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October 26, 2015

Chiltern Railways opens Oxford to London rail link

Chiltern Railways in the UK has started passenger services on a new line between Oxford and London.

Chiltern Trains

Chiltern Railways in the UK has started passenger services on a new line between Oxford and London.

Built in partnership with the UK rail infrastructure operator Network Rail, the line is the first rail link between a major UK city and the capital in more than 100 years.

Serving new stations at Oxford Parkway and Bicester Village, the rail link saw an investment of £320m.

Network Rail invested £190m into the project while train operator Chiltern spent £130m.

The stations were built by a joint venture of Carillion and Buckingham Group Contracting, under a contract with Network Rail.

"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 part of Deutsche Bahn-owned Arriva, Chiltern Railways will operate trains from London Marylebone to the new station at Oxford Parkway in less than an hour.

Two new services an hour will offer Oxford commuters an alternative to travelling into London via Reading and Paddington, and are expected to attract an additional 250,000 return commuter journeys each year.

Chiltern Railways managing director Rob Brighouse said: "Our significant and unique investment will be economically advantageous for the regional economy, creating competition in the rail market between Oxford and London.

"Passengers are at the heart of every decision we make at Chiltern Railways, which is why we conceived this new line to link London, Oxford and Bicester Village for the benefit of shoppers and commuters."

Chiltern is also upgrading their free Wi-Fi to 4G in order to give commuters a faster internet connection.

Network Rail CEO Mark Carne said: "Investing in new rail links and train stations boosts the economy, providing opportunities for new housing and more jobs.

"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.

"It will also help provide the capacity needed as rail travel is forecast to double over the next two decades."


Image: A pair of Chiltern Railway services at London Marylebone. Photo: courtesy of Geof Sheppard via Wikipedia.

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