The new Oxford Parkway station opened this week providing the first brand new link between a major British city and London for over 100 years.
The station, located near Kidlington on the Northern outskirts of Oxford, was constructed as part of a £320million investment conducted by Chiltern Railways and Network Rail.
The new station offers travellers from Oxford an alternative to the Reading – Paddington route by routing trains along a different line to London Marylebone. The line also contains a further new station at Bicester Village.
Rob Brighouse, managing director of Chiltern Railways said of the project: “This is an historic day. Our significant and unique investment will be economically advantageous for the regional economy creating competition in the rail market between Oxford and London, as well as delivering the first new service between a major British city and London for over 100 years. Passengers are at the heart of every decision we make at Chiltern Railways, which is why we conceived this new line to link London, Oxford and Bicester Village for the benefit of shoppers and commuters.”
The new service will also include two fast trains per hour to London stopping only at Bicester Village, as a result journey times on these trains will be under an hour. The route is expected to attract 250,000 return commuter journeys per year and has been strategically positioned adjacent to the A34 to attract motorists and reduce congestion.
Mark Carne of Network Rail, which invested £190miliion of the total £320million need for the project, said in a statement: “Investing in new rail links and train stations boosts the economy, providing opportunities for new housing and more jobs. By working closely with Chiltern Railways on this part of our Railway Upgrade Plan we have been able to deliver precisely what its customers want – a much-needed new transport option for Oxford-based business and leisure travellers to London. It will also help provide the capacity needed as rail travel is forecast to double over the next two decades.”
The project has also been praised by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, whose constituency in Witney lies close to the station, he said: “This new line and two new stations mark an historic moment for Oxfordshire. From today there will be more trains, faster journey times and better transport links for people living and working here.”
The line, which was conceived of and developed by Chiltern Railways, has been heralded as a rare example of competition in British railways as passengers now have a choice of lines when travelling to and from London.