East West Rail is a major project to establish a railway connecting East Anglia with central, southern and western England.
The project is being promoted by the East West Rail Consortium – a group of local authorities and businesses formed in 1995 with an interest in improving access to and from East Anglia and the Milton Keynes South Midlands growth area.
Our Track Record
- Oxford to London Marylebone line now open, including new stations at Oxford Parkway and Bicester Village
- Bicester-Bedford and Princes Risborough-Milton Keynes lines due to come into operation in early 2020s.
- Trains between Cambridge and Norwich have run since 2002 and Cambridge and Ipswich since 2004
- Study due out this year on ways to enhance Eastern Section
- Broad route linking Bedford to Cambridge identified in 2016 – work continues on detailed plan
The Consortium was established by Ipswich Borough Council who provided the chairman until 2005; a role now undertaken by Cambridgeshire County Council.
A Joint Delivery Board of elected members from the eight local authorities through which the Western Section of East West Rail will pass was created in 2012, following the announcement of funding for the re-construction of this section. It is currently chaired by Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transport at Buckinghamshire County Council. (Terms of reference for Joint Delivery Board and Project Executive Board, 2012).
A Central Section Governance Board of elected members was established in 2014 to represent the Consortium member authorities’ interests as work progresses to identify a preferred route and develop the business case to extend the Western section of East West Rail to enable services to run through Cambridge to East Anglia.
The Consortium holds an annual meeting to keep all members informed of project development.
From East to West, the Consortium membership includes the following local authorities:
East Suffolk Councils
Ipswich Borough Council
Suffolk County Council
Norfolk County Council
Norwich City Council
West Suffolk Councils
Cambridgeshire County Council
Bedford Borough Council
Central Bedfordshire Council
North Hertfordshire District Council
Luton Borough Council
Milton Keynes Council
Hertfordshire County Council
Stevenage District Council
Buckinghamshire County Council
Aylesbury Vale District Council
Wycombe District Council
Oxfordshire County Council
Cherwell District Council
Strategic partners and associates
The Consortium is working closely with Department for Transport and Network Rail, who are represented at the East West Rail Consortium’s board meetings. The South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) and Bucks Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP) are also represented on the Consortium board.