The wait is almost over after land was secured to build a new train station for Winslow and plans for the rail link steam ahead.
Bucks County Council has bought land for the station on the outskirts of the town for £900,000. It will form part of East West Rail which will connect Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Oxford and Bedford.
Facilities on the 2.5 acre site will include a station building, passenger’s car park and public transport hub.
The original Winslow Train Station closed to passengers on New Year’s Day 1968 and the final train passed through the town in 1993. The new station is due to be up and running by 2019.
Bucks County Councillor John Chilver, who represents Winslow, thinks the station will ‘transform travel opportunities’ and ‘help to attract jobs to the town’.
He said: “A railhead for Winslow combined with a new cycleway to Buckingham will help relieve our rural roads of some of the traffic, and be an enormous benefit to our communities.”
The first phase of the Western Section, between Oxford and Bicester, is nearing completion, and train services from Oxford to London Marylebone are due to start running in December. Trains have been running from Oxford Parkway to Marylebone via Bicester Village since autumn 2015.
The second phase links Oxford to Bedford and Milton Keynes via Aylesbury and Princes Risborough to London Marylebone.
The new railway is forecast to boost regional gross domestic product by around £135 million and contribute to the public purse through tax revenues of £65m per annum.
Council Leader Martin Tett said: “This is a fantastic opportunity not only for Bucks but also for the wider region, and it can’t happen soon enough.”
Mark Shaw, cabinet member for transport and vice chairman of the East West Rail (Western Section) Joint Delivery Board, described it as a ‘significant moment’ in the county’s transport history.
The aim of the East West Rail Consortium is to reinstate the former Varsity Line between Cambridge and Oxford. This would enable train services to run from East Anglia through Bucks to Oxford and beyond, with connections to High Wycombe, London, and national mainline services to the north, west and south of England.
The missing link in this chain is between Bedford and Cambridge, where sections of the former railway line have been dismantled and land developed for other purposes.