford and Bedford, and Milton Keynes and Aylesbury.

  • It will provide:
  • 2 trains per hour each way between Oxford and Milton Keynes
  • 1 train per hour each way between Oxford and Bedford
  • 1 train per hour each way between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury

and will also connect the Great Western Main Line, the Chiltern Main Line, the West Coast Main Line and the Midland Main Line - very important cross-country rail links.

The first services are expected to run in 2023.

In addition to stimulation employment and economic growth, it will encourage people out of their cars and onto public transport, adding to the sustainability of the areas it serves.

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail's North West & Central Region, said: "Building a new railway would transform connectivity and journey times across the heart of the country. East West Rail promises to provide a greener, low carbon transport system which will bring huge benefits to passengers and businesses - driving economic growth and creating opportunities for housing and new jobs."

Phase 1 of the Western Section was completed in December 2016 and delivers services between between Oxford and Bicester. Together with a new stretch of track and points at Bicester through trains can now operate on a second route between Oxford and London.

This posting is based on a press release from Network Rail and uses a route diagram from the East West Rail Alliance