The government is considering the creation of a new rail franchise for operating train services on the new East West railway line.
Network Rail have confirmed that the project to deliver passenger train services between Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, including a station at Winslow, will be delivered ASAP.
The Hendy report has proposed delays to East West Rail, which could delay completion of the western section to 2024 for some parts.
The second phase consultation for East West Rail has opened to the public.
Source: Network Rail
The extension of Chiltern Railways services into central Oxford is set to be delayed until next Summer. Delays have been caused by noise and vibration concerns of local residents living near the railway.
Work to bring Chiltern Railway services into Oxford railway station could be delayed following changes to the project. The work was given permission in 2012 but cannot proceed until Oxford City Council discharges condition 19 over the impact of noise and vibration to nearby homes. Network Rail has moved the location of a set of points away from the property but there have been delays getting this change implemented.
Local residents have expressed concern about the report submitted by the Independent Noise Assessor and the council/local residents have asked for lower line speeds/noise fencing to mitigate noise. In addition, traffic volumes are expected to substantially increase with the introduction of East-West Rail.
This will not impact the delivery of the route to Oxford Parkway, which will open on 26th October.
Oxford Parkway is almost complete with the line on track to open in September 2015.
There has been anger expressed following the announcement that Bicester Town railway station is to be rebranded Bicester Village after the local discount venue. The railway station will be located on the new railway link between London Marylebone and Oxford when it reopens to Oxford Parkway in September 2015.
The new station building for Oxford Parkway Railway Station has been completed, ready for it being fit out. The station will be opened in September. A timelapse of the construction of the railway station has been published
Work has started on upgrading Bicester Town Railway Station in preparation for the opening of the new rail link between London and Oxford.
The structure of the railway station building at Oxford Parkway is almost complete, with internal fit out due to commence early in the New Year. When opened in the Summer of 2015, it will offer journey times of under one hour into London.
Councillors have petitioned Network Rail for a railway station to be built at Steeple Claydon as part of the East West Rail project. The village is set to accommodate an infrastructure depot for HS2. Network Rail has advised that it has made passive provision for a railway station serving the village.
The Liberal Democrats have proposed reopening the line between Oxford and Cambridge as a Garden Cities line with railway stations and services serving local places that agree to expand as Garden Cities.
The East West Rail scheme has taken a step forward with the award of a design contract to global engineering consultant, Parsons Brinckerhoff.
The project will re-establish a passenger and freight rail link between Oxford and Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury for the first time in more than 40 years. It involves upgrading and reconstructing underused and disused sections of railway.
Parsons Brinckerhoff has been awarded a contract of up to £8 million for the second phase of the scheme. The work it will be carrying out includes timetable modelling, the design and alignment of track, civil engineering works to bridges and embankments, geotechnical investigation and survey works, studies on how the reinstated railway will impact on level crossings, station design, consents, ecology and environmental works.
Andy Milne, Network Rail senior programme manager, said: “This contract award marks a significant milestone for the East West Rail scheme. The work Parsons Brinckerhoff will be carrying out will enable the project to be developed to the point where we can then award contracts for detailed design and construction.”
The first phase of the scheme is already underway with the construction and doubling of track for more than 18km of railway to increase line speeds to 100mph along with a variety of other works. These include the construction of new overbridges, underbridges and footbridges, closure of 37 level crossings, construction of a new station at Oxford Parkway and work to upgrade Bicester Town and Islip stations along with a new signalling system.
Darren Reed, Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Director of Rail UK/Europe, said “We are delighted to be working with Network Rail and the East West Consortium to facilitate the development of this major complex rail programme which will enable essential east west rail connectivity. We look forward to developing this visionary strategic transport scheme, which in turn will encourage economic growth and promote sustainable transport solutions.”
The East West Rail will deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits to Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and beyond.
A Riding Stables fears that it could be forced to close due to the noise of passing trains on the reopened railway line between Oxford and Marylebone.