Blanchflower takes chief exec role at East West Railway Company

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Photo: East West Rail.
Photo: East West Rail.

Simon Blanchflower has become the first CEO of the East West Railway Company (EWRC).

Simon, who was most recently the programme director for the £7 billion Thameslink project, will lead the company through its next phase of development as it works to deliver a new railway line between Oxford and Cambridge.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling welcomed Simon to the arms-length government body, which he set up in 2017, and said his “expertise and insight will play a huge role in bringing this vital project to fruition.”

Simon, who has also worked on the early stage development of Crossrail and the initial delivery of Heathrow Express, said: “It’s a fantastic project, with the opportunity to prove there is a better way to deliver the railway, as well as to support economic growth in such an important corridor for the country.”

In the new year, EWRC will assume full client duties for the project and will launch a public consultation on route options for the new section of railway between Bedford and Cambridge.

The East West Rail line is being built progressively in sections between Cambridge and Oxford to unlock the economic potential of the corridor – supporting new jobs and communities, as well as reducing journey times and travel costs for residents and commuters.


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