Stowe firm awarded London to Oxford rail contract

Railway works at Bicester Town Station. Towards Oxford.'140225M-A320 PNL-140225-105250001
Railway works at Bicester Town Station. Towards Oxford.'140225M-A320 PNL-140225-105250001

A firm from the Buckingham area has won the £87 million contract to build the railway line between London Marylebone and Oxford that is to form part of the new East West Rail line.

New jobs are set to be created following a successful bid by Buckingham Group Contracting, in Stowe, in a joint venture with major civil engineering plc Carillion.

The firms will design and build the new section of line that will provide a new link between Oxford and London, via Bicester. Services on the new Chiltern Railways route are scheduled to begin in summer 2015. Managing director of Buckingham Group Contracting, Mike Kempley, said: “Over the lifetime of the project we will create new jobs and, once complete, the project will deliver major improvements to the transport infrastructure across a wide area and deliver significant socio-economic benefits for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.”

Network Rail’s route managing director, Dyan Crowther, said: “Thanks to the hard work of Carillion and Buckingham Group Contracting, we have been able to employ a regional business to help deliver the scheme, further boosting the local economy and providing jobs to local people.”

Bucks County councillor Janet Blake, who chairs the joint delivery board for the Western Section of East West Rail, said: “This is doubly good news.

“Not only are we seeing progress on the ground as construction work for East West Rail begins, we are also delighted this major contract for the first phase of work has been awarded to a world-class Buckinghamshire-based company.”

The project includes building a new one kilometre section of railway to connect the Bicester Town to Oxford line to the Chiltern mainline.

It will also involve widening the existing track bed, doubling more than 18 kilometre of track, increasing line speed to 100mph, constructing new road bridges, rail bridges and footbridges, closing 37 level crossings, building a new Oxford Parkway station at Water Eaton, upgrading Bicester Town and Islip stations and installing a new signalling system.

Once this first phase of the East West Rail scheme is complete, the next phase will begin. This involves building a new station at Winslow, reconstructing and doubling the disused track between Claydon Junction and Bletchley and upgrading and doubling track between Bicester and Claydon Junction and Aylesbury and Claydon Junction.