Banbury railway line opens on time after upgrade work over festive period

Network Rail engineers work on the Banbury railway line over the festive period. NNL-151229-104659001
Network Rail engineers work on the Banbury railway line over the festive period. NNL-151229-104659001

The Chiltern main line, which runs through Banbury, has reopened on time after Network Rail’s orange army completed two days of upgrade work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

While the majority of Britain was tucking into a Christmas dinner, more than 200 engineers were out in force working to improve the layout of the track on the approach to Banbury Railway Station to help provide a more reliable service to passengers.

And looking ahead to 2016, a nine-day closure of the railway line in Banbury area is planned to take place in the summer. Dates will be finalised in the New Year.

Liam Sumpter, area director for Network Rail, said: “This work was carefully planned and safely delivered to cause no disruption to passengers, taking place on Christmas Day and Boxing Day when no trains would have run.

“Our Railway Upgrade Plan is consistently delivering improvements and this Christmas has been no different with thousands of the orange army working around the network to maintain and upgrade the railway to meet the demands of the millions of passengers who travel by train every day.”

The work is part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan and also includes new, modern and more reliable signalling in the area and a new depot to be used by Chiltern Railways. The £76m project will be completed by August 2016 and will improve the reliability and flexibility of trains running through the area.

Network Rail and Chiltern Railways will be providing passengers with detailed information and travel advice in the build-up to the work, including meet the manager sessions at locations which will confirmed as soon as possible.

Mr Sumpter added: “The nine-day closure this summer is essential to bring all of the work together and into use. We continue to work closely with Chiltern Railways to plan for the work and will be providing information and advice in the coming months.”

For further information on the work call Network Rail’s national helpline on 03457 114 141.

For the latest Chiltern Railways information click here.