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<p>Chiltern Railways has announced the first direct service between Oxford city centre and London Marylebone will start in December 2016.</p>
<p>The final phase of the pioneering rail project, being delivered in partnership with Network Rail, will see trains running from Oxford city centre to London Marylebone from Monday 12 December.&nbsp; This launch will follow the completion of the final section of track between Oxford Parkway and Oxford station and means that the first new rail link between a major British city and London in over 100 years will be fully open.</p>
<p>The first official passenger trains are expected to depart from Oxford station on Monday 12th December 2016.&nbsp;</p>
<p>Trains currently run from Oxford Parkway which opened in October 2015 and was the first new station to open in Oxfordshire since 1944.&nbsp; It is already hugely popular and is regarded as one of the best located stations in the county due to its positioning adjacent to Oxford Parkway’s Park and Ride just off the A34 and close to the A44.&nbsp;</p>
<p>The opening of the section of track between Oxford Parkway and Oxford city centre will see the return of direct trains between Bicester and the city with services departing from Bicester Village station.</p>
<p>Managing Director Dave Penney said: “We’re now able to announce the opening date of the final part of the Chiltern Railways Oxford City Centre to London Marylebone rail link as 12<sup>th</sup> December.&nbsp; The new line provides customers from Oxford city centre with more trains to London and provides a new route for the many business and leisure visitors to the city. &nbsp;The launch is the completion of the first new rail link between a major British city and London in over 100 years and will bring significant economic benefit to the region.”</p>
<p>Martin Frobisher, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said: “This a significant next step in connecting Oxford with London Marylebone and follows the successful opening of the line from Oxford Parkway last year. The new line provides different options for passengers travelling to the capital from Oxford as well as linking with new towns and destinations on the route. We continue to work closely with Chiltern Railways and I look forward to this exciting new piece of railway fully opening later this year.” &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<p align="center"><strong>ENDS</strong></p>