East West Rail is a major project to establish a strategic railway connecting East Anglia with Central, Southern and Western England. In particular, it plans to build (or rebuild) a new line linking Oxford and Cambridge via Bicester, Milton Keynes (at Bletchley) and Bedford, largely using the trackbed of the former Varsity Line. Thus it provides a route between any or all of the Great Western, Chiltern, West Coast, Midland, East Coast, West Anglia and Great Eastern main lines, avoiding London. The new line will provide a route for potential new services between Southampton Central and Ipswich or Norwich via Reading, Didcot and Ely, using existing onward lines. The western section from Oxford to Bedford was approved by the government in November 2011, with completion of this section expected[a] by 2025. As of January 2019, the Company aims to complete the Central section by "the mid 2020s". Electrification of the line is not planned.
The plan is divided into three sections:
It was initially promoted (as the East West Rail Link) by the East-West Rail Consortium, a consortium of local authorities and interested bodies along the route. Since 2013 it been adopted by the Department for Transport and, in late 2017, the Government announced that will be delivered by a private sector consortium, the East West Railway Company, (rather than Network Rail).
Since December 2016 phase 1 of the western section, the segment from Oxford via Bicester Village to the junction with the Chiltern Main Line is operational. The public inquiry for phase 2 (of the western section) began in February 2019. On 28 January 2019 the East West Railway Company announced a consultation exercise on five potential routes for the central section.
|East West Rail|
(Logo licensed by EWR Ltd under CCbyA 4.0)
|Proposer||East West Rail Consortium|
|Website||East West Railway Company|
|Cost estimate||£270 million (Oxford/Aylesbury – Bedford)|
£530 million (whole route)
|Completion date||late 2023 (Oxford – Bedford)|
"mid 2020s" (Bedford – Cambridge)
East West Rail
The link is promoted by the East West Rail Consortium, which was initiated by Ipswich Borough Council in 1995 and has since been chaired by both Buckinghamshire County Council and Oxfordshire County Council. Ipswich Council and its neighbours were particularly concerned about poor services within East Anglia and the links to London. Some success was achieved east of Cambridge, at least partly through the efforts of the group.
In May 2006 the Department of Transport announced specific plans for Bletchley railway station. The document stated that "it is likely" that Bletchley area renewals and network simplification will take place "by 2010", "to include a high-level platform" for Bedford trains. "The network will be suitable for the later addition of any 'East-West' link to and from Oxford and for the operation of through links from either Oxford or Bedford to and from Milton Keynes".
In March 2007, a study (funded by the East West Rail Consortium) declared at p. 38, 5.1 A very good operating and business case exists for [a "base case" for a] 2 trains per hour passenger service between Oxford and Milton Keynes, and an operating case also exists for the Aylesbury spur which would bring further economic and strategic advantages to the subregion. Capital cost for the base case is between £100m – £135m. The base case and the Aylesbury options should be further considered in the next phase of work.
In April 2008, the Department for Transport responded to an e-petition for support on East West Rail by reiterating that they would encourage private funding.
In the 2011 Autumn Statement by Chancellor George Osborne, the East West railway between Oxford, Aylesbury Vale Parkway and Bedford was adopted by the Department for Transport, and £270 million was committed to the scheme to fund its development. This was confirmed in July 2012 when the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, announced that the Western section of East West Rail (EWR) would be part of the government's strategy for rail transport.
The western section will link Oxford and Bedford via Bletchley, with connections to the West Coast Main Line and the Midland Main Line. It will use the Oxford–Bicester line, a renovated section of the Varsity Line from Bicester to Bletchley, and finally the Marston Vale line from Bletchley to Bedford. The existing Cherwell Valley line will form a link to the Great Western main line at Didcot Parkway railway station. Passenger services to Milton Keynes Central (via the WCML) and Aylesbury (via the existing freight line from Claydon Junction) were also planned.
The first part of this work, re-doubling the Oxford–Bicester line and connecting it to the Chiltern Main Line, was largely completed in 2015 (and fully operational from December 2016); the remaining work from Bicester (and Aylesbury) to Bedford has been greatly delayed, and is scheduled for completion in 2024.
