Chiltern Railways

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Description

Chiltern Railways is a British train operating company that has operated the Chiltern Railways franchise since July 1996. Since 2009, it has been a subsidiary of Arriva UK Trains.

Chiltern Railways was founded as M40 Trains by a group of ex-British Rail managers backed by John Laing and 3i; in June 1996, it was announced that M40 Trains had been awarded the Chiltern Railways franchise. On 21 July 1996, it took over operations from British Rail. The company promptly commenced the redoubling of the Chiltern Main Line under the Evergreen initiative and ordered the Class 168 Clubman diesel multiple units (DMUs) to supplement its ex-British Rail fleet. Following the awarding of a 20-year franchise to Chiltern Railways in August 2000, Evergreen phase 2 works begun to raise line speeds around Beaconsfield, built two new platforms at its London Marylebone terminus. In January 2010, a £250 million upgrade package was agreed for Evergreen phase 3, remodelling the line and permitting 100 mph operations, thus greatly reducing journey times.

In August 2002, the John Laing Group became the sole owner of Chiltern Railways after buying out all other shareholders; shortly after John Laing's purchase by Henderson Equity Partners, the company was sold to the German publicly owned railway company Deutsche Bahn in January 2008. Chiltern Railways became a subsidiary of Arriva UK Trains as a result of restructuring during early 2011. Around this time, Chiltern was considered one of the best railway operators in Britain, with Public Performance Measure (PPM) regularly over 90%. However, the introduction of new timetables during the 2010s was repeatedly received negatively by the travelling public. Severe disruption to Chiltern's services occurred following the collapse of Gerrards Cross Tunnel on 30 June 2005; an unplanned six week closure of the main line was forced, resulting in compensation being paid by Tesco to both Chiltern Railways and Network Rail.

Chiltern Railways operates commuter/regional rail passenger services from its central London terminus at Marylebone along the M40 corridor to destinations in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, as well as long-distance services to the West Midlands along two routes. Services on the Chiltern Main Line run from London to Birmingham Moor Street, Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford, with some peak-hour services extended to Stourbridge Junction. Chiltern Railways also runs trains on the London–Aylesbury line to Aylesbury (some of which continue on to Aylesbury Vale Parkway), and on the Princes Risborough to Aylesbury and Oxford to Bicester branch lines. From December 2010, Chiltern began operating the Chiltern Mainline service of two peak-hour locomotive-hauled services consisting of a Class 67 hauling a rake of modernised Mark 3 coaches and a Driving Van Trailer.

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