The Anonymous Widower

Electrification Of The East West Rail Link

East West Rail has this question about electrification in the FAQ.

Q: Will East West Rail be electrified and if so, when?

A: It is expected that the Western Section of the East West Rail link will include electrification of the line between Bedford and Oxford.

Bletchley to Oxford is expected to be completed first during the 2014-2019 railway funding period.

Bedford to Bletchley will follow, probably in the next railway funding period 2019-2024, as part of the wider work done to electrify the Midland Main Line to Corby, Nottingham and Sheffield.

The Office of Rail Regulation has confirmed funding in principle for the electrification.  The exact amount of funding and scope is expected to be determined by the ORR by March 2015 following detailed development between NR, DfT and the train operators.

I will take this as a qualified yes or it would be desireable.

Bletchley to Oxford electrification is stated as being done first and if that timetable is met, it would be likely to be completed before services start on these routes.

  • Oxford to Milton Keynes
  • Milton Keynes to London via Aylesbury.

As both Oxford and Milton Keynes are currently or will be electrified by then, the services between the old and new cities could be performed by a 100 mph EMU, like a Class 387 train, which could then continue to Reading if required.

But there are no plans to electrify any of the London to Aylesbury Line. To complicate matters Chiltern Railways have a shortage of suitable diesel trains.

So although the line might be ready in 2019 or so, there would appear to be no chance of Chiltern Trains running between London and Milton Keynes.


Wikipedia gives the length of the passenger section from London to Aylesbury Parkway as about thiry nine miles.

So this probably means that the line could be run by Class 387 IPEMU trains, if there was some electrification in Marylebone station to charge the trains before they travelled North.

It is an interesting possibility.

Especially, as an electrified Marylebone, would probably allow the same trains to run services to electrified stations at Bicester Village, Oxford Parkway and Oxford.

December 4, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,

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