In February 2008 the consortium published a business case for re-opening the western section of the route funded by Milton Keynes Partnership (MKP), South East England Regional Assembly, South East England Development Agency and the consortium.
In March 2008, a £2 million engineering survey of the existing and removed tracks was launched, and those undertaking the engineering survey stated that a 100 mph (160 km/h) link between Oxford and Bletchley could be achieved for around £190 million. If construction had started in 2009 as they then hoped, the upgraded / re-opened line could have been in service by 2012.
In November 2008 the Milton Keynes Partnership, Chiltern Railways and the consortium formally agreed to take their proposals forward together. Chiltern Railways would take the lead on the upgrading of the Oxford-Bicester section with its Project Evergreen 3 and the Milton Keynes Partnership would lead for the rest of the line to Bletchley.
In December 2008 the commissioning of a further report, to take the project forward to GRIP Stage 4 (single option selection), was announced. This was to encompass work to analyse the additional requirements (as outlined above), not previously considered in detail, to GRIP Stage 3 equivalent, as well as revisiting the future requirements for the existing Bletchley-Bedford line.
According to section 3 of the October 2008 Progress report, during 2008 a number of proposals from other parties emerged which might have a significant impact on the project:
Section 3 also states that there is some uncertainty over various parties' requirements for the existing Bletchley-Bedford railway.
Infrastructural assessment investigations would be taken forward in parallel with this work funded by £2 million of contribution, half directly by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the other half in varying proportions from various local authorities' Growth Area Funding allocation. Work to clear vegetation from the redundant section of line for the infrastructure assessment started in January 2009.
The February 2008 report identified two options defined from different perspectives, the "Regional Rail" option (the best commercial case) and the "Local Rail" option (as identified by the requirements mainly of local authorities and business interests). As part of existing upgrades, a new bay platform has been provided at Milton Keynes Central, which will be able to receive the local services. The infrastructure between Oxford and Bletchley required by both options is essentially the same. The spur from Calvert to Aylesbury is only included in the Local option, though about 20% of southern part of the route has already been reinstated under the Aylesbury Vale Parkway project. The line from north of Wolvercote Tunnel (just north of Oxford) through Bicester to Bletchley would be enabled for 100 mph (160 km/h) double-track running. The Oxford–Wolvercote Tunnel section, and the Aylesbury–Calvert line if also provided, would be 90 mph (140 km/h) single-track working. A new high-level platform would be provided at Bletchley, with new stations (under the Local option only) at Winslow and Newton Longville.
As of February 2019, there are no funded plans for north-to-east chords at Bicester (to enable a direct Banbury – Bletchley service) or at Bletchley (to enable a direct Milton Keynes Central – Bedford service).
Both options would see the present hourly "all stations" stopping service between Bletchley and Bedford reduced to every two hours (apparently conflicting with the stated aim of improving stopping services), but with an additional hourly semi-fast service stopping only at Woburn Sands. Both options would provide two services per hour over the Oxford-Bletchley section: under the Regional option, both services would serve Milton Keynes Central via the West Coast Main Line; under the Local option there would be more stops than the semi-fast Regional Rail service, and one service would continue semi-fast to Bedford instead, with an additional Milton Keynes Central train serving Aylesbury via Bletchley. A further possible hybrid option was identified based on the Regional Rail option, but with the additional hourly train serving Aylesbury working through to Bedford.
Following a joint travelling exhibition by the Consortium, Milton Keynes Partnership and Chiltern Railways in April 2009 the May EWRC 2009 publicity leaflet and current (June 2004) website cite the following proposed service patterns:
Additionally, since December 2016, Chiltern Railways have provided 2tph between Oxford and London Marylebone using the section between Oxford and Bicester as part of Chiltern's Evergreen 3 project. The necessary chord between the Oxford–Bletchley line and the Chiltern Main Line has been completed and the service commenced [initially from Oxford Parkway] on 26 October 2015.
