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Railwatch 073 - October 1997

Thames Valley

By Chris Wright

Potential Improvements to service on the Cotswold line could follow a sudy of the potential of the line initiated by the Four Counties group which has also invited Oxfordshire County Council to take part.

New station Details of plans for a new Kidlington station are included in a Railtrack report which calls for signalling improvements, a platform for three-car trains, shelters, a footbridge, customer information systems, a 20-space car park and cycle parking. Funding provision is being made by Oxfordshire County Council in its 1998-99 budget but the cost has sadly risen to £980,000.

Missed connection One train operator is keen to introduce a service from Oxford to Swindon next year but Oxfordshire County Council had provisionally allocated funds for a new station (at Grove/Wantage Road) for the following year.

Crossed lines Industrial action disrupted the start in June of the new cross-London service introduced by Connex South Central from Rugby and Milton Keynes to Gatwick.

Double up The plans to double-track the 18 miles between Princes Risborough and Bicester should be completed by next summer allowing Chiltern to introduce extra trains (now being buillt by Adtranz at Derby) between London and Birmingham Snow Hill. The £13 million scheme will include bridge strengthening, new signalling and new platforms at Haddenham and Thames Parkway. Chiltern Railways is also hoping to rebuild Banbury station next year. The branch is hoping to meet Chiltern managing director Adrian Shooter in October.

Double up Virgin is hoping to double the number of its trains calling at Oxford and Banbury.

Bad Bucks Buckinghamshire County Council is allowing housing development on the trackbed of the Bourne End-Wycombe line which should be protected for future reinstatement.

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