Building work begins for new East West Rail station in Winslow
The foundations are being laid for Winslow's new railway station
Platform construction is now under way for Winslow's new railway station.
The station is being built as part of the East West Rail project.
According to the East West Rail Alliance, Winslow will be at the heart of the new railway, which will transform travel between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge.
More than 500 pre-cast concrete platform units are being lifted into position in the new railway cutting, before work starts on the station building itself next spring.
The work now under way involves using a 250-tonne crawler crane with a 62m arm - known as a 'lattice boom' - which is taller than Nelson’s column.
A smartphone app has been developed to allow the platform units to be called for delivery in the exact construction sequence, which is essential to manage the limited space available on site.
East West Rail Alliance project director Mark Cuzner said: “This is a huge step for people in Winslow, who haven’t been connected to the railway network for decades.
“With the platform units now being installed, you get a real sense of what the station will look like when finished.
"East West Rail will bring people significant benefits and better access to housing and jobs, while providing reliable, quick, environmentally sustainable journeys and more affordable travel.”
Chief executive of the East West Railway Company, Simon Blanchflower, said: “This is a major milestone for the project, with a new station at Winslow set to benefit communities and businesses in and around the town with an alternative, sustainable way to travel across the region.
"Whether it’s linking Winslow businesses with the best talent from along the route or providing families and friends with a way to connect without driving on the region’s busy roads, East West Rail will help local communities meet the challenges and changes in modern life and leave a lasting legacy for the region.”
The first phase of the new East West Rail line, known as Connection Stage One, between Oxford and Milton Keynes, is being delivered by the East West Rail Alliance, which consists of Network Rail, Atkins, Laing O’Rourke and VolkerRail.
The alliance says this first phase of the new railway is bringing 1,000 direct employment opportunities and a further 500 through its supply chain, as well as injecting £1.1 billion into the local economy.
Following construction of the new station building in spring 2022, the new track is due to be laid in early 2023.