Bicester Town railway station

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Bicester Town National Rail
Bicester Town
Bicester Town railway station in 1992
Place Bicester
Local authority Cherwell
Coordinates 51°53′35″N 1°08′55″W / 51.8931°N 1.1485°W / 51.8931; -1.1485Coordinates: 51°53′35″N 1°08′55″W / 51.8931°N 1.1485°W / 51.8931; -1.1485
Grid reference SP586219
Station code BIT
Managed by Chiltern Railways
Number of platforms 1 (originally 2)
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2002/03 Increase 52,198
2004/05 Decrease 50,197
2005/06 Decrease 48,685
2006/07 Decrease 43,950
2007/08 Increase 51,902
2008/09 Increase 59,964
2009/10 Increase 0.105 million
2010/11 Increase 0.157 million
2011/12 Increase 0.213 million
2012/13 Increase 0.214 million
Original company Buckinghamshire Railway
Pre-grouping London and North Western Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
1 October 1850 Opened as "Bicester"
March 1954 Renamed "Bicester London Road"
1 January 1968 Closed
11 May 1987 Reopened and renamed Bicester Town
15 February 2014 Closed to rail traffic during line upgrade
May 2015 Planned reopening
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Bicester Town from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Bicester Town is the smaller of two railway stations serving the town of Bicester in Oxfordshire. (The larger is Bicester North.) Bicester Town station is 12 miles (19 km) miles north-east of Oxford. The station, and all trains serving it, are operated by Chiltern Railways.


Bicester London Road with two platforms in 1961

The Buckinghamshire Railway, which already had a route between Bletchley and Banbury, had powers to build a line to Oxford. The first part of this line, from a junction to the west of Winslow (at a point which became known as Verney Junction) to Islip, opened on 1 October 1850, and this included a station at Bicester.[1][2] Originally named "Bicester", the station was renamed "Bicester London Road" in March 1954,[2] although the nameboards were not altered until 20 September 1954.[3]

The station was closed, along with the rest of the Oxford – Bletchley section of the Varsity Line, on 1 January 1968.[2] However, the station was used by several excursion trains through the 1970s and 1980s.

Network SouthEast reopened the station as "Bicester Town" on 11 May 1987,[4] as the terminus of the Oxford to Bicester Line. From May 2009 First Great Western and Oxfordshire County Council branded the line "The Bicester Link".[5] Since then operation of the line has been transferred from FGW to Chiltern Railways.

Since 1987 the frequency of trains has varied and passenger numbers have fluctuated accordingly. In the four years 2007–11 more frequent trains have increased the total number of passengers using Bicester Town by 258%.[6]

The station closed on 15 February 2014 (the last trains having run late on 14 February) in order to allow upgrade of the line between Oxford and Bicester. Reopening is planned for May 2015.[7][8]


Bicester Town station in 2010. The station building is to be replaced in 2015 and a shelter was built in 2014.

The station has one platform, with a covered waiting area, seats, a clock, help point and public address. There are numerous cycle stands but no ticket facilities (passengers buy these on the train instead).

The line to the east is used only by freight. The East West Rail Consortium of local authorities plans to extend the Oxford – Bicester service to Milton Keynes Central via Winslow and Bletchley.

There is another track in front of the platform, beside the passenger and freight running line. This is the long reversing siding for the Bicester Military Railway, serving the local MOD depot.[9]

In August 2008 Chiltern Railways announced a proposal to build a 14 mile (400 m) link between the Oxford to Bicester Line and the Chiltern Main Line to carry a new service between Oxford and London via High Wycombe. The single line between Bicester Town and Oxford will be doubled and a new station is being built at Oxford Parkway. Approval was granted in October 2012.[10] Chiltern Railways started work on the upgrade in February 2014,[11] and it is expected to re-open in the Summer of 2015.

The Department for Transport has approved the Western Section of the East West Rail Link to link Oxford and Bicester Town with Milton Keynes and Bedford, as part of CP5. It was originally intended that trains should start running by 2017,[12][13] but on 31 March 2014 Network Rail announced that this had been put back to 2019.[14]


From December 2008 the service on Mondays to Saturdays was improved with an evening service and a doubling of the service on Saturdays. There are now 11 trains (12 on Fridays) on weekdays and 13 on Saturdays. From May 2009, further improvements saw extra trains during the daytime on Mondays to Fridays and a new all-year round Sunday service, with trains every 90 minutes.

On 22 May 2011 Chiltern Railways took over all passenger operations from this station ahead of the new service between London Marylebone and Oxford that was due to start in 2013.[15] It was later amended to 2015.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Islip   Chiltern Railways
Oxford to Bicester Line
Bus replacement service in operation.
Future services
Islip or
Oxford Parkway
  Chiltern Railways
London Marylebone – Oxford
  Haddenham and
Thame Parkway

or Princes Risborough
Oxford Parkway   East West Rail Link
Reading – Bedford or Milton Keynes
Historical railways
Wendlebury Halt
Line open, station closed
  London and North Western Railway
Varsity Line
Line and station closed


  1. ^ Mitchell, Victor E.; Smith, Keith (July 2005). Oxford to Bletchley. Country Railway Routes. Midhurst: Middleton Press. Historical background. ISBN 1-904474-57-8. 
  2. ^ a b c Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 33. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  3. ^ Mitchell & Smith 2005, fig. 50
  4. ^ Butt 1995, pp. 33–34
  5. ^ The Bicester Link[dead link]
  6. ^ Office of the Rail Regulator data: see infobox at head of article.
  7. ^ "Last train to run on Oxford to Bicester line before revamp". BBC News Oxford. 14 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Chiltern Railway". Oxford Mail. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Oxford to Bicester, Banbury and Worcester". First Great Western. 
  10. ^ "Chiltern gets go-ahead for second Oxford-London rail link". The Oxford Times. 18 October 2012. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "East West Rail – Western Section Prospectus" (pdf). Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  13. ^ RAIL (685): 10–11. 14–28 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "Disappointment as East West Rail delayed by two years" (Press release). Bucks Herald. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Chiltern to take over Bicester – Oxford trains". RAIL (664): 25. 23 February – 8 March 2011. 

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