Chiltern Main Line

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Chiltern Main Line
168111 at West Ruislip.jpg
Chiltern Railways "Clubman" at West Ruislip
Overview
Type Commuter rail, Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Greater London
South East England
East Midlands
West Midlands
Termini London Marylebone
Birmingham Snow Hill
Stations 32
Operation
Opening 1910 (complete line)
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Chiltern Railways
London Midland (in part)
CrossCountry (in part)
First Great Western (in part)
Rolling stock Class 67 & Mk 3 Coaches
Class 150 "Sprinter"
Class 153 "Sprinter"
Class 165 "Network Turbo"
Class 168 "Clubman"
Class 170 "Turbostar"
Class 172 "Turbostar"
Class 220 "Voyager"
Class 221 "Super Voyager"
Technical
Line length 112 mi 4 chains (180 km)
No. of tracks 2
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed 100 mph (160 km/h) maximum
Route map
Snow Hill-Worcester Line
Birmingham Snow Hill Midland Metro
Snow Hill Tunnel
Rugby-Birmingham-Stafford Line
Birmingham Moor Street
Bordesley
Camp Hill Line
to Birmingham New Street
Small Heath
Tyseley
North Warwickshire Line
Acocks Green
Olton
Solihull
Widney Manor
M42 motorway
Dorridge
Lapworth
Branch to Henley-in-Arden
Leamington to Stratford Line
Hatton
Warwick Parkway
Warwick
Coventry to Leamington Line
Leamington Spa
Leamington former branch lines
Southam Road & Harbury
Stratford and Midland Jn Rly
Fenny Compton West
 (SMJ, GWR stations)
Stratford and Midland Jn Rly
Cropredy
M40 motorway
Branch to Great Central Main Line
Banbury
Banbury to Verney Junction Branch Line
M40 motorway
King's Sutton
GWR Banbury and Cheltenham Direct Rly
M40 motorway
Aynho Junction for Cherwell Valley Line
Aynho Park
Ardley
M40 motorway
Bicester North
Bicester Town East Varsity Line (Freight only)
West Varsity Line & Oxford to Bicester Line
Blackthorn
Brill & Ludgershall
Brill Tramway
Dorton Halt
Ashendon Junction for GCML
Haddenham & Thame Parkway
Haddenham
Ilmer Halt
Watlington and Princes Risborough Rly
Princes Risborough to Aylesbury Line
Princes Risborough
Saunderton
West Wycombe
High Wycombe
Wycombe Railway
Beaconsfield
Seer Green & Jordans
Gerrards Cross
M25 motorway
Denham Golf Club
Denham
to Uxbridge High Street
South Harefield Halt(1928-31)
West Ruislip London Underground
Ruislip Gardens(1934-58)
South Ruislip London Underground
Acton-Northolt Line to Paddington
Northolt Park
Sudbury Hill Harrow(London Underground Sudbury Hill)
Sudbury & Harrow Road
West Coast Main Line
Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium(1923-68)
Neasden Jn for line to Aylesbury
Dudding Hill Line (Freight only)
North London Line
West Coast Main Line
London Marylebone London Underground

The Chiltern Main Line is an inter-urban, regional and commuter railway, part of the British railway system. It links London and Birmingham, England's two largest cities, by a 112-mile route via High Wycombe, Banbury, and Leamington Spa. It complements the West Coast Main Line, the main InterCity route between London and Birmingham. The name Chiltern Line was invented as a marketing name for the line by Network SouthEast in 1985,[1] in reference to the Chiltern Hills.

The line forms part of the suburban rail networks in both cities. The majority of towns towards the London end of the route are prosperous suburbs or commuter-belt towns, such as Ruislip, Gerrards Cross and Beaconsfield. These have a journey time of 30 minutes or less to London Marylebone. In the West Midlands it is one of the Snow Hill Lines. Commuter trains run by London Midland run between Birmingham Snow Hill, Solihull and Leamington Spa.

The line is undergoing a major upgrade that will see significant reductions in journey times by 2013. It is not electrified, although electrification is an aspiration.[2]

The main operator is Chiltern Railways.

Map[edit]

Map of the Chiltern Main Line

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

The original Great Western Railway (GWR) line from London Paddington to Birmingham was completed in 1852; in 1854 it was extended to Wolverhampton.[3] It ran via the Great Western Main Line to Didcot and then via Oxford and Leamington Spa. Being circuitous, it could not compete with the London and North Western Railway's London-Rugby-Birmingham route on journey times.

