Chiltern Main Line

Chiltern Main Line
68010 Chiltern Railways Hatton Bank 19-08-15 (20628237900).jpg
Chiltern Railways London to Birmingham express, hauled by a Class 68 diesel locomotive.
Overview
Type Commuter rail, Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Greater London
South East England
East Midlands
West Midlands
Termini London Marylebone
Birmingham Snow Hill
Stations 32
Operation
Opened 1910 (complete line)
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Chiltern Railways
London Midland (in part)
CrossCountry (in part)
GWR (in part)
Rolling stock Class 68 & Mk 3 Coaches
Class 150 "Sprinter"
Class 153 "Sprinter"
Class 165 "Network Turbo"
Class 168 "Clubman"
Class 170 "Turbostar"
Class 172 "Turbostar"
Class 220 "Voyager"
Class 221 "Super Voyager"
Technical
Line length 112 mi 4 chains (180 km)
Number of tracks 2
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed 100 mph (160 km/h) maximum
Route map
Snow Hill–Worcester Line
Birmingham Snow Hill Midland Metro
Snow Hill Tunnel
Rugby–Birmingham–Stafford Line
Birmingham Moor Street
Bordesley
Camp Hill Line
to Birmingham New Street
Small Heath
Tyseley
North Warwickshire Line
Acocks Green
Olton
Solihull
Widney Manor
Dorridge
Lapworth
to Henley-in-Arden
Leamington to Stratford Line
Hatton
Warwick Parkway
Warwick
Coventry to Leamington Line
Leamington Spa
former Leamington branch lines
Southam Road and Harbury
Stratford-upon-Avon and
Midland Junction Railway
Fenny Compton West
( SMJ & GWR)
 
Stratford-upon-Avon and
Midland Junction Railway
Cropredy
to Great Central Main Line
Banbury
Banbury to Verney
Junction Branch Line
Kings Sutton
Banbury and Cheltenham
Direct Railway ( GWR)
Aynho Junction
Cherwell Valley Line
Aynho Park
Ardley
Bicester North
Varsity Line &
Oxford to Bicester Line
Bicester Village
Varsity Line (Freight only)
Blackthorn
Brill and Ludgershall
Brill Tramway
Dorton Halt
Great Central Main Line
Ashendon Junction
Haddenham and
Thame Parkway
Haddenham
Ilmer Halt
Wycombe Railway
to Oxford
Princes Risborough
to Aylesbury Line
Chinnor and Princes
Risborough Railway
Princes Risborough
tracks diverge
Saunderton
West Wycombe
High Wycombe
Wycombe Railway
Beaconsfield
Seer Green and Jordans
Gerrards Cross
Denham Golf Club
Denham Denham Aerodrome
Uxbridge High Street
South Harefield Halt
West Ruislip London Underground
Ruislip Gardens
South Ruislip London Underground Airport interchange
Acton to Northolt Line
to Paddington
Northolt Park
Sudbury Hill Harrow
( London Underground Sudbury Hill)
Sudbury & Harrow Road
West Coast Main Line
Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium
London to Aylesbury Line
Neasden Junction
Dudding Hill Line (Freight only)
North London Line
West Coast Main Line
London Marylebone London Underground

The Chiltern Main Line is an inter-urban, regional and commuter railway, part of the British railway system. It links London ( Marylebone) and Birmingham ( Moor Street & Snow Hill), the United Kingdom's two largest cities, by a 112-mile (180 km) route via High Wycombe, Banbury, and Leamington Spa.

It is one of two main line railway routes between London and Birmingham, the other being the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Birmingham New Street, which is the principal InterCity route between the two cities.

The name Chiltern Line was invented as a marketing name for the line by Network SouthEast in 1985, [1] in reference to the Chiltern Hills which the route passes through near its southern end. The route was originally part of the Great Western Railway's main line from London Paddington to Birmingham Snow Hill. Wolverhampton Low Level and Birkenhead Woodside. Most main line services between London and Birmingham on this route were discontinued in 1967 after the West Coast Main Line was electrified, and Snow Hill station was closed. [2] Services were resumed between London and the reopened Snow Hill in 1993, however they were routed into Marylebone, formerly the London terminus of the now-closed Great Central Main Line, instead of the historic terminus at Paddington. [3]

Since the privatisation of British Rail in the 1990s, the main operator has been Chiltern Railways who have continued to develop the route and services. The line has undergone a major upgrade which has seen much of the line cleared for 100 mph (160km/h) running, resulting significant reductions in journey times from 2013. The line is not electrified, although electrification is an aspiration. [4]

The line forms part of the suburban rail networks in both cities. The majority of towns towards the London end of the route are prosperous suburbs or commuter-belt towns, such as Ruislip, Gerrards Cross and Beaconsfield. These have a journey time of 30 minutes or less to London Marylebone. In the West Midlands it is one of the Snow Hill Lines. Commuter trains operated by London Midland run between Birmingham Snow Hill, Solihull and Leamington Spa.

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