I took the train back to Brighton, via the new Chiltern Railways line from Oxford to London Marylebone. It opened just last week, with a bunch of new/renovated stations. A new railway, in Oxford, it’s exciting!

oxford_parkway_station

Coming up from Oxford there’s a bike path running all the way along Banbury road, but there’s no easy way of actually crossing into the station. Still, at least they’ve learned from Oxford Station and have included a bit of bike parking. There’s a large car park too, seems as if it was built for Park & Ride commuters. Plenty of CCTV cameras, no decoration, bus stop shelter, it’s very functional.

foggy_bikes

Inside there are a few seats, a reception, generic sandwich kiosk. Everything is clean, I loiter around a bit. Tried to charge my laptop while waiting but the wall socket was blocked. The station staff are watching me, it’s uncomfortable.

There used to be a massive abandoned grain silo here, it was a monument marking the entrance to the town. They knocked it down.

There’s more staff than passengers on the platform, mostly private security. I’d have thought it would be busier, even for an off-peak train. The platform is so long that when the train arrives the security people usher us right the way to the end.

long_platform

The fog and the continuous building works completely disorient the passengers. Bridges emerge out of the mist, leading off into fields where connecting roads have yet to be built. Workers moving pipes around in the middle of nowhere. In some places you catch glimpses of the old track: stumpy concrete fences, warning signs.

This is the new Biscester village station. Same style as Oxford Parkway.

bicester_village_station

It’s a smooth ride, it doesn’t rock about much, and it gets quite fast too.

After a while the new landscape slowly disappeared and I settled in to reading some important academic documents.

train_laptop

Lastly, Marylebone, only 10 minutes late.