The only open segments of the Chiltern Main Line were the Aynho–Banbury–Leamington–Birmingham route and the single-track Wycombe Railway between Princes Risborough and High Wycombe; the latter continued south via Bourne End to Maidenhead on the Great Western Main Line.

GW/GC Joint Line[edit]

In an attempt to compete with the LNWR's London–Birmingham route and speed up goods traffic between London and the west-coast port at Birkenhead, the GWR took advantage of its partnership with the Great Central Railway (GCR) to build a new, direct Great Western and Great Central Joint Railway (the companies were already working together on a link between Woodford Halse station and Banbury). This enabled the GCR to run faster services than had been possible on the Metropolitan Railway route through Aylesbury and Amersham, which was congested with stopping trains.

The Joint line started at Northolt Junction in Middlesex, from which two lines ran southward:

Robinson A5 steam locomotives operated GCR (later LNER) local services to High Wycombe, Princes Risborough and Aylesbury

The Joint line ran northwest via Gerrards Cross to High Wycombe, where it met the Wycombe Railway's single-track branch from Maidenhead to Aylesbury via Princes Risborough. North of High Wycombe this line was followed, with significant upgrading of the formation, including dualling and a new alignment for the up line north of Saunderton. The original route, now the down line, has a gradient of 1 in 88, which was too steep for the heavy coal trains run by the GCR. As a result, the two tracks are horizontally and vertically separated, with the down line crossing the Chiltern Hills at the Risborough gap and the up line passing through an 88 yard tunnel on a flatter gradient.

On reaching Princes Risborough, new construction started. The station was already a major junction, with the single-track line dividing into three branches: to Chinnor and Watlington (which survives in part as the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway); to Thame, Wheatley and Oxford; and to Aylesbury. The Joint line was constructed in the 'V' formed by the two latter branches, and ran northwest to Ashendon (not yet a junction), where the line curved north to join the GCR's pre-1906 main line at Grendon Underwood Junction in Buckinghamshire.

The Joint Line was completed in 1906 (with portions opening earlier) by the GWR and immediately benefited both parties. The GCR, unable to secure adequate access to its route via Aylesbury, Amersham and Harrow, gained a new and fast bypass route for its express passenger and freight trains between London and the East Midlands, while the GWR gained a faster route for its Birmingham trains, from Paddington via Gerrards Cross and Princes Risborough and then temporarily (1906–1910) on to the Wycombe Railway via Thame to regain their original route at Oxford, pending the opening of the Bicester cut-off to Banbury (see next subsection). GCR expresses non-stop between London and Rugby could now use either the Metropolitan route or the Joint Line, while the Joint Line was used by GWR expresses from Paddington to Birmingham and Wolverhampton and on to Shrewsbury and Mid/North Wales, Chester and Birkenhead.

The Bicester cut-off[edit]

Four years later, in 1910, the GWR completed a line from what became Ashendon Junction (a flying junction) north-west via Bicester to meet the line from Oxford at Aynho Junction. This meant that the Joint Line from Ashendon Junction to Grendon Underwood became GCR-only, and was sold to the GCR. The cut-off gave the GWR a faster route between London and Birmingham, avoiding Oxford; the final saving in distance was about 20 miles (32 km).

Heyday, decline and rationalisation[edit]

Ex-GWR King Class locomotive 6008 King James II hauling a Paddington to Birkenhead Woodside express in 1950
Class 52 hauling an express from Paddington to Birkenhead Woodside near Seer Green in 1962

During the heyday of the route, many prestigious trains ran from Paddington to the northwest of England via the Joint Line, reaching Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Wrexham General, Chester and Birkenhead Woodside. Various through services from Marylebone to the GCR network also ran via the Joint Line between London and Ashendon Junction.

At nationalisation in 1948, the line passed to the Western Region of British Railways, which continued to operate Paddington – Birmingham – Wolverhampton - Birkenhead fast trains through the 1950s in competition with the London Midland Region's (LMR) from Euston via the West Coast Main Line (WCML).

The Paddington – Birmingham – Wolverhampton - Birkenhead fast service was sharply increased in frequency to up to 15 trains a day each way from the 1959–60 timetable to compensate for the withdrawal of most LMR trains during electrification of the WCML.[6] For the same reason, the Chiltern line was used by many trains between Paddington and Birkenhead from 1965.

