Network Rail consult on upgrades through Bletchley

The scheme is known as East West Rail Western Section Phase 2

Network Rail’s plan is to develop a proposal to upgrade and reconstruct existing, and mothballed (no longer in use) sections of track linking Bedford-Bicester and Milton Keynes-Princes Risborough. 

What will the scheme deliver?

New journey opportunities for passengers between Bedford and Bicester, new passenger services between Milton Keynes and London via Aylesbury, improved regional links to help boost local economies and increased capacity for freight trains, helping to support the UK economy and take vehicles off local roads

The East West Rail Western Section Phase 2 project is part of East West Rail which aims to establish a strategic railway connecting East Anglia with Central, Southern and Western England. It has been promoted and developed since 1995 by the East West Rail Consortium, a group of local authorities and strategic partners.

The East West Rail Western Section Phase 2 project is funded by the Department for Transport with a contribution from the East West Rail Consortium.

The consultation can be viewed here:

The NABO response is here

The work package proposes:

Building new additional track and upgrading infrastructure between Bicester and Claydon Junction (currently only used by freight trains)

Doing some preliminary work to prepare for electrification of the line between Bicester and Bletchley

Upgrading track and infrastructure between Princes Risborough and Claydon Junction (currently only used by freight trains) 

Reconstructing and improving the mothballed track between Claydon Junction and Bletchley,

Various station works at: Winslow, Bletchley, Ridgmont, Monks Risborough, Aylesbury Vale Parkway, Little Kimble, Bedford Midland and Woburn Sands

Constructing passing loops: Newton Longville, Steeple Haydon and Calvert Waste Facility

Works to existing structures

Railway crossing improvements



As a statutory consultee, NABO is asked to comment on the proposals and we shall do so shortly The bulk of the works occur away from the canals, the most severe being the relaying of the second track over the existing bridge at Fenny Compton (GU). The rail works at Wolverton is to be used as a depot, but there are other major works and housing going on at this location anyway.

If you have any views or specific local knowledge please let us know.

From the transport point of view, the line from Bedford to Bletchley is already available to us. The introduction of new lines from Milton Keynes to Aylesbury can only be good. We previously commented unfavourably about an earlier phase of this project at Oxford Station where  a bridge crosses the Sheep Wash channel..