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Network Rail and Chiltern Railways open ground-breaking new rail line connecting Oxford city centre and London.

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Chiltern Railways and Network Rail today opened a new rail link connecting central Oxford with the capital, following a unique £320m investment by the franchise operator and the infrastructure manager.

The completion of the new rail link to London – the first from a major British city in more than 100 years – sees central Oxford connected to Marylebone via successful new stations Oxford Parkway and Bicester Village. It has been just 12 months since the line opened from Oxford Parkway on the outskirts of Oxford in October 2015. The first year has seen over 1.5 million passengers using the line; this is expected to grow to with the extension into the city.

Chiltern’s new service offers Oxford commuters an alternative to travelling into London. The new service will offer two new trains per hour throughout the day between Oxford and London Marylebone with journey times to the capital from around an hour.

The new link is part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan and is an example of new, direct competition on Britain’s railways creating choice and flexibility for customers. It represents a £320m investment by Network Rail and Chiltern Railways which have jointly funded the project. The idea for the line was conceived by Chiltern Railways who invested £130million of the £320million total cost. Network Rail constructed the line on time and within budget as part of the wider East West Rail project, contributing £190m.

A close collaborative partnership between Chiltern Railways and Network Rail has delivered high levels of performance. At time of launch Chiltern Railways are one of the most punctual rail operators in the UK and the company is consistently one of the top rated franchise operators for customer satisfaction in the National Rail Passenger Survey.

Commenting on the launch of the new line, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is the first new rail link between a major British city and the capital in 100 years and also a shining example of partnership working between the private and public sector. From today travellers to and from London Marylebone and Oxford will get increased choice, more trains and faster journey times. The link is also an important part of the new East West line to be built between Oxford and Cambridge and will bring growth and prosperity to this corner of Britain.”

Dave Penney, managing director of Chiltern Railways, said: “This is a significant milestone in the history of Chiltern Railways. The new line delivers meaningful benefits for those living and working in the region and will be economically advantageous for the regional economy.

"It creates direct competition in the rail market between Oxford and London giving customers a real choice and flexibility, as well as delivering the first new service between a major British city and London for over 100 years.”

Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said: "I am delighted that Network Rail has delivered the first part of East West Rail on time and on budget for our customers.

“What’s really satisfying is how this happened: Chiltern told us what their customers wanted and put up some money - then Network Rail, working closely with Chiltern, made it happen.

“Privately-funded railway upgrades to improve service based on customers’ needs - that is exactly what Network Rail is all about. Here’s to many more railway upgrades following this model in future.”

 

News archive

Noise monitoring report available

The “Measurements of Effectiveness of Noise Barriers in Route Sections A to G” (Bicester to Oxford Parkway) has been published.

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Network Rail and Chiltern Railways open ground-breaking new rail line connecting Oxford city centre and London.

Chiltern Railways and Network Rail today opened a new rail link connecting central Oxford with the capital, following a unique £320m investment by the franchise operator and the infrastructure manager.

Read more...

Railway upgrade completed ahead of historic Oxford-London Marylebone train service launch

Chiltern Railways has begun the final countdown to the launch of its historic new train service between central Oxford and London Marylebone - after Network Rail engineers finished their latest railway upgrade on time and on budget.

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Commissioning weekend 18-20 November 2016

Over the course of the weekend of 18/20 November, railway works will be undertaken on the section of railway between Oxford Station and Oxford Parkway/Banbury Sidings to bring the new railway infrastructure into commission.

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Section I information on noise and vibration issued

Noise and vibration information for Section 1/2 works north of Oxford Station between Aristotle Lane and Abbey Road is now available.

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Reopening of the line announced as 12 December 2016

Chiltern Railways has announced that passenger services from Oxford to London, via Oxford Parkway, Islip and Bicester Village stations, will start on 12 December 2016.

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Reopening of the line

The first part of the new line from Oxford Parkway to the Chiltern Mainline via Islip and Bicester Village was opened on 23 October 2015 by Prime Minister David Cameron, who is local MP for Witney, West Oxfordshire.

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Breaking news...Reopening of the line announced as 12 December 2016

Chiltern Railways has announced that passenger services from Oxford to London, via Oxford Parkway, Islip and Bicester Village stations, will start on 12 December 2016.

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Breaking news...First train on the line between Bicester and Oxford Parkway (28 September 2015)

The first train passed across the Bicester Chord and travelled on the new track to Oxford Parkway Station this morning. This marks the start of the month long period of driver training ahead of the reintroduction of passenger services on 26 October 2015.

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Public drop-in session for Works between Aristotle Lane and Oxford Junction in North Oxford.

Residents are invited to visit the public information exhibition on the proposed project activities and programme on Wed 26 August, Wed 2 September or Wed 9 September 2015 from 2-8pm at Waterways Community Room, 51 Clearwater Place, Oxford OX2 7NL

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On 6 May 2015, the Down Line permanent way was connected together near to the M40 road bridge and re-established the rail connection between Bicester and Oxford.

6 May 2015

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Section H noise contours are now available for review.

18 February 2015

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Residents are invited to a public drop-in session at St Peter’s Church Hall, First Turn, Upper Wolvercote, Oxford OX2 8AQ on from 2-8pm to learn more about the project activities and programme in the Oxford Parkway to Wolvercote area (February-November 2015).

12 February 2015

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First Turn bridge will be closed to vehicles between Woodstock Road and Mere Road from 15 February to 1 March 2015 and from 29 April to 29 November 2015 (dates subject to revision).

6 February 2015

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The Bicester to Oxford line and the project is featured in Series 6 of Michael Portillo’s Great Railway Journeys, and will be broadcast on BBC Two on Thursday 29 January 2015 at 6.30pm. It will also be available on the BBC iPlayer.

16 January 2015

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Scheme of Assessments for Noise (all areas)

10 December 2014

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Vibration Technical Workshop

The Oxford Hotel, Wolvercote - 10 June 2014

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