All local trains were diverted to Marylebone in 1963 and operated by 4-car Class 115 DMUs, and the main-line platforms at Greenford on the New North route between Old Oak Common and Northolt Junction were closed.

After the GCR main line was closed between Calvert and Rugby Central in September 1966, some trains from the South Coast were diverted north of Banbury via the route. These became the forerunners of today's CrossCountry services between Birmingham and Bournemouth.

Class 115 DMUs operated Marylebone - Banbury local services between 1960 and 1992

On 6 March 1967,[7] after completion of the WCML electrification, express trains from Paddington to Birmingham/Wolverhampton/Birkenhead were discontinued under The Reshaping of British Railways. The route was downgraded to secondary status and subsequently single-tracked between Princes Risborough and Aynho Junction, which remained a flying junction, with a crossing loop at Bicester not normally used. Through lines were removed from most of those stations which had them, such as Beaconsfield and Denham, and the relief lines were lifted between Lapworth and Tyseley. The tunnel between Birmingham Moor Street and Snow Hill closed on 2 March 1968.[7] Local services from Leamington and Stratford terminated at Moor Street, and the remaining services from Paddington and the South Coast were diverted into New Street. Snow Hill closed completely, along with most of the line to Wolverhampton, on 4 March 1972.[7]

Although a two-hourly locomotive-hauled semi-fast service from Paddington to Birmingham continued via High Wycombe, Princes Risborough, Bicester, Banbury, Leamington and Solihull, in the early 1970s all but one daily peak-hour return journey were diverted via Reading and Oxford, and later via Coventry, and in the 1980s that was truncated to run to Banbury only. All other passenger services were operated by DMUs to and from Marylebone, extended from High Wycombe to Banbury (for connections to Birmingham), on a two-hourly frequency.

In 1977 the Parliamentary Select Committee on Nationalised Industries recommmended considering electrification of more of the rail network, and by 1979 BR presented a range of options to electrify numerous routes by 2000.[8] Some of these options included the Banbury — Birmingham section of the line, plus the Cherwell Valley Line and the Coventry to Leamington line.[8] Under the 1979–90 Conservative governments that succeeded the 1976–79 Labour government the proposals were not implemented.

The route was considered for partial closure in the 1980s. All services would have run to Paddington via the New North route, and Marylebone station and all lines leading to it would have been closed. Services to and from Aylesbury would have run via Princes Risborough. However, Marylebone was formally reprieved in 1986 and the closure proposals rescinded.

Between 1988 and 1992 British Rail carried out a total route modernisation which included resignalling from Marylebone to Aynho Junction, and both Marylebone to Aylesbury routes, from the new Marylebone Integrated Control Centre. This was combined with track rationalisation that removed most of the vestigial traces of main-line heritage from the line, downgrading it to a purely commuter line with a minimal infrastructure. Until then, much of the four-track section between Northolt Junction and West Ruislip had survived, and High Wycombe station had retained almost all of its original track layout, though the other major stations on the line had already been downgraded with their through lines removed. At the same time, the New North route between Old Oak Common and Northolt Junction was singled between Old Oak Common and Park Royal and between Greenford and Northolt Junction. In 1992, the signal box at Aynho Junction was closed and replaced with modern signalling controlled from Banbury South signal box; the box was demolished in 2002. As part of these renovations, BR installed the advanced Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system, mainly as a trial with a view to rolling it out nationwide. However, privatisation intervened, and the Great Western Main Line was the only other line to be so equipped.

Rejuvenation[edit]

Class 165 DMUs were introduced to the Chiltern Main Line by Network SouthEast

With Sectorisation of British Rail in the mid-1980s, operations south of Banbury fell under the control of Network SouthEast in 1986, under the Thames & Chiltern sub-sector, later split into two constituent parts. In 1987 a new station was opened at Haddenham & Thame Parkway. Birmingham Snow Hill reopened in 1987 on a much smaller scale than the original, beneath a multi-storey car park, with its tunnel reinstated and new platforms on the through lines at Moor Street, where the terminus was taken out of use, with Leamington/Stratford services diverted to Snow Hill.

The opening of the extension of the parallel M40 motorway from Oxford to Birmingham in 1991 spawned development in towns along the northern section of the route, notably Bicester, Banbury, Leamington Spa and Warwick. This generated additional patronage for train services in the corridor.

