Banbury Train Depot Upgraded to Enable HS2 Construction

Network Rail has upgraded Banbury train depot to keep trains moving on the Chiltern main line during HS2 construction.

New railway sidings have now opened on the Chiltern main line following the 6-month depot upgrade. These were used for the first time on Saturday 28 January.

Banbury depot
Twilight drone shot of new sidings at Banbury depot

This work is part of a 9.4 million GBP investment for which Network Rail has partnered with HS2, the Department for Transport and Chiltern Railways to expand the depot ahead of major work on the new HS2 railway in Buckinghamshire.

Ian Hyde, Engineering & Safety Director, Chiltern Railways, 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.”

Later this year, 2 kilometres of railway between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury will be realigned to create space for HS2 tracks to pass beneath.

During construction, access to Chiltern Railways’ Aylesbury depot will be limited, so Banbury has been upgraded.

The work included:

  • 4 new railway sidings
  • 4 new signals so trains can get safely in and out of the depot
  • 950 metres of new track laid
  • 870 metres of new walkways so workers can safely service trains
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.”

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