Wednesday 21 Sep 2016
Oxford to Marylebone track now complete
- Track now fully installed from Oxford city centre to London Marylebone.
- Chiltern Railways services from Oxford city centre set to launch on 12 December 2016.
- First new rail route between a major British city and London in over 100 years.
Network Rail engineers have finished laying new sections of track to connect Oxford city centre with London Marylebone - ahead of Chiltern Railways running services on the new line from December.
The final track installations were completed around Peartree and Wolvercote in Oxford. Network Rail’s ‘orange army’ engineers have transformed the old 20-40 mph branch line into a 100 mph main line.
The £320 million project, including an investment of £130 million from Chiltern Railways, was first conceived in 2002 and approved in 2013. The first section of the route opened from Oxford Parkway, a new station, in October 2015.
Once open, two trains per hour will run throughout the day from Oxford city centre to London Marylebone with journey times from around an hour. The new link introduces a useful alternative for people travelling between Oxford and London. Until now Paddington station has been their only London rail option.
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.”
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."
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.