East West Rail proposals

Route update announcement 2023

In May 2023, the East West Rail Company (EWRCo) published an update on its proposals. For the first time, the proposals showed a single preferred route on the section between Bedford and Cambridge.  

You can read more about this on www.eastwestrail.co.uk/routeupdate.

This was not a formal consultation, however EWRCo encouraged people to comment on the proposals.

We have been told by EWRCo that there will be a further round of statutory public consultation in the middle of 2024, with a second round in the first half of 2025. The Development Consent Order for the proposal is likely to take place within 12 months of the second statutory consultation. 

Council's assessment of the East West Rail route update announcement

An East West Rail briefing was held on 6 February 2024 in the Council Chamber. 

View the webcast of the event.

View the presentations and documents (PDFs):

Please send any follow-up questions to rail@bedford.gov.uk.

Or write to: Transport Policy, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AP.

Meetings held

Past consultations

Consultation 2021

East West Rail (EWR) undertook a consultation on its proposals for the route its railway will take through Bedford Borough. The consultation closed on 9 June 2021.

After consideration of all the EWR proposals and listening to residents’ views, the Council formulated its response which was debated at an informal meeting of Full Council on 2 June 2021.

Our formal response to the East West Rail consultation can be found here

Technical review of options

Bedford Borough Council commissioned SLC Rail, specialists in rail projects, to conduct a technical review of this section of the route in response to EWR's current consultation proposing six tracks to run north of the station. 

The report looked at options around the East West Rail route north of Bedford Midland (PDF) has shown that the service could run effectively using just the existing four lines, and avoid the need to demolish any homes in the Poets area.

Public meetings

We held two virtual public meetings to hear views from residents and businesses on what they wished to see in the Council’s response to the 2021 East West Rail consultation. These meetings were held on:

  • Wednesday 12 May from 12pm - 2pm
  • Thursday 13 May from 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Recordings of the public meetings can be found here: (12 May) and here (13 May).

We asked members of the public to submit questions for the meetings, not all of which could be answered during the meetings. 

You can view questions from the public here. 

Written answers to all questions have been provided. We have grouped the questions into 12 categories according to their subject matter. Answers to the questions can be found here:

Each of the categories will be uploaded as they become available.

East West Rail public meeting video presentation 

You can view the presentation by the Chief Officer for Planning, Infrastructure and Development in relation to the East West Rail Consultation as delivered at the recent EWR public meetings.

Consultation 2019

EWR carried out its consultation into route corridor options for the section of railway between Bedford and Cambridge in early 2019. You can read our response to that consultation and view technical documents here: 

You can also print out and read the East West Rail information leaflet (PDF).