The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has launched the new East West Railway Company as part of an initiative to re-introduce a direct link between the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge.

The new company will be responsible for restoring the link between the two cities, almost 50 years since the closure of the old Varsity Line.

"We are making the biggest investment in the railways since Victorian times to meet the growing demand for rail travel, while also boosting business and increasing productivity."

UK transport secretary Chris Grayling visited the nearby Bletchley Station and Bletchley Viaduct following the launch, which are being re-opened for the new route.

Grayling said:  “We are making the biggest investment in the railways since Victorian times to meet the growing demand for rail travel, while also boosting business and increasing productivity.

“East West Rail is the perfect example of how we can revitalise the railways, grow the network and unlock jobs and housing growth.

“And Bletchley Park, the home of World War II codebreakers, is the perfect location to mark the historic occasion, because the line will be key to the development of this corridor as a world-class centre for innovation, technology and high-skilled jobs.”

One of the most strategically important rail projects, the East West Rail will provide a direct link through the corridor referred to as the UK’s ‘Silicon Valley’.

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The new line is expected to open in the mid-2020s and will also offer a direct link between East Anglia and central and southern England.

It is expected to feature interchange stations with four main railway lines originating from the London.

DfT aims to design the route to be capable of incorporating potential upgrades in the future with minimum possible disruption.