Bedford sits at the heart of the ‘tech triangle’ in Government plans to improve the region’s railways.
By December 2017 the town should be connected to Oxford as the western section of the East West Rail line is reinstated along existing routes.
A report examining how best to re-establish the former Bedford-to-Cambridge line, which was dismantled with some sections now built on, is expected in spring 2014.
The project is being carried out by The East West Rail Consortium (EWRC) and will link London, Cambridge and Oxford, forming the triangle which the Government has described as “the kernel in the UK of cutting-edge high-tech industry developments”.
A EWRC spokesman said: “It has been a long-term aim of the consortium to re-establish a rail link between Bedford and Cambridge to enable rail services to run on to East Anglia but to date no preferred route has been identified.
“The Consortium has recently commissioned Atkins to review current and future transport demands within the region, to identify how economic development potential may be unlocked through improved transport connectivity between Bedford and Cambridge. We expect to publish an initial report in Spring 2014. The next stage will be to look at how the identified benefits might be realised through the choice of route and train services.”
Bedford Borough Council supports the venture and has committed £2.6million towards the western section. Mayor Dave Hodgson, said: “The benefits for Bedford of the rail link being extended through to Cambridge and beyond will be huge.
“It will bring new opportunities for employment and leisure, and make Bedford Borough even more attractive to new investors.”