Posted 26th October 2015 | 3 Comments

Oxford-London service welcomes first commuters

TRAINS are carrying commuters from a new station in suburban Oxford to London today, via a newly-built connection at Bicester.

The Chiltern Railways service between Oxford Parkway in Water Eaton and Marylebone started yesterday, and runs along the existing but upgraded line via Islip to Bicester Town, which has now been renamed Bicester Village, and then turns right to run over a new chord to join the London line south of Bicester.

The service is a competitor for the Great Western Railway trains from the main station in Oxford, which run to Reading and Paddington.

Unlike many openings in recent years, the Oxford-Marylebone service is completely new, and not a revival of a former route. The chord at Bicester was built on a greenfield site, and links two lines which were once owned by the London & North Western Railway and the original GWR respectively.

The project is part of Chiltern's Evergreen 3 programme, and the opening of Oxford Parkway, which now provides a local railhead for Kidlington, is only the first step. The service is set to be extended west to the main station on the outskirts of Oxford city centre in the spring, and the route will also form part of the future East West Rail Link, which will take trains past Bicester to Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Aylesbury.

Plans are also being developed to continue the link beyond Bedford to Cambridge in the longer term.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • david c smith, Bletchley

    Perhaps this is just an example of innovation and enterprise that are possible when a TOC is relatively free from franchise restriction, as per Chiltern with its 20 year franchise making the investment worthwhile.

  • James, London

    I did this route today on the spur of the moment. Excellent, though both the departure from marylebone and arrival back were late. However, it is the first day, and seemed well patronized. I also like the simple fare system, essentially three types, peak, off peak, open return, and singles of course so much better than the book six months in advance options of other companies. The return off peak return the same price as Great Westerns single!

  • Chris Jones-Bridger, Buckley Flintshire

    A welcome addition to the network & a further reminder that plenty of positive progress is being made with enhancements. Let us look forward to the completion of the route into Oxford itself next year despite the difficulties Network Rail has had overcoming planning obstacles. Sadly these have only added to the time & cost in completing this project.

    As the first stage of completion of the East-West link let's look forward to further progress being made towards Bletchley opening up new opportunities for inter urban & cross country travel to be exploited.