Recycled rail ballast delivered for new Oxford to Bicester line

Chiltern Railways ballast
Image caption 80,000 tonnes of ballast will create the embankment between Oxford and Bicester

Thousands of tonnes of rocks and stones have been delivered ahead of construction of a new line between Oxford and London.

Chiltern Railways plans to open the new line linking Oxford and Bicester to its London Marylebone mainline in 2015.

A new embankment for the Oxford to Bicester section is being created from 80,000 tonnes of recycled rail ballast.

All of the material has been delivered by rail in a bid to minimise road congestion.

Services between Bicester Town and Oxford will stop in February to allow for construction of new track.

Approval for the £130m route was granted in May after the High Court turned down a bid to block it.

Chiltern Railways plans to open the line and operate services from a new parkway station in Water Eaton, serving the north of Oxford, from summer 2015.

The full line between Oxford and London Marylebone is expected to open in spring 2016 once upgrades to Oxford railway station are completed.

Journey times between Oxford and London Marylebone are expected to be 66 minutes.

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