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Work to build new railway in Bucks given go ahead

The Secretary of State for Transport has approved work starting on phase two of the East-West rail route

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 2:46pm 4th February 2020. (Updated at 3:03pm 4th February 2020) 3-minute read.

Work to build new railway in Bucks given go ahead

Work on East-West rail through Buckinghamshire has been given the thumbs up.

It is the first direct rail link in more than 50 years between Oxford, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, has approved Network Rails Transport and Works Order Application, giving permission for work to begin on the next phase. 

With phase 1 between Oxford and Bicester already complete, phase 2 involves track and signalling upgrades between Bicester, Bedford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes.

This includes reinstating a disused section of railway between Bletchley and Claydon Junction, north of Aylesbury Vale Parkway. It means that Aylesbury will now have rail links to Oxford and Milton Keynes and from there, further north via the West Coast Mainline.

The project also includes a station in Winslow.

Councillor Mark Shaw, Chairman of the East West Rail Consortium has said:

"This has to go down as one of the most exciting weeks in the history of East West Rail with approval to begin major construction of the western section coming just days after the preferred route between Bedford and Cambridge was announced. 

"East West Rail will transform the way people travel within and across the region, supporting communities, boosting businesses, unlocking job opportunities and getting people out of their cars."

The network rail website says that the exciting new journey opportunities will include:

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

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.” 

Once complete, phase 2 of East West Rail would connect communities and businesses between Oxford and Bedford, and Milton Keynes and Aylesbury, with:

  • Two trains per hour each way between Oxford and Milton Keynes
  • One train per hour each way between Oxford and Bedford
  • One train per hour each way between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury


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