Chiltern gets go-ahead for second Oxford-London rail link

The Oxford Times: A Chiltern Railways Clubman train A Chiltern Railways Clubman train

Chiltern Railways this afternoon finally won permission from the Government to create a £130m railway route between Oxford and London, via Bicester.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has approved a Transport and Works Act order allowing the project to proceed after accepting proposed measures to protect bats which use Wolvercote Tunnel in Oxford as a roost.

The line will be the first new Rail link between London and a major British city for 100 years, with the first trains running between Oxford and London Marylebone in 2015, via a new connecting curve from Bicester Town station to the Chiltern main line.

The project includes a new railway station next to the Water Eaton park-and-ride centre, south of Kidlington, and a new Bicester Town station.

Graham Cross, business development director of Chiltern Railways said: “We're pleased to have been granted the power to proceed with this significant railway investment, which will benefit thousands of commuters and businesses in Oxfordshire.”

The recently announced East West Rail project, to link Oxford and Bicester with Milton Keynes and Bedford, will also benefit from Chiltern’s project, with both routes using the line between Oxford and Bicester.

Today's decision to approve Chiltern's scheme follows a public inquiry into the project held in Oxford in 2010-11. It was reopened earlier this year to hear further evidence on measures to protect the bats and other wildlife near the line.

Comments (12)

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3:47pm Thu 18 Oct 12

Sophia says...

Great news.
Great news. Sophia
  • Score: 1

4:08pm Thu 18 Oct 12

EMBOX1 says...

Good, unlike the East West Rail which it seems is stuck in bureaucratic mud.

Get out there and start work!
Good, unlike the East West Rail which it seems is stuck in bureaucratic mud. Get out there and start work! EMBOX1
  • Score: 1

4:53pm Thu 18 Oct 12

Robie says...

Superb News, Chiltern Railways do a great job on the lines they currently operate.
Superb News, Chiltern Railways do a great job on the lines they currently operate. Robie
  • Score: 3

7:03pm Thu 18 Oct 12

JohnHenRailfuture says...

This is great news for East West Rail (Oxford - Bicester - Bedford) too. The upgrade between Oxford and Bicester will create the extra track speed and train slots needed for East West trains. The EW project to Bedford received govt green light in July for completion in 2017. Find out more and sign your support at www.railfuture.org.o
uk/ox-cam
This is great news for East West Rail (Oxford - Bicester - Bedford) too. The upgrade between Oxford and Bicester will create the extra track speed and train slots needed for East West trains. The EW project to Bedford received govt green light in July for completion in 2017. Find out more and sign your support at www.railfuture.org.o uk/ox-cam JohnHenRailfuture
  • Score: 1

9:54pm Thu 18 Oct 12

Myron Blatz says...

So this isn't being diverted through Blackbird Leys as part of the £2million investment plan to try to breathe life into one of Oxford's mainly Council-owned social housing estates, or did Chiltern refuse to operate trains every four minutes?
So this isn't being diverted through Blackbird Leys as part of the £2million investment plan to try to breathe life into one of Oxford's mainly Council-owned social housing estates, or did Chiltern refuse to operate trains every four minutes? Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Fri 19 Oct 12

Ox4Eva says...

Why does it take so long to get there though, should be 50 mins tops?
Why does it take so long to get there though, should be 50 mins tops? Ox4Eva
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Fri 19 Oct 12

King Joke says...

It's 50 mins to Bicester on the fast Marylebone-Bham trains, so 50 mins to Oxford would be difficult!

I'm not sure what the stopping pattern for the Oxford trains will be, but it will be at least Marylebone-Wycombe-B
icester Town-(Islip on some trains)-Water Eaton-Oxford. There may be other calls at places like Risborough and Beaconsfield.

70 min on a comfy 168 will feel like less than 55 min on a crappy FGW HST...
It's 50 mins to Bicester on the fast Marylebone-Bham trains, so 50 mins to Oxford would be difficult! I'm not sure what the stopping pattern for the Oxford trains will be, but it will be at least Marylebone-Wycombe-B icester Town-(Islip on some trains)-Water Eaton-Oxford. There may be other calls at places like Risborough and Beaconsfield. 70 min on a comfy 168 will feel like less than 55 min on a crappy FGW HST... King Joke
  • Score: 0

5:27pm Fri 19 Oct 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
So this isn't being diverted through Blackbird Leys as part of the £2million investment plan to try to breathe life into one of Oxford's mainly Council-owned social housing estates, or did Chiltern refuse to operate trains every four minutes?
Sadly £2M wouldn't be enough to build a new railway station. Nor would it be enough to build the two new through platforms required at the current rail station to serve a city-line service. Looking at the map, a new station would be very useful though.

A single station built at the Kassam Stadium would serve several thousand people working at the Science Park, along with thousands of residents of both Littlemore and Westen Blackbird & Greater Leys.

