Peak loco-hauled services to London planned
Chiltern Railways has unveiled the latest iteration of its new timetable, planned to be introduced when services to and from Oxford Parkway begin on 26 October.
Services will use the rebuilt link between Oxford and Bicester Village (formerly Bicester Town station) and then a new chord to access the Chiltern main line onwards to London.
The company held a consultation on a draft of its timetable last autumn. It says it has carefully considered the replies it received and has incorporated the changes which result from this feedback.
Services between Oxford Parkway and London Marylebone are planned to operate half-hourly, seven days a week, with journey times of approximately one hour. This includes one ‘Silver Train’ each way on Mondays to Fridays, formed of a Class 68 locomotive hauling a rake of the company’s Mk 3 carriages, and will include Business Class and an Espresso Bar on board. The up working leaves Oxford Parkway at 07.24, calling only at Bicester Village to arrive at Marylebone at 08.20, while the evening return leaves the London terminus at 18.18, calling at Haddenham & Thame Parkway and Bicester Village to reach Oxford Parkway at 19.19.
Chiltern added that ‘whilst the general structure of the timetable is now finalised, some of the specific times are still subject to confirmation. In addition, the timetable still requires regulatory approval’.
Chiltern is receiving five Class 170 DMUs from First TransPennine Express to operate the new service, which are currently undergoing a refresh at Wabtec’s Loughborough facility so that they resemble the company’s Class 168 DMUs. Services are planned to be further extended on to Oxford city centre in 2016, for which a further four ‘170s’ will move southwards.
The timetables can be downloaded from Chiltern’s website at www.chilternrailways.co.uk/october-timetable.