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First new service between major British city and London for over 100 years officially opened

Chiltern Railways 168214 stands at Oxford Parkway on October 26, with the 1017 to London Marylebone. RICHARD CLINNICK.

Chiltern Railways officially opened Oxford Parkway today (October 26) as the first phase of the £320 million project to run trains between London Marylebone and Oxford. 

CR Managing Director Rob Brighouse said: “This is an historic day. Our significant and unique investment will be economically advantageous for the regional economy creating competition in the rail market between Oxford and London, as well as delivering the first new service between a major British city and London for over 100 years.”

CR is providing £130m of funding, with repayments beginning today. Network Rail is spending a further £190m on the scheme, which also forms part of the East West railway. For that reason it has been rebuilt to W12 gauge and features infrastructure ready for the installation of overhead line electrification, although no date has been set for that. 

NR Chief Executive Mark Carne said: “By working closely with Chiltern Railways on this part of our Railway Upgrade Plan we have been able to deliver precisely what its customers want - a much-needed new transport option for Oxford-based business and leisure travellers to London. 

  • For much more on this, read RAIL 787, published on November 11.

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  • Richard Porter - 26/10/2015 19:03

    Nice station but why does it have to be battleship grey? No waiting room on the down platform though the facilities on the up side are good. The level crossing at Bicester Village has an exceedingly long barrier down time before train arrives in the up direction. This will cause traffic problems at busy times.

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  • Douglas Butler - 28/10/2015 07:58

    Why no photo of the new chord at Bicester that made this new service possible? A map showing the location of the new Parkway station would have been useful too.

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  • Bassman - 30/10/2015 14:18

    Some sobering thoughts; on a recent visit to OXP was the new 850 space car park full? no, there were 50 cars at most and some of those must have been contractors vehicles. Was there a vast queue for the no.500 bus to Oxford centre? not a potential passenger in sight.The only off-peak passengers appeared to be enthusiasts traveling out of curiosity, even the crowds of Chinese traveling to Bicester Village seemed to be sticking to the Bicester North route. Compare that to the Scottish Borders line that must be carrying more people in one day than the Oxford route does in a week. The main problem seems to be it may only take an hour to travel Marylebone- OXP but around 88 minutes Marylebone -Oxford Station, almost 50% longer than the Paddington route. The line must be losing money, a lot of money, fast. Will Chiltern end up "handing back the keys"? One of the best franchises will end up back in public ownership. Jeremy Corbin will be laughing all the way to Dwning Street.

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