In the 2011 Autumn Statement by Chancellor George Osborne, the East West railway between Oxford, Aylesbury Vale Parkway and Bedford was approved and funded, with £270 million committed to the scheme. A new station was to open at Winslow and a high-level station built at Bletchley. The Bicester Village to Bletchley and the Aylesbury to Claydon Junction sections were to be upgraded or built to a 90-100 mph line speed. At that stage it was due for completion in 2019.
On 16 July 2012 the East-West Rail Consortium made the following announcement:
"The Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon Justine Greening MP, today announced that the Western section of East West Rail (EWR) will be part of the government's strategy for rail transport, confirming not only funding for the project but also for electrification of the Oxford to Bedford part of the route. EWR will provide an electric link between the electrified Great Western, West Coast and Midland main lines. This further investment in the project upgrades it to form a key part of the new ‘Electric Spine’ passenger and freight route between the South Coast, the East Midlands and Yorkshire".
On 10 January 2013 Network Rail announced its intention to construct the western section between Bedford and Oxford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, as part of their five-year strategic business plan (2014–2019). The target date for train services to be operational on this section was December 2017. Electrification of the line between Oxford and Bedford was also included in the budget and target completion date was March 2017.
In November 2013 the East West Rail Consortium pledged an additional £45 million to the project. The chair of the East West Rail joint delivery board, Councillor Janet Blake presented a letter to Transport Minister Philip Hammond, confirming the financial commitment from the Board.
In March 2014 Carillion and Buckingham Group announced that they were to undertake construction of the new link, commencing with the Oxford to Bicester stretch, with a contract value of £87 million, but later that month Network Rail stated that there would be a delay in the completion of the line by two years until 2019.
Early in April 2014 Network Rail acknowledged that the busy level crossing in Milton Keynes between Woburn Sands and Wavendon is presenting "a headache". The report goes on to say that the crossing near Bow Brickhill (Brickhill Street in Milton Keynes to the A5) will be replaced with a bridge.
In May 2014 Network Rail announced that the line will be opened to 125 mph (200 km/h) running, the current top speed for InterCity services. It is proposed that CrossCountry services, along with Chiltern Railways and London Northwestern Railway services will use the route.
In July 2015 Sir Peter Hendy was appointed Chairman of Network Rail "and asked by the Secretary of State to conduct a thorough review of the enhancement programme in England & Wales to see what can be delivered in an affordable and timely way within the funding period to 2019". The report states "During CP5 development work will continue into the full re-opening of the route between Bicester and Bletchley [...] and delivery will be started as soon as possible". However, in the table that lists in detail the revised work programme, the route is shown as one of the "Projects with significant delivery in CP5 and completion in CP6" (CP5 is 2014–2019; CP6 is 2019–2024).
As part of the Budget of March 2016 the Chancellor, George Osborne, wrote to the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) to ask them to develop proposals for unlocking growth, housing and jobs in the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor. The letter made reference to the East West Rail Link, raising the possibility of further development of the line in the future.
In May 2016 the Department for Transport revealed that it 'is considering a new franchise to operate services on the east-west rail link' and that 'development of the proposed franchise will start in 2018 (including a competition period)'.
By August 2016 it became clear that Network Rail considers the project to be 'no longer the third most important project in the country' (after HS2 and Crossrail) and that delivery of the core of the Western Section (Oxford to Bedford via Bletchley) might slip beyond 2024, with the connection to Aylesbury due even later. Councillor Rodney Rose, chair of the East West Rail Consortium suggested that the main causes of the delay include delays arising from rail electrification difficulties and fiscal uncertainty arising from the UK's decision to leave the European Union. However, in November 2016 Councillor Rose was able to draw attention to remarks by the new Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, that suggest that project remains in the Government's expenditure plans.
In December 2016 the Transport Secretary announced his decision to privatise the line. A new entity will be responsible for track and infrastructure, as well as operating train services, which, he believes, will deliver an Oxford–Cambridge service at an earlier date than is realistic for an overcommitted Network Rail.
In July 2017 Network Rail began a public consultation on the details of its proposals for the Bicester–Bedford section.
In August 2017 the EWR Alliance (the consortium – VolkerRail, Atkins, Laing O'Rourke and Network Rail – developing the line) noted that the decision by the Department for Transport to delete electrification from the specification was causing further delay to the programme, because work already done on the TWA applications would need to be reworked.
