East West Rail line will be electrified

Train at Bow Brickhill crossing
Train at Bow Brickhill crossing

TRAIN passengers in Milton Keynes will feel the affects of Network Rail’s £37.5 billion investment to improve public transport in the UK.

Network Rail plans to spend the huge sum on running and expanding Britain’s railway over the five years to 2019, boosting capacity at key pinch points on the network and providing 170,000 extra commuter seats at peak times by 2019.

Importantly for Milton Keynes, the East West Rail line connecting the city with Oxford and Bedford is included in the plans.

Network Rail will connect Oxford with Bedford and Milton Keynes as part of the East West Rail project, which will provide a new, electrified railway linking the Great Western, West Coast and Midland main lines.

It comes on top of recent announcements by both Virgin and London Midland to increase the numbers of carriages on their trains to reduce overcrowding.

MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart said: “Accessible and affordable transport links are very important to us as a city.

“I am pleased with this level of investment in our rail infrastructure which will deliver better services for passengers.”

Sir David Higgins, chief executive of Network Rail says the company is working to fix decades worth of neglect on the railways.

“We have to learn the lessons of the last 50 years,” he said. “We haven’t invested to meet with demand. Playing catch-up is always more expensive to do.”

Paul Plummer, group strategy director, Network Rail, said: “Britain’s railways are booming, with more people and businesses choosing rail than ever before.

“As a business and industry we are better placed than ever to understand what needs to be done to build on this success and create a better railway which meets the needs of customers in a sustainable way.”