New Banbury train depot opens after 6 month upgrade


The Banbury depot will take the strain as HS2 construction work affects other parts of the network

The first trains have used new railway sidings in Banbury following a 6-month depot upgrade.   The work was completed to ensure trains keep running for passengers when HS2 construction work affects parts of the rail network.

The upgrade will enable the Banbury depot to take the strain with tasks such as maintenance and cleaning when access to Chiltern Railways’ Aylesbury depot becomes restricted by the HS2 project.  

Trains used the new tracks, which are to the south of Banbury station, opposite Bankside Park, for the first time on Saturday (January 28).

Network Railway completed the depot expansion – part of a £9.4m investment – working in partnership with HS2, the Department for Transport and Chiltern Railways.

Later this year almost 2km of railway between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury will be realigned to create space for HS2 tracks to pass beneath.    When that construction work takes place access to Chiltern Railways’ Aylesbury depot will be limited, so Banbury has been upgraded.

Patrick Cawley, director for ‘On Network Works’ for HS2 and Network Rail, said: “HS2 will transform journeys between London, the Midlands and the North, providing zero carbon journeys from day one and also making space on the existing network for more freight and local and regional passenger services. Our upgrades in Banbury are an industry team effort to keep passengers moving during construction of the new railway.

“The depot’s four new railway sidings will provide our partners at Chiltern Railways with greater operational flexibility to clean and maintain their fleet of trains helping them to deliver a reliable service for their customers.”

The work in Banbury has included the construction of 4 new railway sidings built to stable trains, 4 new signals so services can get safely in and out of the depot, 950 metres of new track and 870 metres of walkways for workers.

Ian Hyde, Chiltern Railways’ engineering & safety director, said: “We are delighted that our Banbury depot has been transformed in collaboration with Network Rail. It significantly expands our capabilities on site, allowing us to undertake more maintenance work and ultimately, better serve our customers during the construction of HS2 and beyond.

“The improvements made will ensure that we can be flexible in servicing and maintaining our fleet, and illustrate how partners in the rail industry can collaborate to strengthen existing infrastructure and improve customer experience.”

Network Rail has released a time-lapse video of the new lines being built.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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