Class 165 Turbo trains were introduced in 1991, initially between Marylebone and Banbury. These improved passenger comfort and enabled journey times to be reduced; frequencies were increased, with an hourly stopping service to/from High Wycombe and hourly semi-fast service to/from Banbury. In 1993, Marylebone-Banbury services were extended to Snow Hill, calling at Leamington Spa, Warwick, Solihull and Moor Street, initially on a two-hourly frequency, increased to hourly the following year, when a Dorridge call was added. In 1995 the Jewellery Line was re-opened to allow Worcester line services to be diverted from New Street to Snow Hill; this allowed some of Chiltern's weekday peak-period services to be extended beyond Snow Hill, first to Stourbridge Junction and then to Kidderminster.

Chiltern Railways era[edit]

Upon rail privatisation in 1996, the Chiltern Railways franchise was won by M40 Trains, a consortium of a management buyout, Laing Rail (a subsidiary of construction company and PFI specialist John Laing plc), and venture capitalist 3i, and in 1998 the line between Princes Risborough and Bicester North was redoubled by the company. This included the total reconstruction of Haddenham and Thame Parkway at platform level, with two side platforms instead of the single platform constructed in 1987, and a new down platform at Princes Risborough, together with the raising of the speed limit. Also in 1998 the first Class 168 Clubman trains with a 100 mph maximum speed were introduced to reduce journey times.

Chiltern Railways ordered 19 Class 168 DMUs for its Marylebone - Birmingham services

In 2000 Chiltern Railways opened a new station at Warwick Parkway, to the west of the town next to the A46 and close to M40 Junction 15. This was intended to be a railhead for nearby towns without a station such as Kenilworth, and for towns south of Birmingham close to the M42 with no direct rail link to London, such as Redditch and Bromsgrove. Construction was funded by Chiltern Railways with some support from Warwickshire County Council. At first only Chiltern services called there but it is now also served by London Midland.

In 2002, after Chiltern won its 20-year franchise, the line between Bicester North and Aynho Junction was also redoubled. Chiltern took over Hatton to Stratford-upon-Avon services from Thames Trains and Central Trains, with direct services between Marylebone (rather than Paddington) and Stratford. Also at this time Chiltern took over the operation of Leamington Spa, Warwick, Hatton and Lapworth stations from Central Trains, as the latter's services (now operated by London Midland) no longer operated beyond Dorridge except during weekday peak periods.

John Laing plc acquired 84% ownership of M40 Trains in 1999, buying out 3i, and was itself bought out by Henderson Investments in 2006, resulting in the sale of Laing Rail to the German national railway operator Deutsche Bahn in 2007.

The Cherwell Valley line between Banbury and Leamington Spa was resignalled during 2004, with the closure of Fenny Compton signal box and the removal of its remaining semaphore signals. The new signalling and the existing signalling in the Leamington Spa station area is controlled from the box at Leamington via a new Westcad workstation. More recently the Leamington to Birmingham section has been resignalled and is controlled from the new West Midlands ICC at Saltley (taking over the old signalling centre at Saltley) with new 4-aspect LED signals throughout. However, the manual signal boxes at Banbury North and South remain, along with some GWR lower-quadrant signals controlling the bay platforms and sidings at the station, but it is proposed that the West Midlands ICC take over control as Oxford (exclusive) in 2014.

Most of the route from Birmingham Snow Hill to Wolverhampton is now used by the Midland Metro light-rail system, which diverges from Network Rail's Jewellery Line at The Hawthorns.

The route between Marylebone and Leamington/Bordesley was used by open access operator Wrexham & Shropshire's services from London to Wrexham via Tame Bridge, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury, which comprised three Mk3 coaches hauled by Class 67 diesel locomotives. Since these were neither Sprinters nor HSTs, they were restricted to lower line speeds, e.g. 60 mph between Princes Risborough and Bicester, and 70 mph between Leamington and Bordesley, although they were permitted to travel at 85 mph between Bicester and Aynho. Wrexham & Shropshire had negotiated with Network Rail to allow its trains to travel at higher speeds on these sections, which required it to show that they had sufficient brake force to stop from such speeds within the signal spacings.

Only the little-used line from Northolt Junction to Paddington has not been improved.

