Update on new timetable after December 12th

It has been a while since I have posted an update, but now there are a number of issues that are on the immediate agenda and are still likely to be at the time of the OBRAG AGM which will be held in late January (details of time, date and structure of meeting to follow by mid-December):

A – Problems with New Timetable

  • Chiltern Railways’ planned new timetable will involve a major change in the evening peak time services since the departures from London Marylebone for trains that stop at Islip that currently exist at 1535/1750/1921/2135 will change to 1535/1650/2007/2132 (with an additional but not ideal option of catching the 1850 from London and changing trains at Oxford Parkway).  This is a further blow to Islip-London commuters on top of the already less than ideal commuter service in the mornings.
  • Thank you to those who have already contacted Chiltern in a personal capacity to complain about this significant further degradation of the commuter service from Islip to London. OBRAG is looking into coordinating with interest groups within Islip to issue a joint letter of complaint to Chiltern Railways and to our MP to raise awareness, as well as contacting the press to express our concern and disappointment. I feel that rather than angry protest we need to try to put the most rational argument we can to Chiltern as to why they should maintain a decent commuter service from Islip to London and from Islip to Oxford. I have spoken to individuals about this but I would welcome people’s thoughts on how to make the most persuasive case.
  • I am still waiting to receive a full copy of the timetable from Chiltern (not very pleasing) though I believe there are some floating around so if anyone could please email me a copy that would be great. Also, any other concerns/comments about the changes that will be made would be much appreciated.

B – Positives

  • As a regular Islip-Oxford commuter, my experiences have been pretty good lately. It has been quite a while since I missed a bus or train due to delays, although I do still have to run occasionally.
  • The broken ticket machine in Islip was an annoyance for several weeks, but this has now been repaired.

C – Longer Term Objectives

  • OBRAG has been involved in liasing with other rail user groups on the Oxford-Bicester-Bletchley-Milton Keynes-Bedford line. As well as attempting to influence the Islip and Bicester rail services in a desirable direction now that we have a very good piece of infrastructure in place locally, I think we should not lose sight of the bigger picture of the need to support and encourage where we can the completion of the East-West rail project, which will also benefit us in increasing rail connectivity from Islip and Bicester in the longer term.
  • Eventually it might be desirable to move towards some kind of federal structure of user groups along the line in order to better co-ordinate activities and avoid unnecessary duplication. I suggest this as another topic for discussion at the AGM.

Update on impact of summer blockade on services

Please find below some further information about the impact of the rail works over the next few weeks on services through Bicester and Oxford Parkway.

The document below details a few minor changes to times of services from Oxford Parkway. The only major change is that the 7:14 from Oxford Parkway will not be running from 1st-5th August 2016.

Islip SX Blackade week 1 August 2016

There is also a 9 day closure on the line between Leamington Spa and Bicester North from 30 July until 7 August 2016.   For more information, please visit www.chilternrailways.co.uk/banbury-upgrade