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16.10.14

Cotswolds line could see electric trains in CP6

A section of the North Cotswolds Line could be electrified by the early 2020s, if Network Rail adopts proposals in its new consultation document. 

The draft Western Route Study is a key part of the rail industry’s Long Term Planning Process (LTPP), which looks at potential developments on the region’s railways from 2019 to 2043. 

However, it was noted that the proposed electrification of the route between Oxford and

Banbury as part of the Electric Spine, subject to funding and business case, would mean that Wolvercot Junction and a short section of the North Cotswolds is electrified in CP6. 

The report said: “The extension of electrification could allow electric services terminating at Oxford to be extended onto the North Cotswolds route and allow additional capacity to be provided to serve demand in a more efficient manner. 

“A choice exists regarding the extension of electrification along the North Cotswolds route which could be desirable for operational efficiency.” 

Network Rail added that the Oxford and Banbury electrification offers an opportunity install overhead lines to Hanborough or Charlbury, in conjunction with the reinstatement of more double track on the route, from Wolvercot Junction at least far as Hanborough. 

Additionally, should growth in rail passenger demand exceed that forecast then interventions may be required on the North Cotswolds line between Oxford and Worcester. These could be achieved by train lengthening or through the addition of further peak services. 

There is also the potential for additional services to Hanborough/Charlbury to more efficiently serve rail passenger demand, and this may drive requirements for infrastructure interventions including platform lengthening at Hanborough Station. 

Patrick Hallgate, Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route, told the Witney Gazette: “The region is already one of the busiest parts of the railway network and is currently undergoing a major programme of investment including electrification, new track and signalling, and a new fleet of electric trains to make sure it is fit for the future. 

“The purpose of this study is to ensure that we are in the best possible position to meet this demand and continue to drive economic growth across the region. This includes enabling increasing travel for leisure and business purposes and helping companies to move more goods, more efficiently by rail.

Members of the public are being invited to have their say about the ideas included in the study during the consultation, which runs until 9 January 2015. 

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Ampox   17/10/2014 at 12:52

We haven't even got Oxford station sorted yet! Plans for a 15-minute 'Science Transit' and possible use of the Cowley branch mean that something better than the present projected 3 platform station is needed. The Oxpens offers more flexibility and less disruption as a station site and needs to be built before we go further to electrify the Cotswold line

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