Are the Department for Transport going to axe the Aylesbury to Milton Keynes leg of the East West Rail link?

An insider who has worked at East West Rail claims the Department for transport are set to axe the Aylesbury to Milton Keynes route of the rail link.

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 4:31 pm

Originally the scheme would have had a train from Aylesbury to Milton Keynes as well as services between Oxford and Milton Keynes and Bedford. .

Although, according to the insider, the Department for Transport is now reviewing that, with one potential option being that Aylesbury gets cut out completely from this scheme.

The inside source said: "As I understand it, the department for transport have come to recognise that there is limited capacity for trains to Milton Keynes and that given the doubts DfT have about the project, they are not sure they want to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on upgrading the Aylesbury line to Claydon (where the junction is for the Aylesbury leg) for a service that may never run, or at best only offer one train per hour.

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Is the Aylesbury leg about to be scrapped?

"As you might know, the west coast mainline (Which MK is on) is pretty much full to capacity.

"There will however be more capacity on there when HS2 opens as the intercity services currently operated by Avanti will move to the HS2 tracks, however the operations planners at East West Rail Company have been unable to convince the department that trains to Aylesbury would be the best use of this released capacity."

We contacted the Department for Transport for a comment, but their answer was noncomittal.

They said: "We are assessing options on how best to progress East West Rail and will make a decision in due course."

The response was very similar from the East West Railway Company.

A spokesperson at East Wast Railway Company said:

"We are absolutely committed to developing a railway with customers and local communities at its heart. We want to deliver a railway which serves people across the area, provides a reliable train service and makes the best possible use of taxpayers’ money.

"We are currently working hard internally, with Network Rail and with the Department to agree the right future service patterns for East West Rail to achieve those objectives, and provide the best possible connectivity for the communities we serve.”