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Ballast delivery a sign that £130m rail line is on track
TENS of thousands of tonnes of ballast have arrived on the site of the new Oxford to Marylebone rail link.
And people nearby are hoping it signals that work will start soon.
Last month the Oxford Mail reported that eight miles of vegetation had been cleared around Bicester in preparation for the £130m scheme.
It is the first scheme to link two major British cities for 100 years and will see a new section of track built connecting Bicester Town station with the Chiltern mainline. It will enable fast services to run from London Marylebone to Oxford via Bicester, and double the track between Oxford and Bicester.
He said: “I am an enthusiast for all the rail developments in Bicester, both the Oxford-Marylebone link and the Oxford through to Cambridge link eventually.
“I’m pleased to see something actually happening on the ground and I think a lot of people will be.
“With these projects you hear a lot about them and read about them but it is good to see things actually happening.”
Chiltern Railways said had it saved 10,000 lorry trips by delivering the material by rail. Although a date for work to start has not yet been announced rail bosses have said every day they get a “step closer” to creating the rail link.
Stephen Barker, chief project engineer at Chiltern Railways, said: “Our impact on the environment is a key consideration as we construct our new line to London.
“Use of recycled ballast and using rail as a delivery method are examples of our commitment in this area.”
The line between Bicester and Oxford is due to close in February 2014 and will reopen in summer 2015.
Cllr Waine warned that the developments would inevitably cause disruption in the future.
He said: “There will be disruptions to road and rail traffic, but I think the end result will be worth it.”
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