Chiltern Railways ran a special train along the Cowley Branch on November 5, to showcase how passenger trains could run on the line as early as 2020.
Currently it is a freight-only route, but Chiltern wants to build stations at Oxford Science Park and Oxford Business Park. This will follow the launch of the operator’s Oxford-London Marylebone trains.
Chiltern says the development would bring significant economic benefits for many businesses based in that part of Oxford, and complement the Oxford and Oxfordshire City Deal, which is dedicated to creating more than 86,000 jobs and 100,000 new homes in Oxfordshire by 2031. It believes re-opening the line to passengers would also improve connectivity from the southeast of Oxford to the city centre and beyond.
Rob Brighouse, managing director at Chiltern Railways, said: “Investment in rail has the enormous ability to stimulate the economy. The Cowley proposition will help Oxfordshire compete on a global level, by linking areas of future employment and housing growth such as Bicester as well as the region’s leading innovation hubs. We strongly believe that investment in this project will open up exciting opportunities for the region.”
- For more information, read RAIL 762, published on November 26