The western section of the overall East West Rail route will deliver significant new routes for the immediate region but also provides exciting opportunities for new cross-country services that could provide wider benefits for passenger travel.
Reading to Bedford via Oxford
Complementing the new Chiltern Railways Oxford to London Marylebone service via Bicester (due 2016), an hourly service is proposed, calling at Didcot Parkway, Oxford, Oxford Parkway, Bicester Town, a new station at Winslow, Bletchley, and onward to Bedford Midland via Woburn Sands and Ridgmont (due 2019).
Bletchley to Bedford
The existing hourly service stopping at all stations between Bletchley and Bedford will continue to operate, complementing the faster service described above.
Reading to Milton Keynes via Oxford
Taking the same route as the Bedford service to Bletchley, and then onward to Milton Keynes Central, where Platform 2a has already been constructed in anticipation of East West Rail train services. This is also envisaged to be an hourly service that effectively provides an orbital link between the Great Western Main Line at Reading across to the West Coast Main Line at Milton Keynes.
Together with the Reading to Bedford service, this will provide a half-hourly service between Reading, Didcot Parkway, Oxford, Bicester Town and Bletchley, due to start operating in 2019.
Milton Keynes to London Marylebone via Aylesbury and High Wycombe
Services are expected to run hourly calling at Bletchley, the new station at Winslow, Aylesbury Vale Parkway, Aylesbury, Princes Risborough, High Wycombe and onward to London Marylebone. This service is due to start operating in 2019.
Overall journey time is expected to be between 88 – 91 minutes. The particular significance of this route is that it provides Buckinghamshire residents with a train service to Milton Keynes, the fastest growing city in England with its many employment, shopping and leisure opportunities as well as access to the West Coast Main Line services at Milton Keynes Central and making Aylesbury in particular more accessible by public transport.