The Department for Transport have outlined their budget for the delivery of the next stage for the East West Rail scheme. This funding will be dispersed through design, engineering, and construction contracts to create a direct rail link between Oxford and Cambridge. Work is currently underway on Connection Stage 1, which is seeing the line built from Oxford to Bletchley (Milton Keynes), with a delivery date of early 2025.
There are 3 overall connection stages, with the rest of the line being split into Connection Stage 2 (CS2), which will see the line extended from Bletchley to Bedford and Connection Stage 3 (CS3), which will see it taken from Bedford to Cambridge.
The funding for CS2 and CS3 had not been assured, until recently where the DfT have established 6 upcoming EWR contracts that have been outlined in their updated commercial pipeline document. The funding for these contracts has been segregated between civils work throughout CS2 and CS3, coming to a combined cost of £676m, as well as contracts for the delivery partners to provide materials for these upcoming phases.
The CS2 phase of the project is set to commence by the end of 2022, but is dependent upon the ground investigation framework survey, which is set to go out for procurement as early as next week. The survey itself will require funding of £38m, with the contract set to commence on the 1st December 2022.
Phase 2 of the project will look to upgrade and reconstruct the existing train line that currently links Bicester to Bletchley and Milton Keynes. The phase will be delivered and overseen by the East West Rail Alliance, consisting of, Laing O'Rourke, Volker Rail, Network Rail and Atkins.
The engineering company Murphy has been awarded a £56m contract through the Alliance for the earthworks and drainage involved in the initial stage of the upcoming phases construction works.