In November 2017, in its report on the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor, the NIC called for the line between Bicester and Bedford to be reopened by 2023 and Bedford/Cambridge by 2030, and for the development and construction of a link between the M1 and Oxford by 2030, as part of the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway. In his budget of November 2017 the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, allocated further funding to open the western section by 2024 via a new company, the East West Railway Company, which was established in December 2017.
In December 2017 the Transport Secretary announced the establishment of a new East West Railway Company which will oversee the establishment of both the Western & Central Sections of East West Rail Link. The budget in November 2017 announced the completion of the Central Section by 2030 and a preferred route to be announced in early 2019 following a number of public consultations.
In April 2018 the chairman of the East West Railway Company, Rob Brighouse, suggested a new line between Milton Keynes and Bedford might avoid the problems with the current Marston Vale Line. These problems are the all-stations hourly stopping service operated by London Northwestern Railway and numerous level crossing on the route: these could limit capacity for through regional trains. He acknowledged that this proposal could be expensive but suggested the private sector could help fund it. It was also suggested that the Western Section could be completed by 2022, ahead of the planned 2024 opening date.
A DfT/EWR report that considers the strategic and economic cases for the Western Section Phase 2 project was published on 7 December 2018.
The section from Oxford through Bicester Village to the Chiltern Main Line was rebuilt as part of Phase 2 of Chiltern Railways Project Evergreen and adopted as Phase 1 of the East West Rail Link. Chiltern Railways began service over it, from Oxford Parkway to Marylebone, on 26 October 2015; and from Oxford station to Marylebone on 11 December 2016.
The Varsity Line route between Bedford and Cambridge is no longer available for East West Rail because key sections of it have been reused for other purposes since the closure of this part of the line in 1968. These include the Ryle Telescope (part of the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory), the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, National Cycle Route 51 as well as housing at Potton and Sandy.
In March 2016 Network Rail announced that the link would connect to the East Coast Main Line (ECML) via (or near) Sandy. In the 2016 Autumn Statement, the chancellor announced £10 million of funding to continue to develop plans for the route.
On 30 October 2018 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in his Autumn Budget that £20 million was being made available for work to develop a "strategic outline business case" for the Bedford–Cambridge segment.
In December 2018, in a paper published jointly with the Department for Transport, EWR Ltd. reported that it intends to begin consultations on the route of the central section "early in 2019".
On 28 January 2019, East West Railway Company revealed 5 potential routes in the consultation which ran from 28 January until 11 March 2019.
The consultation document proposes a target date of "mid 2020s" for the central section to be completed.
The northern route is being promoted by a private interest group "CamBedRailRoad", that would connect EWR via a new line to the new Cambridge North railway station near the science, business and innovation parks. The group believes that this more urban route would connect more people by adding new stations at Cambourne and Northstowe. It broadly follows the alignment of the existing A428 (prospectively, the Oxford Cambridge Expressway that will serve the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor which has been identified as the site of significant urban development to 2050). In January 2019, EWR Ltd. has ruled out a connection to Cambridge North.
The track in this section is all in place and operational: from Cambridge to Norwich, Felixstowe and Ipswich. The plan would see more services on the existing Felixstowe Branch Line, Ipswich to Ely Line, and parts of the East Suffolk Line and Great Eastern Main Line. An hourly service in both directions between Cambridge and Ipswich was started in 2004. There is also an hourly passenger service between Norwich and Cambridge operated by Greater Anglia.
A section of Felixstowe Branch Line was doubled in 2009 to allow freight trains to pass each other at Derby Road in Ipswich and there were plans to double 5 miles (8.0 km) of route from Nacton to Trimley together with other work as part of the Felixstowe and Nuneaton freight capacity scheme. The "Bacon Factory Curve" in Ipswich was completed in March 2014 to allow trains from Felixstowe to continue to the West Midlands without reversing at Ipswich.
In January 2019, East West Rail Consortium released a document to press the case for the Eastern section to Norwich via Ely, and to Ipswich via Bury St Edmunds. 
