A visit by the Secretary of State for Transport has marked the start of major work on the Chiltern Railways Oxford to London Marylebone project, a landmark new rail route that will be the first to connect a major British city with London in over 100 years. It is also the first phase of works on the western section of the East West Rail scheme that will reinstate the railway for passenger and freight services through to Milton Keynes and Bedford.
Once completed, the project will provide Oxfordshire with a new rail
route to London, improve services between Bicester and Oxford, and
re-establish a direct rail link between Oxford and High Wycombe. The new
line between Oxford and London Marylebone is planned to launch from
Oxford Parkway in Summer 2015 and from Oxford city centre in Spring
The upgrade of the Oxford to Bicester line facilitates the
new Chiltern Railways service between Oxford and London.
The Secretary of State’s visit follows a key milestone on the
mainline last weekend when major signalling equipment was installed for
the new Bicester South junction where Oxford trains will join Chiltern’s
London to Birmingham route.
Rob Brighouse, Managing Director of Chiltern Railways said: “Chiltern
Railways has invested £130 million in our landmark Oxford to London
Marylebone project that will deliver significant economic benefits for
those living and working along the route and transform travel for people
"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.”
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "Our railways are a
success story and we are building on that success through record levels
of investment. The start of work on this new route is proof our
investment is paying off, with improved connections boosting services
across the region for the benefit of passengers and local businesses."
Work on this project is taking place through a partnership between
Network Rail and Chiltern Railways who are managing delivery of the
project through the Bicester to Oxford Collaboration. Chiltern Railways
has invested £130 million to build the line.
Dyan Crowther, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said: “The
new Oxford to London line and wider East West rail scheme will deliver
significant economic, social and environmental benefits to Oxfordshire,
Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and beyond. The start of work to build the
new railway is an important first step in delivering these improvements
which will benefit millions of passengers and many local economies