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Contract awarded for East West Rail Phase 2

Atkins, Laing O’Rourke and VolkerRail have been awarded an alliancing contract for the design and construction of the East West Rail Phase 2 (EWR2) scheme.

Phase 2 will link Oxford to Bedford and Milton Keynes, with trains running via Bletchley. Trains will also be able to run between Milton Keynes and London Marylebone via Aylesbury.

Andy Milne, Network Rail’s senior programme manager and alliance manager, said: “We are an alliance of four equal parts working as one team. Never before on a rail project of this size has an alliance been convened this early. By scoping all aspects of the project now we will see potential problems early and be able to mitigate them. The earlier we do this work the greater value for taxpayers’ money we can deliver.”

NR said that currently the Alliance is tasked with continuing the development of the outline design and construction programme for the project.

Once this is complete, EWR2 partners will consult with the Department for Transport to agree the final design scope, construction timetable and costs. The aim is to submit an application for a Transport & Works Act Order in autumn 2016.

The plans include a new station at Winslow, two new platforms at Bletchley, construction of 18 new overbridges, construction of 22 new footbridges/subways and changes to 97 railway crossings.

Once complete, this work would enable the following train journeys: Oxford-Milton Keynes (calling at Oxford Parkway, Bicester, Winslow and Bletchley); Oxford-Bedford (calling at Oxford Parkway, Bicester, Winslow, Bletchley, Woburn Sands and Ridgmont); Milton Keynes-Aylesbury-London Marylebone (an extension of the existing service between Marylebone and Aylesbury Vale Parkway, with stops anticipated at Bletchley, Winslow, Princes Risborough and High Wycombe); plus increased capacity for freight services. 

  • For more on this, read RAIL 790, published on December 9. 

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  • Dave Crowhurst - 04/12/2015 16:47

    Isn't this how any project should be carried out! Scoping the requirements, designing the solution, identify issues, carry out risk analysis of possible issues BEFORE starting the construction !?! Maybe a 'learning opportunity’ for those on the Great Western Electrification!

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 04/12/2015 22:57

    Also a new railway line to be constructed to Cambridge which will link Cambridge and of course Stansted Airport, Norwich and Ipswich in East Anglia to Bedford, Milton Keynes and eventually Oxford and Reading with Oxford Parkway and Bicester Village already opened. Other new station are also to be planned. It will mean that for the 1st time since the railway line was axed by the Beeching Axe is to be reopened for both passenger trains and freight trains avoiding London bypassing through Bedford, Bletchley and into Oxford linking with the main line to Evesham, Banbury and Cotswolds. Plus the East-West rail link will cut through the Chilterns and South Midlands from East Anglia to the WestCountry and beyond.

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    • DavidB_ - 07/12/2015 00:55

      Don't get too ahead of yourself, reinstating the line beyond Bedford is a tad more difficult. Plans have not been finalised yet.

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  • Noam Bleicher - 05/12/2015 09:49

    Good article, but when will the Oxford-MK service start please? I've read various dates between 2019 and 2022.

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