Route Selection

Update July 2015

The East West Rail Consortium continues to work closely with Network Rail to identify a preferred route to extend the East West Rail line to Cambridge and East Anglia. This work is being led by Network Rail.

At this stage of development, two potential corridors have been identified as offering the best value for money. These are Bedford – Cambridge via Hitchin, and Bedford – Cambridge via Sandy.

Click here to download or view map in pdf format

C Section 2 corridor map hires2














Network Rail will evaluate these corridors further in order to identify a single preferred corridor and then consider routes within that corridor.


See News Update 27th July 2015

RAIL magazine Special Feature

RAIL magazine logoThis article by Steve Broadbent was published in RAIL magazine issue 779 (July 22 to August 4 2015) and is reproduced here with kind permission of the copyright holder.

East West Rail Central Section moves towards route options (opens pdf in new window)


Update November 2014

In this video, Graham Botham, Principal Strategic Planner with Network Rail explains the current work being undertaken to identify how existing and new railway infrastructure may best be used to deliver improved rail services and connections in the east of England. This work is necessary to identify a single preferred route to extend the Western Section of East West Rail east of Bedford, via Cambridge and on to East Anglia.

The EastWest Rail Consortium continues to work with Network Rail and the Department for Transport to develop the route corridor options for the central section; the planned re-opening of a rail link between Bedford and Cambridge.

Update March 2015

cambridge_aerialThe joint working group met on Monday 9 March 2015 to review in detail the latest work on analysing the viability of the various options. The group had anticipated that at this stage the options under consideration would be reduced to two or three corridors. However due to the complex nature of understanding the impact of some of the options on existing infrastructure and in particular on existing stations, further work is necessary in order to be confident that the route selection process can be robustly defended.

The development team will produce a detailed analysis of the merits or otherwise of each option. The criteria used to determine route preference will include:

–           Journey time between major centres

–          Size of newly-served population/market

–          Development potential

–          Affordability

–           Buildability

–          Operational cost between centres

–           Environmental impacts

–           Benefits versus Costs

We will then publish a more detailed progress report.

Page last updated 3rd August 2015