A futher station built at Tesco would serve the 5000 staff working at the business park, the further 4000 working between BMW, Unipart and other major sites nearby along with the residents of Eastern Blackbird Leys.

I know that you have a great deal of anxiety over the profitable, non-subsidised, and regular bus services that the Blackbird Leys, Cowley Centre, Cowley Road enjoys into central Oxford. If these 1000+ seats, that are available every hour, were banned as you demand then the only option would be to build new multi-storey carparks in central Oxford with a similar tariff to the former bus service. So, given that you'd have to treat all the bus routes in an equal fashion, that would need a new 12,000 space car park built in Central Oxford...
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: So this isn't being diverted through Blackbird Leys as part of the £2million investment plan to try to breathe life into one of Oxford's mainly Council-owned social housing estates, or did Chiltern refuse to operate trains every four minutes?[/p][/quote]Sadly £2M wouldn't be enough to build a new railway station. Nor would it be enough to build the two new through platforms required at the current rail station to serve a city-line service. Looking at the map, a new station would be very useful though. A single station built at the Kassam Stadium would serve several thousand people working at the Science Park, along with thousands of residents of both Littlemore and Westen Blackbird & Greater Leys. A futher station built at Tesco would serve the 5000 staff working at the business park, the further 4000 working between BMW, Unipart and other major sites nearby along with the residents of Eastern Blackbird Leys. I know that you have a great deal of anxiety over the profitable, non-subsidised, and regular bus services that the Blackbird Leys, Cowley Centre, Cowley Road enjoys into central Oxford. If these 1000+ seats, that are available every hour, were banned as you demand then the only option would be to build new multi-storey carparks in central Oxford with a similar tariff to the former bus service. So, given that you'd have to treat all the bus routes in an equal fashion, that would need a new 12,000 space car park built in Central Oxford... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Fri 19 Oct 12

bodchris says...

When oh when will the A40 and A34 get funding for an upgrade? How much traffic and how much commerce take these vital routes and suffer dreadful conditions especially in the rush-hours.

Forget the trains and invest in roads!!!!
When oh when will the A40 and A34 get funding for an upgrade? How much traffic and how much commerce take these vital routes and suffer dreadful conditions especially in the rush-hours. Forget the trains and invest in roads!!!! bodchris
  • Score: 0

7:23pm Fri 19 Oct 12

bodchris says...

Lets hope they build the new Water Eaton Station first! And then improve and extend the car park and surrounding roads.
Lets hope they build the new Water Eaton Station first! And then improve and extend the car park and surrounding roads. bodchris
  • Score: 1

7:34pm Fri 19 Oct 12

bodchris says...

Any infrastructure investment is good news, however Oxfordshire also needs serious and in-depth investment in our crumbling and unsuitable roads if the technolodgical edge that we have developed can be maintained and even expand and grow. History tells us that roads and communication links are vital to technological and social development. Just as Germany's Autobahns and Reichsbahn helped Germany conquor Europe, it was Russia's dreadful roads that stifled the Wehrmacht's invasion.
Any infrastructure investment is good news, however Oxfordshire also needs serious and in-depth investment in our crumbling and unsuitable roads if the technolodgical edge that we have developed can be maintained and even expand and grow. History tells us that roads and communication links are vital to technological and social development. Just as Germany's Autobahns and Reichsbahn helped Germany conquor Europe, it was Russia's dreadful roads that stifled the Wehrmacht's invasion. bodchris
  • Score: 0

12:11pm Sun 21 Oct 12

King Joke says...

It was the railways which carried the large part of the men and materiel (as well as other less fortunate cargo) during WW II. The Reichsautobahnen were a political project which didn't contribute much to the war effort.

The new Chiltern service will virtually double capacity between Oxford and London, a flow which is overstretched in the peak on the current service.

Building more roads only creates more traffic and more congestion in the long run, as well as encouraging more sprawing land-hungry development. THis would in no way contribute to our tech sector.

What we need is office space close to transport hubs in central Oxford and other town centres. Central Oxford is especially important as it's only here where there is a chance of proper high-capacity links to Heathrow airport for global links, HS1 for links to Europe and HS2/the existing rail network for links to the major UK cities.
It was the railways which carried the large part of the men and materiel (as well as other less fortunate cargo) during WW II. The Reichsautobahnen were a political project which didn't contribute much to the war effort. The new Chiltern service will virtually double capacity between Oxford and London, a flow which is overstretched in the peak on the current service. Building more roads only creates more traffic and more congestion in the long run, as well as encouraging more sprawing land-hungry development. THis would in no way contribute to our tech sector. What we need is office space close to transport hubs in central Oxford and other town centres. Central Oxford is especially important as it's only here where there is a chance of proper high-capacity links to Heathrow airport for global links, HS1 for links to Europe and HS2/the existing rail network for links to the major UK cities. King Joke
  • Score: 0

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