Chiltern begins direct Oxford-London services


THE new Chiltern Railway service from central Oxford to London Marylebone began on
December 11, the first new rail link between two major cities for 100 years.

Chiltern Railways ‘Turbostar’ No. 168113 at dawn at Oxford on December 11 waiting to leave with the first service, the 07.43 to London Marylebone. CHRIS BEHAN

A formal opening with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling was held on the following day.

Chiltern opened a new twin track line from Bicester to Oxford Parkway 12 months ago, which has attracted 1.5 million passengers, and now that the service has been extended to the city centre that figure is expected to grow.

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Chiltern will operate two trains each hour, with a journey time of around an hour. The project was conceived by Chiltern and named Evergreen 3, and has been delivered by Network Rail, the operator investing £130million in the overall £320m cost.

The line from Oxford to Bicester Village will form an integral part of the East-West link connecting Oxford and Cambridge.

For the first time, passengers between the capital and Oxford will have a choice between Chiltern and GWR, creating direct competition.

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