East West Rail Taking us...

Rail travel between Oxford and Cambridge had been possible since the early days of Queen Victoria's reign. However, in the 1960s the lines were closed to passengers. East West Rail will restore this vital connection - literally taking us Back to the Future...

Cambridge station in around 1900. Varsity Line trains to Oxford would have used the platforms shown

The streamlined Art-Deco era came to the Varsity Line from Oxford to Cambridge in 1938 with this futuristic oil burning train. The war curbed its operation a year later.

Winslow Station, probably in the 1950s, looking east towards Bletchley showing the signalbox, the main station building and waiting rooms on the opposite platform. The railway line between Aylesbury, Winslow and Bletchley lost its passenger services in 1968 but freight trains continue to use it.

The section between Claydon, Winslow and Bletchley was mothballed in May 1993 and this was the final train to call at Winslow.
The town will get a new station, a little west of the old station, as part of East West Rail which will sit on both the Oxford-Bedford and Aylesbury-Milton Keynes lines.

The final passenger timetable for Varsity Line trains in 1967. Several of the stations listed will be on the East West Rail scheme. Journey times should be significantly quicker - down from two hours and forty minutes between Cambridge and Oxford to around an hour and a quarter.

A Great Central Railway Express service near Aylesbury in 1912 which ran between Marylebone and the north of England via Buckinghamshire. The Great Central main line lost its passenger services in 1966 but the route has remained open for freight as far north as Calvert.

The 100th anniversary of the Great Central Railway opening was celebrated by the Aylesbury Centenary Express in August 1992, which ran between the town and Quainton Road. Thanks to East West Rail, passenger trains from Aylesbury will once again serve north Bucks at Winslow and Bletchley on their way to Milton Keynes.

In 1932 this Michelin built train was used on the Oxford to Cambridge Varsity Line. It is seen here at Oxford engine shed.

Sandy in 1905 where the Varsity Line crossed and connected with what was then the Great Northern Railway line between Kings Cross and Peterborough.

Bletchley Station around a hundred years ago, looking north with parcels and luggage being transferred across the tracks – possibly onto a Varsity Line train which linked Oxford to Cambridge until January 1968.

A vital part of the East West rail infrastructure is the Bletchley Flyover, above, built in 1959 for freight trains. Below, high-level platforms will be built on it for the new East West Rail services, due in the early 2020s. Bletchley will sit on both the Oxford-Bedford and Aylesbury-Milton Keynes line.

Waddesdon Manor station was opened in 1897, but renamed Waddesdon 25 years later, suggesting this image was taken no later than 1922. The station closed in 1936. However, Aylesbury Vale Parkway, which will be served by East West Rail, is only a short distance from Waddesdon – during peak season the Manor even offers free shuttle buses to and from the station.

One of the last scheduled passenger trains to depart Oxford's Rewley Road for Cambridge in November 1951.

The duplication of stations in Oxford was rationalised by closing the London North Western Rewley Road station in 1951 (pictured above just after it closed) with all trains using the adjacent Great Western Railway Oxford station.

This one carriage steam railcar was built at Wolverton Works, in what is now Milton Keynes, and used between Oxford and Cambridge from 1906.

All photos except artists' impressions of Winslow and Bletchley have been reproduced with permission from UKrailpix.co.uk


All photos except artists' impressions of Winslow and Bletchley have been reproduced with permission from UKrailpix.co.uk

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