Government has confirmed £760m for East West Rail between Oxford and Bletchley/Milton Keynes - with services due by 2025.
The investment means further vital construction work can begin and represents an important milestone in the East West Rail project. Delivery of this stage is expected to provide work for 1,500 people, injecting an estimated £1.1bn into the local economy.
Mayor Dave Hodgson, Chair of England's Economic Heartland's Strategic Transport Forum, said: "This is an important announcement which we welcome. The Government's continued commitment to invest in East West Rail and the progress being made in delivering the first East West Rail services from Oxford to Bletchley and Milton Keynes is important for the Heartland as a whole.
"Our soon to be published Transport Strategy makes clear the critical importance of delivering East West Rail in full – the identification of East West Rail as a project of national significance in the National Infrastructure Strategy was welcome recognition of that. With the start of main works to deliver Bicester to Bletchley it is important to get early confirmation of the investment to deliver the sections between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury and between Bletchley and Bedford.
"Improved connectivity by rail between our major centres is central to our Transport Strategy's ambition to support economic growth and meet the need to achieve net zero carbon. Delivering the East West Rail project as a whole is crucial in enabling our partners, businesses and residents to plan ahead with confidence."