In September 2006, Chiltern completed its "Evergreen 2" upgrade project, carried out by Carillion, which realigned the track through Beaconsfield to increase non-stop speeds from 40 mph to 75 mph, installed additional signals between High Wycombe and Bicester North and between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury, and added two platforms (Nos 5 and 6) at Marylebone, on the site of the daytime carriage sidings, replaced by the new Wembley Light Maintenance Depot, just south and west of Wembley Stadium station. The new platforms and partial resignalling of the station throat make it possible to run 20 trains per hour in and out of the station.

At weekends during 2008, when major engineering works were taking place on the WCML, the line was used by Virgin Trains' London Euston - Birmingham International "Blockade Buster" service via Willesden, Acton Main Line, Ealing Broadway, Greenford, High Wycombe, Banbury and Coventry, using pairs of 5-car Class 220 sets.

Current Developments[edit]

Project Evergreen 3[edit]

The Department of Transport, Chiltern Railways and Network Rail agreed on 15 January 2010 to a £250 million upgrade of the line. A quarter of a mile of double track will be constructed joining the Oxford to Bicester Line at Bicester Town to the line, allowing a new Oxford to London Marylebone service to operate calling at Bicester Town and High Wycombe. Part of the track between Wolvercote Tunnel (on the outskirts of Oxford) and Bicester Town will be doubled and a new station constructed at Water Eaton, to be named Oxford Parkway.[9][10] The scheme includes additional platforms at Bicester Town, Islip and Oxford. This part of the Evergreen project is subject to a Transport and Works Act application being approved by the Secretary of State and is expected to be completed by 2013.

The second part of the project will upgrade the line to 100 mph running on 50 more miles of track. Junctions at Neasden, Northolt and Aynho will be rebuilt to permit higher speeds. The 'up' through track will be restored at Princes Risborough and signalled for bidirectional use, the existing 'up' line becoming a bidirectional platform loop. A new turnback siding is being provided at Gerrards Cross and a new 'down' through track built from Northolt Junction to Ruislip Gardens, running alongside the 'up' line to the east of the waste transfer station; the 'down' line will continue to serve South Ruislip. Speed restrictions through Bicester North will be raised to permit 100 mph running, with a new 'up' alignment and platform. Two of the original terminal platforms at Birmingham Moor Street were reopened for Chiltern services in December 2010. Accelerated services were planned to start in May 2011, postponed due to concerns about whether the works would be completed in time.[11][12]

Thanks to the speed increases, journey times will be reduced significantly. From Marylebone, the fastest journey time to Birmingham Moor Street will be 92 minutes instead of 117 minutes. The table below outlines the proposed peak timetable improvements. All figures are from Network Rail - [1] This compares to roughly 85 minutes for the fastest Euston-Birmingham New Street trains via the West Coast Main Line.

Network Rail said the line is designed 'explicitly to take cars off the road'. A new station will be built at Water Eaton, an integrated transport hub linked to the A34, A40 and Oxford city centre; it will be named Oxford Parkway.[10]

Chiltern Railways chairman Adrian Shooter said, "This is the biggest passenger rail project for several generations not to call on the taxpayer for support. Working closely with Network Rail, we are going to create a new main line railway for the people of Oxfordshire and the Midlands. This deal demonstrates that real improvements to rail services can be paid for without public subsidy by attracting people out of their cars and on to trains."

Network Rail said its investment will be reimbursed by a 'facility charge' over the next 30 years, by Chiltern Railways, whose franchise expires in December 2021, and then by the future franchisee. The infrastructure upgrade will be carried out by main contractor BAM Nuttall, in partnership with Jarvis and Atkins.

Fastest Peak Time from London (mins)
Current Evergreen 3
Gerrards Cross 21 18
High Wycombe 34 23
Princes Risborough 41 32
Bicester 56 44
Banbury 67 50
Leamington Spa 85 67
Solihull 107 84
Birmingham Moor Street 117 92

The £200 million project, promoted by Chiltern Railways, was originally to have involved doubling the entire route from Oxford to Bicester; however, structural problems were found in September 2009.[13] This may mean that Bicester to Islip remains single track, which would not affect the Evergreen plans but would limit the frequency of services planned between Oxford and Milton Keynes as part of the East West Rail Link.

Oxfordshire County Council supports the scheme but remains to be convinced of the benefits of a new station at Water Eaton, which would be in the Green Belt.[citation needed]

All signalling on the route, including new platforms at Oxford, would be controlled by Marylebone Signalling Centre.

