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Track installed on Oxford to Marylebone line

Track between Oxford station and Marylebone in London is now complete ahead of a new Chiltern line opening in December.

Network Rail engineers finished laying track on what was an old branch line at Peartree and Wolvercote.

Once the project is complete, two 100mph trains will run from Oxford to Marylebone, providing more opportunities for Oxford residents who currently have to take the train to Paddington to reach London.

Martin Frobisher, London North Western route managing director for Network Rail, said: "This important landmark in our nationwide Railway Upgrade Plan will offer a great new travel option not just for business and leisure passengers in Oxford going to London but also for those in London heading to Oxford.

“It will bring economic benefits to the Oxford region and with it new opportunities for people living there."

The £320m project, which includes an investment of £130m from Chiltern Railways, was first conceived in 2002 and then approved in 2013.

The first section of the route opened from Oxford Parkway, a new station, in October 2015.

The completed line was originally due to open this spring, but it has been delayed due to various requirements, including planning consents, construction, testing of the infrastructure and training of drivers.

Dave Penney, managing director at Chiltern Railways, said:  “With the track now laid from our new station Oxford Parkway through to Oxford city centre, we can look forward to the first trains running on 12 December. 

“The new rail line will bring significant social, economic and environmental benefits to those living and working along the route and will be the completion of first new rail link between a major British city and London for over 100 years.”

(Image c. Network Rail)

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Huguenot   22/09/2016 at 21:03

This is great news and I look forward to riding on the new (or, rather, reinstated) line in December. NR must now press on with Bicester to Bletchley without delay.

Andrew Gwilt   22/09/2016 at 22:46

So that means there will be a hourly service from Oxford to London Marylebone and future East-West rail link to be fully opened once the new link between Bedford and Cambridge via Sandy is completed aswell doubling the route which could be renamed as Varsity Line when the beeching axe happened and the whole route was closed which was a disaster to not just East Anglia but also other areas and towns & cities also affected including Cambridge, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Bicester and Oxford which will be history once the new line is fully reopened.

Huguenot   23/09/2016 at 11:17

No, Andrew, Chiltern's Oxford-Marylebone will be half-hourly. Oxford-Bletchley and Bedford-Cambridge was not actually axed by Beeching. He merely recommended closure of small rural stations whilst maintaining the through route. It was BR itself than closed the route in 1967, well after Beeching left, on the grounds that passenger numbers were low -- not surprising, since the train service was poor. Like many other closures, there was a complete lack of foresight about future traffic congestion and longer-distance commuting.

Noam Bleicher   23/09/2016 at 14:22

I can't wait for this - no more rattling down to London on the rubbish 165s which FGW deem good enough for the fast service, with no tables, wifi, carpets or charging sockets. Chiltern's 170s are poles apart from the FGW product.

Andrew Gwilt   23/09/2016 at 15:00

In that case. Thanks @Huguenot.

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