The long campaigned-for East West Rail project looks on course for completion in under ten years’ time.
Rapid progress is being made on the section between Bicester and Oxford Parkway (Phase 1 of the Western Section), while evaluation of the Bedford to Cambridge Central Section is progressing with a view to it being considered for inclusion in the Government’s programme for Control Period 6 (2019 to 2024).
Phase 1 was originally proposed by Chiltern Railways as part of its Evergreen 3 project, and the train operator will be contributing £131 million towards the overall cost of £332m.
Ballast is being laid on the new south-to-west chord at Bicester, which will link Oxford with the Chiltern Main Line to London Marylebone. Meanwhile, much of the route west of Bicester has been totally rebuilt, with significant sections of double track already laid to permit 100mph running.
- For more information, see RAIL 762, published on November 26.