New Chiltern mainline a ‘major boost’ for east-west rail hopes

Dr Nicola Sherrington of Aylesbury died after falling under a train
Dr Nicola Sherrington of Aylesbury died after falling under a train
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THE opening of a new 100mph mainline passing through Bicester is being hailed as a major boost to the campaign for an east-west rail route.

The first London Marylebone-Birmingham service using Chiltern Railways’ new £250million mainline passed through Bicester North on Monday last week.

The East West Rail Consortium, which includes Oxfordshire County Council (OCC), is pressuring the government to include a new east-west route in a package of rail improvements to be announced next summer.

Councillor David Robertson, deputy leader of OCC, said the new mainline demonstrated what was possible.

He added: “There is an absolutely overwhelming feeling that East-West Rail would bring enormous benefits to Oxfordshire, our neighbouring areas and further afield. It is true that there is very little money in national coffers at the moment for big schemes of this nature.

“However we all feel that we have a hugely strong case for what cash is on offer.”