Aylesbury Vale Parkway railway station is a railway station serving villages northwest of Aylesbury, England. It also serves the Berryfields and Weedon Hill housing developments north of the town. The station and all trains serving it are operated by Chiltern Railways.Bletchley railway station
Bletchley is a railway station that serves the southern parts of Milton Keynes, England (especially Bletchley itself), and the north-eastern parts of the Buckinghamshire district of Aylesbury Vale. It is 47 miles (75 km) northwest of Euston, about 32 miles (51 km) east of Oxford and 17 miles (27 km) west of Bedford.
It includes junctions of the West Coast Main Line with the Bletchley-Bedford Marston Vale Line and the disused Bletchley-Oxford Varsity line.
This is one of the six railway stations serving the Milton Keynes urban area.It is the nearest main line station for Bletchley Park, the World War II codebreaking centre, and also serves Stadium MK, the home of Milton Keynes Dons F.C., at present a 30-minute walk. Fenny Stratford station, on the Marston Vale Line (a limited service branch line) is closer.Calvert, Buckinghamshire
Calvert is a village in Buckinghamshire, England, near the village of Steeple Claydon.
Originally named after a wealthy local family who had inherited property at Claydon House, Middle Claydon, on condition that they changed their surname to Verney, the village was founded as a hamlet in the Victorian era to house workers for the brick works that were constructed in the area. The Calvert Brickworks was opened in 1900 by Arthur Werner Itter, a brickmaker from the Peterborough area, but have since been closed in 1991 and turned into a nature reserve and landfill. All that remains of the hamlet is a small group of red brick terrace houses.
At the start of the 21st century a new housing estate was built called Calvert Green, greatly enlarging the original village. In 2007 Calvert Green was detached from Charndon and formed into a new civil parish. At the 2011 Census the population of the village was still included in the civil parish of Charndon.Didcot Parkway railway station
Didcot Parkway is a railway station serving the town of Didcot in Oxfordshire, England. The station was opened as Didcot on 12 June 1844 and renamed Didcot Parkway on 29 July 1985 by British Rail to reflect its role as a park and ride railhead. It is 53 miles 10 chains (85.5 km) down the line from London Paddington and is situated between Cholsey to the east and Swindon to the west.The station is served by local services operated by Great Western Railway from Reading to Didcot and Oxford, and by main line services from Paddington to the south-west of England and south Wales.
Just to the north of the station is the Didcot Railway Centre, which is accessed through the station. The centre is a comprehensive exhibition of original Great Western Railway rolling stock, with demonstration running tracks and including a reconstructed station named Didcot Halt.East–west rail corridor
The east–west rail corridor is a standard gauge railway that runs across Australia starting in Sydney, New South Wales, linking the Eastern states to Western Australia. The Indian Pacific passenger service operates along the route, as do a number of local passenger services.
The route is made up of a number of individual railway lines constructed by various government railway authorities since the 1880s, the most significant portion being the Trans-Australian Railway which connected between Kalgoorlie and Port Augusta. It was not until 1970 that gauge conversion was carried out and through trains were possible along the entire route.The rail corridor has an 81% share of land freight between the Eastern States and Perth, up from 60 percent in 1996–97, and saw a record 3.46 billion gross tonne kilometres of freight carried in November 2007. Major freight operators on the corridor include Pacific National, Aurizon, and SCT Logistics.Electric Spine
The "Electric Spine" was the name for part of a, now largely cancelled, rolling programme of railway electrification projects in England initially estimated to cost £800 million, but later thought to cost close to £3 billion. The aim was to form 25 kV AC overhead-wire electrified links northward from the Port of Southampton to major cities in northern and central England and a dry port container terminal in the Midlands. The government wanted efficient electric-hauled freight trains to compete with road haulage.
