Blenheim and Woodstock branch line

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For defunct Vermont railroad of a similar name, see Woodstock Railway.
Blenheim and Woodstock Branch
Cherwell Valley Line to Oxford
Cherwell Valley Line to Banbury
Shipton-on-Cherwell Halt
Blenheim and Woodstock

The Blenheim and Woodstock branch line was a 4 miles (6.4 km) long railway branch line that ran from Kidlington railway station along the Cherwell Valley Line north to Shipton-on-Cherwell where the line branched off west past Shipton-on-Cherwell Halt towards Woodstock.


Constructed by the 8th Duke of Marlborough,[1] the line opened on 19 May 1890[2] and was privately owned until 1897 when it became part of the Great Western Railway, although the line was operated by Great Western Railway from its inception.[3] In 1929 a halt was added to the line at Shipton-on-Cherwell primarily to serve the Oxford and Shipton Cement Company limestone quarry and cement works. The last train ran on 27 February 1954 and track lifting was completed in January 1958.[3]

Train services[edit]

The original service was four trains each way between Oxford and Blenheim and Woodstock. By around 1910, this had become ten trains a day and it remained at this level for many years. By 1938, the passenger service had been pruned back to nine trains a day, not all trains running through to Oxford.[3] The number of trains serving the station was cut in the late 1930s, and again in 1952 down to only six trains a day.[4] These cuts in the frequency of trains along the Woodstock branch line produced two-hour waits at Kidlington for a connection.


British Railways closed the branch line in March 1954 with the last train adorned with a wreath.[4] The track was lifted in 1958.


  1. ^ Baggs, A. P.; Blair, W. J.; Chance, Eleanor; Colvin, Christina; Cooper, Janet; Day, C. J.; Selwyn, Nesta; Townley, S. C. (1990). "Woodstock: Introduction". In Crossley, Alan; Elrington, C. R. A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock. London. pp. 326–333. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  2. ^ MacDermot, E.T. (1931). History of the Great Western Railway, vol. II: 1863-1921. Paddington: Great Western Railway. pp. 366, 606. OCLC 55853736. 
  3. ^ a b c Lingard, Richard (1973). The Woodstock Branch. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 978 0 902888 23 4. 
  4. ^ a b Searle, 1983, p. 129.

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