Slightly delayed start for new service
Chiltern Railways has announced that its new rail service between Oxford Parkway and London Marylebone will begin on 26 October. Operation over the new link was originally planned to begin in September.
Services will use the former single-track branch line from Oxford to Bicester Town with an onward connection via a new chord onto the Chiltern main line at Bicester. The upgrade of the line to a double-track 100mph railway also forms the first phase of the East West rail project, which will see services linking Oxford to Bedford and Milton Keynes from 2019.
The new station at Oxford Parkway, built on the site of the derelict Water Eaton silo north of the city, will initially be the terminus for the service prior to extension into Oxford city centre. Chiltern told Modern Railways that this aspect of the project ‘is progressing well and is on track to be complete by spring 2016’. Bicester Town station is being completely rebuilt and will be renamed as Bicester Village, reflecting its proximity to the nearby shopping outlet.
Chiltern plans a half-hourly service between Oxford Parkway and Marylebone, with journey times of around an hour. Details of the exact timetable for the service are due to be released later in the year.
The operator is receiving the first five of nine Class 170 DMUs transferring from First TransPennine Express to facilitate the start of the Oxford service.