London to Aylesbury Line
|London Marylebone-Aylesbury Line|
|Principal stations (from south to north)|
The London to Aylesbury Line is the main railway line between London Marylebone and Aylesbury. It shares track with the London Underground Metropolitan Line from Harrow to Amersham, and serves 3 further stops before terminating at Aylesbury.
The route was opened in stages between 1868, when the Metropolitan and St. John's Wood Railway opened a branch from Baker Street to Swiss Cottage, and 1892, when the Metropolitan reached Aylesbury at the behest of the chairman of the Great Central Railway, Sir Edward Watkin, who was also chairman of the Met. In 1899 the GCR's London extension reached Quainton Road and the route became one of the primary links between the Great Central Main Line and its London terminus. The line beyond Aylesbury is now closed to almost all passenger services; only freight services to Calvert and specials to and from Quainton now run (the specials only run on certain Bank Holidays). The track remains in situ from Calvert west to Bicester Town and intermittently east to Bletchley.
The line serves the following stations:
- London Marylebone
- Chalfont and Latimer
- Great Missenden
- Stoke Mandeville
Passenger services are provided by Chiltern Railways. From Marylebone to Neasden the track is shared with the Chiltern Main Line, and from Harrow to Amersham the track is shared with London Underground's Metropolitan Line, and is used by their "fast" services.
Following completion of a major track work project in December 2006, journey times on the line were cut by about 10 minutes. In the long term, it is hoped to reopen the line beyond Aylesbury to allow passenger services to reach Milton Keynes. The opening of the Aylesbury Vale Parkway station in 2009 has already been agreed.