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Rail line from above in England
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England is getting a brand-new cross-country rail line

It’s hoped that East West Rail will help cut travel times and reduce costs

Amy Houghton
Written by
Amy Houghton

HS2 tends to hog the spotlight when it comes to new railway projects in the UK right now. But did you know that plans for a £5 billion rail link between Oxford and Cambridge are also in the works?

Hoping to cut down travel times and reduce costs, East West Rail (EWR) will connect the two university towns to other areas across the entire country. And now exactly which towns and cities those will be has been revealed. The project is set to be delivered in three stages: Oxford to Bletchley and Milton Keynes; Oxford to Bedford; and Oxford to Cambridge. 

Once completed, the line will offer connections to a bunch of other services. Passengers will be able to access the Midland Main Line, West Coast Main Line, East Coast Main Line, West Anglia Main Line, and connections to the Great Western Railway leading to cities like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Brighton and Exeter

A spokesperson for the East West Railway Company said: ‘The UK-wide opportunities that EWR offers for improved leisure travel during school holidays are in addition to the promising tourism boost that EWR will bring to tourist hotspots along the route. Whether for shopping at Bicester Village, skiing at Xscape in Milton Keynes or a trip to Center Parcs in Bedfordshire, EWR will help people access more leading attractions in the area – particularly for younger people.’

But plans haven’t been fully set in stone just yet and, like HS2, there’s been a bit of backlash. The National Audit Office said it is going to assess the ‘economic and strategic case’ for the line after a Tory MP argued that ‘the maths just don’t add up’. So, watch this space! 

ICYMI: this is officially Britain’s worst railway operator.

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