AUG 00] CHILTERN RAILWAYS NEWS
The Next Train Calling At Rugby... Could Be Chiltern
BY ARRYN BUGGINS
Surprise has been the main reaction to a scheme by a railway company
to open a disused rail line through from east Warwickshire to London
for passenger services.
An unrelated project to use
most of the old Great Central Railway for freight has been known about
for some time, and met fierce opposition, as it would pass through
several town estates.
But the news that a rail
company, that currently runs no services to Rugby, wants to expand its
empire with at least 50 miles of new track has caught the town
The freight scheme – that
failed in Parliament four years ago but has been resurrected - would
use big heavy noisy trains, with little benefit to townspeople.
But the Chiltern project
announced yesterday would at least bring new passenger services and a
brand new rail station just outside the town by the M1/M6
Rugby MP Andy King
“This has come like a bolt
out of the blue.
“I will be contacting
Chiltern Railways urgently to find out more about this. No one has
said anything to me at all.
“The Central Railway scheme
was unpopular because it was a speculative project and it would have
brought heavy trains close to people’s homes.
“There would be an affect
on businesses and St Andrew’s Primary School which is right next to
“It really is too early to
say whether I could support this, but I know what the people of Rugby
thought of the other scheme.”
Cllr Hazel Bell, chairman of the Rugby Borough Council planning
committee, agreed she could not make up her mind about the scheme with
so few detail. She said:
“I would want to know if it
was going to go through Rugby, or round the town on a diversion.
“A lot of people are
already worried about the line reopening, and think their homes have
been blighted by the Great Central project.
“There are businesses in
Butlers Leap and Great Central Way, and what would happen to
“I can see the advantage of
more train services and all the councils are establishing new
transport schemes, but I do not know if Rugby needs these extra
Sara Cruz, spokesman for Chiltern Railways said:
"I am afraid that all of the plans
talked about in yesterday's release are in very early stages,
therefore we are in no position to disclose further information."
The freight project is
unpopular, but most take comfort from the fact the last scheme was
killed off and the company appears to be in no rush this time to get
the project through Parliament.
Currently, there are three
main operators running passenger services to Rugby station:
Virgin offering Intercity
Services to London Euston (journey time average about 65 minutes) and
the North West;
Silverlink offering local
services calling at most towns towards London (average journey time 90
minutes), and also to Coventry and Birmingham;
Connex offering an hourly
service to stations in West London, heading on to Gatwick Airport and
There are also a handful of
local service offered by Central Trains, mainly along the Trent Valley
Line to Nuneaton, Tamworth and Lichfield.
The Chiltern Service would
use the old Great Central Railway (open 1899 to 1969) that would run
through Woodford Halse and Brackley and join the existing line, which
is in use south of Aylesbury which runs via Amersham to London
The company wants to build a
parkway station, aimed at getting long distance travelling out of
their cars. Chiltern is currently finishing off a parkway station at
Warwick, close to another motorway junction.
The former Great Central
Railway company had its own separate station, and the Chiltern plans
would use its own station on a new site just north of the town, which
would be convenient for the northern parts of Rugby and other people
with easy access to the M1 and M6.
announced the project yesterday as part of its £370 million
investment in railways, when it won a 20-year franchise to operate
trains along the M40 corridor.
[10 AUG 00] BID
TO REOPEN THE CENTRAL RAILWAY TO PASSENGERS