In 2012, the spine was set to be completed within Network Rail's Control Period 5 (CP5, 2014–2019). This will not be the case, because various works were delayed, suspended for several months, moved into Control Period 6 (CP6, starting in 2019), and then scrapped altogether (despite various preliminary work, like bridge replacement, having been conducted).Other works associated with the project were to have included gauge clearance for large shipping containers and electrified connections to adjacent electrified routes, depots and freight facilities.The north–south axis of the link leads to the spine name.Great Central Main Line
The Great Central Main Line (GCML), also known as the London Extension of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR), is a former railway line in the United Kingdom. The line was opened in 1899 and built by the Great Central Railway running from Sheffield in the North of England, southwards through Nottingham and Leicester to Marylebone in London.
The GCML was the last main line railway to be built in Britain during the Victorian period. Built by the railway entrepreneur Edward Watkin with the aim to run a fast north–south line, it was designed to a specification which permitted trains to run at higher speeds; Watkin believed that it would be possible to run direct rail services between Britain and France and had presided over an unsuccessful project for a tunnel under the English Channel in the 1880s. The GCML operated as a fast trunk route from the North and the East Midlands to London. Initially not a financial success, it recovered under the leadership of Sam Fay. Although initially planned for long-distance passenger services, in practice the line's most important function became to carry goods traffic, notably coal.
In the 1960s, the line was considered by Dr Beeching as an unnecessary duplication of other lines that served the same places, especially the Midland Main Line and to a lesser extent the West Coast Main Line. Most of the route was closed between 1966 and 1969 under the Beeching axe.
Parts of the former main line have been preserved as the Great Central (heritage) Railway between Leicester and Loughborough, and the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) between Loughborough South Junction and Ruddington's former GCR station site.
At the end of the 20th century and in the 21st century, the line has been subject to a range of proposals for its use and reuse.List of rail transit stations in the Greater Manila Area
The following is a list of rail transit stations in the Greater Manila Area, which incorporates the Manila Light Rail Transit System, the Manila Metro Rail Transit System and the Philippine National Railways Metro Commuter Line. The list includes existing and future LRT, MRT and Metro Commuter stations in the metropolitan region. Line names are named according to the new names provided by the Department of Transportation (2012).London–Aylesbury line
The London–Aylesbury Line is a railway line between London Marylebone and Aylesbury, going via the Chiltern Hills; it is operated by Chiltern Railways. Nearly half of the line is owned by London Underground, approximately 16 miles (26 km) – the total length of the passenger line is about 39 miles (63 km) with a freight continuation.
The line is part of the former trunk route, the Great Central Main Line.Marston Vale line
The Marston Vale line (Network Rail route MD 140) is the community rail line between Bletchley and Bedford in England, formerly part of the "Varsity line" between Oxford and Cambridge.Milton Keynes Central railway station
Milton Keynes Central railway station serves Central Milton Keynes and the surrounding area of Milton Keynes, England. The station is located on the West Coast Main Line about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of London. The station is served by Virgin Trains intercity services, and by West Midlands Trains and Southern regional services.
This station is one of the six stations serving the Milton Keynes urban area. Milton Keynes Central, which opened on 17 May 1982, is by far the busiest and most important of these, as well as being the largest in terms of platforms in use, having overtaken Bletchley when platforms 2A and 6 became operational.Oakland, Atlanta
Oakland (not to be confused with Oakland City in southwestern Atlanta) is an officially recognized neighborhood of Atlanta consisting of only four blocks. It is bounded by:
the Downtown Connector freeway on the west, across which is Downtown Atlanta and the Georgia State Capitol building
Grant Street on the east, across which is one block of the Grant Park (Atlanta) neighborhood and then the historic Oakland Cemetery (Atlanta)
Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and the Grant Park (Atlanta) and Capitol Gateway neighborhoods on the south
the MARTA east-west rail line on the northOakland contains:
the disused Corey smokestack.
Mattress Factory Lofts, site of the former Southern Spring Bedding factory, with some buildings built as far back as 1864.
