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Varsity Line

OISE Cambridge

Seven local councils have announced they will be funding the construction of a railway between Bicester and Bletchley, and there is (just a little) rejoicing in Oxford and Cambridge.

Varsity_line2A peculiar outcome of the shape and geography of the United Kingdom, and the fact that major transport routes run North-South and not East-West, is that it is only (realistically) possible to travel from Cambridge to Oxford by train if you route through and across London. Oxford should not seem as far away as it does.

It was not always the case. The Oxford-Cambridge line, known as the Varsity Line or sometimes in slang as the Brain Line (for Main line) linked the two cities via Bicester, Bletchley and Bedford until 1967 when it was closed, not as a result of the Beeching Report, which put paid to so many of Britain’s branch and secondary lines, but because of the advent…

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