Simon Blanchflower takes charge at East West Rail
The East West Railway Company (EWRC) has appointed Simon Blanchflower as its first ever chief executive.
Blanchflower, who was most recently Programme Director of Network Rail’s £7 billion Thameslink project, will lead the company in its mission to deliver a new railway between Oxford and Cambridge.
EWRC was created by Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling in 2017, as an arm’s length body from the Department for Transport. It will assume full responsibility for the project, which is being built in stages, in 2019.
With Phase 1 of the route between Oxford and Bicester already complete, the company will oversee construction of Phase 2 of the line’s Western Section (Bicester to Milton Keynes/Bedford and Aylesbury to Milton Keynes), which is due to open in the mid2020s ( RAIL 859).
A new line will also be built between Bedford and Cambridge to complete the Central section of East West Rail, with EWRC due to begin consulting on the exact route in 2019.