Latest Rail News

20.05.13

Legal challenge to new London-Oxford line fails

The new rail link between London and Oxford line will go ahead, after a legal case brought by an Oxford resident failed in the High Court.

The DfT approved the £130m Evergreen 3 proposal last year, with construction due to start this summer and the route to be open by 2016.

When complete, it will become the first new rail link between London and a major city in 100 years.

Business development director of Chiltern Railways, Graham Cross, said: “The line [is] expected to deliver significant economic benefits for those living and working along the route. Towns and villages to the north of Oxford will gain, especially from improved rail access and a new parkway station for the region.

“In addition, the fast growing town of Bicester will enjoy an additional link to the capital adjacent to Bicester Village Shopping Centre. The project will also see the re-establishment of long lost rail links, such as between High Wycombe and Oxford.”

A DfT spokesman said: “The court's judgment shows the department's handling of the case and the way in which we arrived at our decision were correct.

“It confirms that the department took sufficient steps to assess the impact of the scheme on Oxford Meadows before deciding to make the TWA [Transport & Works Act] Order.”

The project will involve 10 miles of dilapidated track being upgraded, and two new stations will be built – one replacement at Bicester and one in north Oxford at Water Eaton. The route will open up a route to High Wycombe that has been closed since the 1960s.

Oxford station would see two new platforms, and Islip station will also be rebuilt. The project will allow trains to run at up to 100mph on double tracks.

The projected Oxford-London Marylebone journey time on the new route is 66 minutes. The only option currently between Oxford and London is to go via Reading into Paddington, which takes around 55 minutes on a direct service – but the extra capacity will be a huge benefit for passengers. 

The new link will also cut Oxford-Bicester journey times, from 25 minutes to 14.

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

Comments

Peter Jarvis   24/05/2013 at 12:17

This is good news. We shall next need the East-West line from Oxford to Bletchley, Milton Keynes and Bedford, which should not be technically too difficult.

Nonsuchmike   24/05/2013 at 16:33

Magic! At last! As much as believe wildlife should be saved, bats in particular, I am mighty relieved that this is going ahead. Not only will this do wonders for County dwellers far and wide in their travel plans, but will be good business for Bicester AND Oxford town/city.

Jb   25/05/2013 at 09:44

Good news indeed with the hope of extension to Cambridge in future?. However, I still believe Oxford - Princes Risborough via Thame would be a good re-opening too - with a Park and Ride site on the M40 near Wheatley. We may yet put right some mistakes of earlier years - Just when will the city of Ripon regain its railway station?

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