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East West Railway Company speaks at 'Science Cities'

Future Cities Forum is delighted that Will Gallagher, East West Railway Company's Director of Strategy, will join our 'Science Cities' event at Newnham College Cambridge this February.

Before joining East West Railway Company, Will was the Operations Director for the National Citizen Service Trust, the fastest growing youth programme in the UK. He has spent a significant amount of time in senior leadership positions both within the public and the private sectors.

Last year, the UK government decided to move funding from the OxCam Arc to level up other regions, but work is continuing on the construction of this important piece of east-west railway infrastructure.

Will commented - during a Future Cities Forum interview in 2022:

'In the first phase of government supported development of the railway line, we will deliver over 10% biodiversity net gain in an area rich in natural habitats. As we move along the route to Cambridge we will continue to do more. We have asked people through our community hub to highlight on maps valued green spaces so that we are drawing in all that environmental data and building a rich picture. We also want to be a greener railway and I recognise that there are challenges and work to do on understanding the right way to power the railway. If we are going to create value for money for The Treasury there may be new technologies that are cheaper than electrifying the railway - it's right we look at them.'

East West Rail is a nationally significant railway project which aims to deliver much-needed transport connections for communities between Oxford and Cambridge by:

  • Upgrading an existing section of railway between Oxford and Bicester

  • Bringing back a section of railway between Bicester and Bletchley

  • Refurbishing existing railway between Bletchley and Bedford

  • Building brand new railway infrastructure between Bedford and Cambridge

In 2018, the Department for Transport created the East West Railway Company to look at plans being developed for a new railway between Oxford and Cambridge.

The original plans were developed by the Department for Transport, Network Rail and the East West Rail Alliance.

East West Rail's job is to consider and challenge these plans with fresh thinking. To do that, it is now responsible for planning the section of East West Rail between Bletchley and Cambridge, while overseeing delivery of the section between Bicester and Bletchley – which is being delivered by the East West Rail Alliance.


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