Passenger services[edit]

Weekday off-peak service pattern[edit]

At May 2011:

Chiltern Railways,[14] over the whole line
Service Type Trains per hour Notes
London Marylebone - Birmingham Moor Street Fast 2 1 extended to Birmingham Snow Hill
London Marylebone - Kidderminster Fast/Semi-Fast (Birmingham Snow Hill to Kidderminster) Peak
London Marylebone - Banbury Semi fast 1 Extended to Stratford upon Avon every 2 hours
London Marylebone - Bicester North Semi-fast 1
London Marylebone - Princes Risborough Semi-fast 1
London Marylebone - High Wycombe local 1
London Marylebone - Gerrards Cross local 1
Leamington Spa - Birmingham Moor Street local 1
Stratford-upon-Avon railway station - Leamington Spa Slow to Leamington Spa then Semi-fast 1 Most extended to London Marylebone
London Midland,[15][16] between Birmingham Snow Hill and Dorridge, with some services extended to Leamington Spa
Service Type Trains per hour Notes
Dorridge - Worcester Foregate St local (semi-fast between Birmingham Snow Hill & Stourbridge Junction) 1 Occasionally extended to Great Malvern
Dorridge - Kidderminster local (semi-fast Kidderminster to Birmingham Snow Hill (in this direction only)) 1
Dorridge - Stourbridge Junction local (semi-fast Birmingham Snow Hill to Stourbridge Junction (in this direction only)) 1
Whitlocks End - Kidderminster local (semi-fast Kidderminster to Birmingham Snow Hill (in this direction only)) 1
Whitlocks End - Worcester Foregate St/Shrub Hill local (semi-fast between Birmingham Snow Hill & Stourbridge Junction) 1 Occasionally extended to Great Malvern
Stratford-upon-Avon - Stourbridge Junction local (semi-fast Birmingham Snow Hill to Stourbridge Junction (in this direction only)) 1
Cross Country,[17] between Bordesley South Junction/Leamington Spa and Aynho Junction
Service Type Trains per hour Notes
Bournemouth - Manchester Piccadilly InterCity 1 calls at Banbury and Leamington Spa
Reading - Newcastle InterCity 1 calls at Banbury and Leamington Spa
First Great Western,[18] between Banbury and Aynho Junction
Service Type Trains per hour Notes
Oxford - Banbury local 1 every 2/3 h Some extended to London Paddington

Rolling stock[edit]

Passenger trains are operated by:

Chiltern Railways
Class Image Type Top speed Cars per set Built
mph km/h
Class 165/0
Networker Turbo
165001 B London Marylebone.JPG diesel multiple unit 75 120 2 or 3 1990–1992
Class 168/0 Networker Clubman 168003 London Marylebone.jpg diesel multiple unit 100 160 4 1998
Class 168/1 Turbostar Clubman Class168Banbury.jpg diesel multiple unit 100 160 3 or 4 2000
Class 168/2 Turbostar Clubman Chiltern at Marylebone.jpg diesel multiple unit 100 160 3 or 4 2004
Class 172/1 Turbostar[19] 172104 London Marylebone.jpg Diesel Multiple Unit 100 160 2 2011
Class 67 Wrexham and Shropshire 67012 Marylebone TT1.jpg Diesel Locomotive 125 200 N/A 1999–2000
Mark 3 Coach[20][21] N Mark IIIA TSO 12127.JPG Passenger Coach 125 200 N/A 1975–1984
Chiltern DVT Wrexham and Shropshire.JPG Driving Van Trailer 125 200 N/A 1988
London Midland
Class Image Type Top speed Cars per set Built
mph km/h
Class 153 Super Sprinter 153365 Nuneaton.jpg diesel multiple unit 75 121 1 1987–1988
Class 170/5 Turbostar 170506 at Worcester Foregate.jpg diesel multiple unit 100 161 2 1999–2000
Class 170/6 Turbostar 170631 at Shrewsbury - DSC08281.JPG diesel multiple unit 100 161 3 1999–2000
Class 172/2 Turbostar LondonMidlandClass172.JPG diesel multiple unit 100 161 2 2011
Class 172/3 Turbostar 172337 Birmingham Moor Street.jpg diesel multiple unit 100 161 3 2011
CrossCountry
Class Image Type Top speed Cars per set Built
mph km/h
Class 220 Voyager CrossCountry Class 220.jpg Diesel-electric multiple unit 125 200 4 2001
Class 221 Super Voyager CrossCountry SuperVoyager.JPG Diesel-electric multiple unit 125 200 4 or 5 2001
First Great Western
Class Image Type Top speed Cars per set Built
mph km/h
Class 165/1 Network Turbo 165117 at Royal Oak 13-4-07.jpg diesel multiple unit 90 145 2 or 3 1992
Class 166 Network Turbo 166218 London Paddington.JPG diesel multiple unit 90 145 3 1992–1993

