A new rail route between Oxford and London Marylebone via Bicester has finally been given the go ahead.
The Secretary of State for Transport under the Transport and Works Act granted permission for Chiltern Railways 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. Chiltern Railways will build new stations in Bicester and in north Oxford.
A new parkway station in north Oxford will be located at Water Eaton. Bicester Town station will be redeveloped providing a first-class gateway to the town next to the popular Bicester Village retail centre. The route will be achieved by constructing a short connecting line just south of Bicester, where Chiltern Railways’ London-Birmingham line crosses over the proposed East-West line which will run between Oxford and Milton Keynes.
The latter will be upgraded from just east of Bicester Town station to Oxford, including restoring much of the double track that was removed many years ago. New signalling and safety systems will be installed. Bicester Town and Islip stations will be rebuilt and additional platforms provided at Oxford.
Says Graham Cross, Business Development Director of Chiltern Railways, ‘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.’