Latest Rail News

23.07.15

Last track laid for new Oxford-London line

The last piece of track needed for the new Oxford to London line has been laid, with fewer than 100 days left until the first service starts running.

The £320m project will create the first new rail link between Oxfordshire and London in over a century.

The project won approval in 2013 and construction, which started 17 month ago, has included transforming an old 20-40mph branch line into a multi-track 100mph main line in an effort to maximise travel options for Oxfordshire residents.

The new eight-and-a-half mile stretch connects Bicester Village and the new Oxford Parkway station to the main line to London Marylebone, and will reduce journey times to the capital to about an hour.

Fast trains between the Oxfordshire towns will run twice an hour. The upgrade of the Oxford to Bicester line also marks the first phase of works on the western section of the East West Rail scheme through a partnership between Network Rail and Chiltern Railways.

chiltern map

Network Rail senior programme manager Andy Milne said: “The completion of track laying is a significant milestone for the project and will allow Chiltern Railways to run its new service from Oxford Parkway. It is a real step forward in reconnecting the railway from Oxford and Bicester towards Bletchley, Milton Keynes and Bedford.”

The first train is expected to leave Oxford Parkway on 26 October and arrive in London within 56 minutes. The new station has been built on the site of the derelict Water Eaton silo demolished in October 2013.

The new route into the capital expected to provide a useful alternative route for people from Oxfordshire who do not want to get into London via Reading and the Great Western Main Line to Paddington.

Chiltern Railways managing director, Rob Brighouse, said he was “delighted” with the news and was excited about the official countdown “to the launch of the historic project”.

Track laying was finished more than a month ahead of schedule, as the final connection between Oxford Parkway and the Chiltern Main Line was originally expected in September.

From spring 2016, Chiltern Railways intends to extend services from London Marylebone into Oxford city centre.

Comments

Nonsuchmike   24/07/2015 at 13:24

Great News. Presumably the first runs in October will be test runs and new route learning for drivers. Now that NWR have got the bats out of their belfry, sorry, underpass, we can look forward to a complete rather than half-hearted service for the commuters of Thames Valley. How soon will the total length of the East-West line into Cambridge be completed? Moving on by introducing passenger-friendly Interchanges @ Bedford, Milton Keynes & Sandy will bring the biggest benefits to the traveling public, as well as allowing so many to cross country without battling through central London on a traditionally freezing wet or sweltering hot day.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Record number of passenger journeys as UK rail revenue rises to four-year high

18/06/2019Record number of passenger journeys as UK rail revenue rises to four-year high

Record figures of rail passenger journeys have been recorded in England, Scotland and Wales, according to the most recent quarterly report by the... more >
Rail union Aslef launches 'On Track with Diversity' report at Houses of Parliament

18/06/2019Rail union Aslef launches 'On Track with Diversity' report at Houses of Parliament

Train drivers’ union Aslef launched its On Track with Diversity report at the Houses of Parliament on Monday, as it looks to increase ... more >
Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >