£87m Construction Contract Awarded to Buckinghamshire Company

An £87m contract to deliver the design and construction of the new Chiltern Railways route between London Marylebone and Oxford and the western section of the East West Rail scheme to Bedford and Milton Keynes has been awarded by Network Rail.

A joint venture between Carillion and Buckingham Group Contracting will design and build the new section of line which will provide a new and alternative link between Oxford and London via Bicester.

The Oxford to London line and East West Rail will deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits to the wider Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire region.

Dyan Crowther, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “The new Oxford to London line and wider East West Rail scheme will deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits to Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and beyond.

“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.”

Cllr Janet Blake of Buckinghamshire County Council, 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 that this major contract for the first phase of work has been awarded to a world-class Buckinghamshire-based company.”

Mark Davies, managing director of Carillion Infrastructure, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to deliver this important contract that in itself facilitates two strategically important rail links, one between Oxford and London and another as the first phase of the East West Rail Scheme. The Carillion Buckingham Joint Venture brings a wealth of experience and skills which are required to safely deliver this demanding project, embracing the highest standards of sustainability.”

Mike Kempley, managing director of Buckingham Group Contracting, 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.”

The project is overseen by the Bicester to Oxford Collaboration and includes building a new one kilometre section of railway to connect the Bicester Town to Oxford line to the Chiltern main line. It will also involve widening the existing track bed; doubling over 18km of track; increasing line speed to100mph; constructing new overbridges, underbridges 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 the Oxford to London line and the first phase of the East West Rail scheme is delivered, a further phase will reconstruct and double disused track between Claydon junction and Bletchley; upgrade and double track between Bicester and Claydon junction, and Aylesbury and Claydon junction; and build a new station at Winslow.

Notes to editors

1. A collaboration between Network Rail and Chiltern Railways will manage the upgrade of the line between Oxford and Bicester and the connection of the Bicester Town to Oxford railway to the Chiltern Main Line by construction of 1km of new railway.
2. Oxford to London Marylebone services operated by Chiltern Railways are scheduled to begin in summer 2015 from the newly built Oxford Parkway station north of Oxford and from Oxford city centre in spring 2016 once upgrades in and around Oxford station have been completed. Journey times from the Oxford Parkway station to London will be under an hour
3. The Western Section of the East West Rail scheme will see the railway line reinstated between Bedford and Oxford, with lines to Milton Keynes and Aylesbury. More information can be found at EastWestRail.org.uk

For further information please contact:
• Chiltern Railways press office on 020 7333 3014 or press@chilternrailways.co.uk.
• Buckingham Group Contracting andrew.scott@buckinghamgroup.co.uk
• Carillion PLC Tony.Henderson@carillionplc.com
• East West Rail Consortium  07785 927210 or caryl.jones@bedford.gov.uk