Latest Rail News


Railway between Banbury, Leamington and Bicester North to close for nine days

The line between Leamington Spa, Banbury and Bicester North is to close from this Saturday to 7 August to allow Network Rail engineers to install a new signalling system.

The upgrades mean that signalling control will transfer from Banbury North and Banbury South signal boxes to West Midlands Signalling Centre in a £40m contract awarded to Siemens.

Martin Ball, area director for Network Rail, said: “This £76m investment at Banbury is key to modernising the railway through the area and providing passengers with a more reliable, better railway.

“There is never a good time to close the railway for any length of time but we have looked at all options and worked with Chiltern Railways and CrossCountry to complete this work at a time which will cause least disruption to passengers.

“Our Railway Upgrade Plan is delivering significant investment into the railway network which will provide a better, more reliable railway for passengers.”

As part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail is spending £76m on the infrastructure of the branch, which is used by Chiltern Railways and CrossCountry.

It will also lay 14,000m of track, with 24 new points, at Banbury, and provide the infrastructure for a new Chiltern maintenance depot south of the station.

At the same time, services will be cancelled between Oxford and Didcot Parkway until 14 August to allow the raising of the tracks by more than half a metre to prevent them from being flooded.

Flooding has caused 11 closures in 14 years on this part of the route, and the railway between Leamington Spa and Banbury was closed for two months last year after a major landslip at Harbury.

The railway between Oxford and Hanborough will be closed for bridge repairs from 3 August to 7 August.

(Image c. Elliott Brown)

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Robert Blackburn   27/07/2016 at 19:41

Chiltern are NOT going to like it when they see that you've called their smart re-furbished MAINLINE a"Branch"! Their trains which use the line are branded "Mainline". It isn't, and never was, a"branch".

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