Planning delays set back city centre extension
Chiltern Railways has announced that its new direct service between Oxford city centre and London Marylebone will start in December 2016.
Services from Marylebone to Oxford Parkway began in October 2015, and initial plans were for the onwards link to the city centre to follow in the spring. However, delays in obtaining planning permissions for the upgraded link have set the project back.
The former Oxford-Bicester branch line is being upgraded to a double-track 100mph line, signalled for trains to run at three-minute headways. The route also forms part of the future East West Rail link from Oxford to Bedford and Milton Keynes, for which planning is ongoing.
Chiltern Railways managing director Dave Penney said: ‘We’re now able to announce the opening date of the final part of the Chiltern Railways Oxford City Centre to London Marylebone rail link as 12 December. The new line provides customers from Oxford city centre with more trains to London and provides a new route for the many business and leisure visitors to the city. The launch is the completion of the first new rail link between a major British city and London in over 100 years and will bring significant economic benefit to the region.’