Crown Candy Lofts.Oxford–Bicester line
The Oxford–Bicester line is a railway line linking Oxford and Bicester in Oxfordshire, England. Opened in 1850, later becoming part of a through route to Cambridge, it closed in 1967 along with much of the rest of the original line. The section between Oxford and Bicester was reopened in 1987 as a branch line, and closed from early 2014 to late 2015 for a substantial upgrade in which it became part of a new route between Oxford and London Marylebone via High Wycombe. In addition, it is intended that by 2025 the original route eastwards will be restored as far as Bletchley allowing services to run to Bedford. This East West Rail project includes a long term plan to re-establish the route through to Cambridge.Varsity Line
The Varsity Line (or the Oxford to Cambridge railway line) is the railway route that used to link the English university cities of Oxford and Cambridge, operated by the London and North Western Railway.
During World War II the line was adopted as a strategic route for freight avoiding London, and additional connections were made to nearby lines to improve the utility of the route. In fact the route was not greatly used for its intended purpose. After the war the line was again scheduled to be developed as a strategic route, but this scheme too was never fully implemented.
Passenger services were withdrawn from most of the line in 1967, and only the Bletchley–Bedford section remained open for passenger traffic.
In 1987, the section between Oxford and Bicester was reopened, followed in 2015 by a connection to the Chiltern Main Line at Bicester, enabling Chiltern Railways to operate an Oxford to London passenger service. There are funded plans for the entire line to be re-established by the "mid 2020s" (partly on a new route) under a new name – East West Rail.Verney Junction
Verney Junction is a hamlet in the parish of Middle Claydon in north Buckinghamshire, England. It is on the route of the former Varsity Line. (As of December 2017, the line is disused but is to be reopened by about 2025 as part of the East West Rail project).The stone cottages that make up the hamlet were largely constructed to provide houses for workers on the railway in the early Victorian era. The hamlet is named after the railway junction around which it grew. The new village included a cricket ground for the railway workers.
The original junction here was established (without a station) by the Buckinghamshire Railway, which planned a Bletchley – Banbury route (subsequently the 'Banbury to Verney Junction Branch Line') and a Bletchley – Oxford route. The Bletchley – Banbury Merton Street section was completed in May 1850 and the section from here to Oxford Rewley Road was completed in October of the same year. Verney Junction railway station was added when the Metropolitan Railway was extended here (from Baker Street).
Local legend has it that the station was so called because the then isolation of the area meant that the only obvious name was that of the local landowner, the Verney family of Claydon House.Winslow, Buckinghamshire
Winslow is a market town and civil parish designated as a town council in the Aylesbury Vale district of north Buckinghamshire. It has a population of just over 4,400.Winslow railway station
Winslow railway station is a former railway station which served the town of Winslow in north Buckinghamshire, England. It is on a disused section of the Varsity Line; a single track remains in place but is rusted and overgrown far beyond use. The site of the original station is mostly covered by a small housing development, and although the platforms still remain, they are in a very poor state. In 2014 it was anticipated that the station would reopen on a different site in 2019 as part of East West Rail. In September 2016, Buckinghamshire County Council purchased a site for a new station, beside the A413 bridge. As of March 2018, however, a definitive schedule of works on the line and station have yet to emerge but funding is in place with a target date of 2024.Wixams railway station
Wixams railway station is a new railway station that is due to be built on the Midland Main Line for the Wixams new town development in Bedfordshire, England. It is proposed that the station be between Bedford and Flitwick.
The station was due to be completed in 2015, but Network Rail withdrew their promise of funding. In 2017, Gallagher Estates applied for funding from the government for the station.In July 2017, it was reported the site would be located further north as part of the East West Rail project.In January 2019, East West Railway Company revealed 5 options for a potential Bedford-Cambridge with 3 of the options proposing a new station at Bedford South close to Wixams.Woburn Sands railway station
Woburn Sands railway station serves the villages of Woburn Sands and Wavendon in the borough of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, England. The station is on the Marston Vale line between Bedford and Bletchley, about 4 miles (6.5 km) east of Bletchley station. The station is served by local trains to Bletchley and Bedford using Class 150/1 and Class 153 diesel multiple units operated by London Northwestern Railway.
|Woburn Sands||Milton Keynes Central|
|Bury St Edmunds||Brandon|
|Railways around Oxford|
Stations in and around Milton Keynes
Marston Vale line
Stations around Bedford
Railways around Cambridge
Rail infrastructure projects in the United Kingdom