Connections[edit]

Connections are available at:

Birmingham New Street, Birmingham's main station, is a 5-minute walk from Moor Street; Baker Street, where several London Underground lines call, is a 5-minute walk from London Marylebone.

Future[edit]

Electrification[edit]

No section of the line is electrified, but in 2010 the chairman of Chiltern Railways, Adrian Shooter, indicated that electrification is being considered, though not in the immediate future. He added: "We could do some very interesting things with high-acceleration EMUs and possibly some further infrastructure work".[2]

Other plans[edit]

There are several proposals:

  • The restoration of the quadruple track between South Ruislip and West Ruislip, allowing trains to call at both stations without blocking the line.[citation needed] Triple track currently exists at West Ruislip, with the up platform loop still in situ, and at South Ruislip, with the Down Main through line in situ. This would involve the reconstruction of the down platform at West Ruislip, the reconstruction of the up platform at South Ruislip, and the demolition of West Ruislip signal box.
  • Building of West Hampstead Interchange to allow easy interchange with the London Overground (North London Line), London Underground (Jubilee line) and First Capital Connect (Thameslink) line and Chiltern Railways, with new Metropolitan line platforms possible.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NSE CHRONOLOGY Jan 1982 to May 1986". Network SouthEast Railway Society. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Broadbent, Steve (5 May 2010). "Happy Ever After". RAIL (Peterborough). p. 16. 
  3. ^ MacDermot, E.T. (1927). History of the Great Western Railway, volume I 1833-1863. London: Great Western Railway; Reprinted 1982, Ian Allan. pp. 327, 336. ISBN 0-7110-0411-0. 
  4. ^ Dow, George (1962). Great Central, Volume Two: Dominion of Watkin, 1864-1899. Shepperton: Ian Allan. pp. 302, 306. ISBN 0-7110-1469-8. 
  5. ^ Dow, George (1965). Great Central, Volume Three: Fay Sets the Pace, 1900-1922. Shepperton: Ian Allan. p. 107. ISBN 0-7110-0263-0. 
  6. ^ "The winter timetables of British Railways: Western Region". Trains Illustrated (Hampton Court: Ian Allan). December 1959. p. 584. 
  7. ^ a b c Collins, Paul (1990). Rail Centres: Wolverhampton. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-1892-1. 
  8. ^ a b Anonymous (Winter 1979). Railway Electrification. British Railways Board (Central Publicity Unit). pp. 0–2, 8. 
  9. ^ "Chiltern Mainline". Chiltern Railways. n.d. Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Chiltern Railways names new Oxfordshire station Oxford Parkway" (Press release). Chiltern Railways. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Chiltern Railways plan to make Bicester well connected". RailNews (Stevenage). 29 August 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2008. 
  12. ^ "Project Evergreen 3". Chiltern Railways. 2010. 
  13. ^ "Rail link plan runs into problems". Oxford Mail. 15 September 2009. 
  14. ^ "Chiltern Railways May 2011 timetable". 22 May 2011. 
  15. ^ "London Midland Stratford-Birmingham May 2011 timetable". 22 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "London Midland Worcester-Birmingham May 2011 timetable". 22 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "CrossCountry South Coast - Manchester/North East May 2011 timetable". 22 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "First Great Western Banbury - Oxford May 2011 timetable". 22 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Angel Trains orders 'green trains' for the UK rail market" (Press release). Angel Trains. 31 January 2008. 
  20. ^ Princes Risborough and Bicestersher=Chiltern Railways "Passenger Board Annual Report 08/09". 
  21. ^ "Coaching Stock Design Contract for Chiltern Railways". Railway Technology. 21 July 2009. 
  22. ^ "Planning Framework for West Hampstead Interchange Area Appendix 2" (PDF). London Borough of Camden. 19 April 2005. p. 25. Retrieved 29 July 2008. 

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