Chiltern Railways has been given the green light to build a groundbreaking new rail line between Oxford and London. The Secretary of State for Transport under the Transport and Works Act granted permission for Chiltern to start work on the line; the first new rail link between London and a major British city for 100 years. The groundbreaking £130m project will result in the train company running services between London Marylebone and Oxford from 2015. This work brings Chiltern’s total investment in the line to £600 million since the start of their franchise.
The new line will benefit thousands of commuters at a time when rail traffic is rising into London Paddington and there are frequent reports of road transport gridlock on the A34. The news will also be welcomed by Thames Valley businesses with two London to Oxford trains each way every hour, providing fast frequent links to London and Buckinghamshire.
As part of the project, Chiltern Railways will build new stations in Bicester and in north Oxford. The new parkway station in north Oxford will be located at Water Eaton and will be a multi-modal interchange, linking trains, buses, cars and bikes allowing passengers to avoid the congestion of central Oxford. Bicester Town station will also be redeveloped providing a first-class gateway to the town next to the popular Bicester Village fashion outlet centre.
Graham Cross, Business Development Director of Chiltern Railways said: “We are pleased to have been granted the power to proceed with this significant railway investment, which will benefit thousands of commuters and businesses in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The Oxford to London link is the latest in a long line of innovative Chiltern-led projects to upgrade the rail infrastructure, fuelled by our understanding of rail’s potential to make a significant contribution to economic growth and prosperity.”
The recently announced East West Rail project will also benefit from Chiltern’s new line from Oxford to London with both routes using the line between Oxford and Bicester. Chiltern Railways will now work in partnership with the East West Rail team to determine a joint project approach.