Meeting hears more about East West Rail

The disused railway line at Winslow
The disused railway line at Winslow
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About 80 people turned out on a snowy evening to learn more about East West Rail at a meeting at the Winslow Centre last Thursday night.

Patrick O’Sullivan of the East West Rail Consortium presented an overview of the project to the Winslow Local Area Forum (LAF), followed by a question and answer session.

County Councillor David Rowlands, who chairs the LAF, said: “It was a very positive meeting. A lot of the public were really excited what was going to happen to Winslow in the not-too-distant future.”

Last July, the Department for Transport announced support and funding for the East West Rail line, which will link Oxford to Bedford and Aylesbury to Milton Keynes.

It also said that the Oxford to Bedford section should be electrified and would form an important part of the national strategic rail network.

The plan includes a new station at Winslow and the rebuilding of Bicester Town station. The aim is for services to be operational between Oxford and Bicester by 2015, with services from Bicester to Bletchley and Aylesbury to Milton Keynes running by December 2017.

A total of 26 questions were submitted in advance of last week’s meeting, and there was not time to answer all of them.

The meeting heard that both passenger and freight trains will use the line and current plans are for all trains from Oxford, Milton Keynes and Bedford to stop at Winslow.

The route will follow the old railway line through Steeple Claydon but there is no plan for a station in the village.

A full list of all the questions and answers will appear in the Advertiser at a future date.

Mr Rowlands said: “We’re delighted with the response from the public.

“The public consultation run by Network Rail should commence in six to nine months’ time and I hope Network Rail will have some public events.”