Study identifies two most viable corridors for East West Rail 'Central Section'
Network Rail is leading early development work for an east-west railway as part of its long term planning process to identify future investment options. It has shortlisted two potential corridors for the proposed ‘Central Section’ of East West Rail to link Bedford and Cambridge, via Hitchin or Sandy, for further consideration.
The study shows that the corridors connecting Bedford and Cambridge via Sandy or Hitchin offer the best value for money at this stage of development. Network Rail will evaluate these corridors further in order to identify a single preferred corridor and then consider routes within that corridor.
This follows earlier work by the East West Rail Consortium that showed that improved rail services in the Eastern region could deliver significant economic benefits, sufficient to justify further investment.
The aim is to identify a preferred route and develop the study for the Central Section for consideration for inclusion in the Initial Industry Plan (due for publication in Sept 2016) as a choice for investment in the rail industry’s future control periods.
Further investigations into feasibility from a railway civil engineering perspective will be carried out once a single preferred corridor has been identified.