Latest Rail News

22.11.16

NR lays down Oxford tracks ahead of London Marylebone service in December

Network Rail has finished building a section of new track in Oxford ahead of Chiltern Railways’ launch of its new train service between central Oxford and London Marylebone.

The track upgrade between the old city centre station in Oxford and the new Oxford Parkway station was completed on time and on budget in the early hours of yesterday.

This new section of track will enable Chiltern’s direct connection between central Oxford and London, which is the first new rail link between London and a major British city for over a century. Chiltern’s new service between the destinations – two fast trains an hour – will launch on Monday 12 December.

Dave Penney, managing director of Chiltern Railways, said: “Over 10 years in the making, this is a major milestone for both Network Rail and Chiltern Railways with less than a month to go before the launch of services from Oxford city centre. 

“The current service from Oxford Parkway has been phenomenally successful with over 1.5 million passengers using the line to date.  The completion of the historic project allows provides an alternative route to London for over 100,000 people and reopens a key commuting line between the growing town of Bicester and Oxford.”

The service will provide train passengers from Oxford with two ways to get to London – via Bicester into London Marylebone or on the existing route into London Paddington.

This builds on Chiltern’s new service between Oxford Parkway and London Marylebone which was launched last year. Oxford Parkway, a new station on the outskirts of the city built as part of the project, is geared towards motorists who want easy access to the railway from further outside Oxford.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “This paves the way for our partners Chiltern Railways to launch their new central Oxford-to-London Marylebone services in December.

“This railway upgrade will boost business and create exciting new opportunities for people in the Oxford region.”

The project was made possible by a £320m joint investment by Network Rail and Chiltern. The route was originally conceived by Chiltern based on customer feedback, with the infrastructure owner then providing their expertise to deliver the project.

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