Oxford railway station

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National Rail
Oxford railway station - geograph.org.uk - 1321849.jpg
Oxford station from the south with platforms 4 (left) and 3 (right)
General information
LocationOxford, City of Oxford
Coordinates51°45′12″N 1°16′13″W / 51.7534°N 1.2703°W / 51.7534; -1.2703Coordinates: 51°45′12″N 1°16′13″W / 51.7534°N 1.2703°W / 51.7534; -1.2703
Grid referenceSP504063
Managed byGreat Western Railway
Other information
Station codeOXF
ClassificationDfT category B
Original companyGreat Western Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Western Railway
Post-groupingGreat Western Railway
Key dates
2017/18Increase 7.984 million
2018/19Increase 8.270 million
 Interchange  0.504 million
2019/20Increase 8.702 million
 Interchange Increase 0.821 million
2020/21Decrease 1.575 million
 Interchange Decrease 0.114 million
2021/22Increase 5.013 million
 Interchange Increase 0.389 million
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Oxford railway station is a mainline railway station, one of two[a] serving the city of Oxford, England. It is about 0.5 miles (800 m) west of the city centre, north-west of Frideswide Square and the eastern end of Botley Road. It is on the line for trains between London Paddington and Hereford via Worcester Shrub Hill. It is a starting point for fast and local trains to London Paddington and London Marylebone, and for local trains to Reading, Worcester (Shrub Hill and Foregate stations), and Banbury. It is also on the north/south Cross Country Route from Manchester Piccadilly and Newcastle via Birmingham New Street and Reading to Southampton Central and Bournemouth. The station is managed by Great Western Railway, and also served by CrossCountry and Chiltern Railways trains. Immediately to the north is Sheepwash Channel Railway Bridge over the Sheepwash Channel.


A GWR 2-8-0 at Oxford in 1965

The Great Western Railway (GWR) opened to Oxford on 12 June 1844[1] with a terminus station in what is now Western Road, Grandpont. In 1845 the Oxford and Rugby Railway (ORR) began to build its line, starting from a junction at New Hinksey 0.75 miles (1.2 km) south of the GWR terminus. The junction was known as Millstream Junction, and was between the future sites of Hinksey Halt and Abingdon Road Halt, both of which were opened in 1908. The GWR took over the ORR while it was still being built, and opened the line as far as Banbury on 2 September 1850. For just over two years, trains from Oxford to Banbury started at Grandpont, and had to reverse at Millstream Junction in order to continue their journey.[2]

The ORR line included a new through station in Park End Street, so when this opened with the extension of the line from Banbury to Birmingham on 1 October 1852, the original Grandpont terminus was closed to passenger services.[1][3] The old station at Grandpont became a goods depot, but was closed completely on 26 November 1872, the day that the broad gauge tracks were removed north of Didcot. The site of the station was then sold, as was the trackbed from Millstream Junction, some 66 chains (1,300 m) in length.[4][5]

Major subsequent changes were removal of the last 7 ft 0+14 in (2,140 mm) gauge tracks in 1872 and of the train shed in 1890–1. The station was substantially rebuilt by the Western Region of British Railways in 1971, further improvements being carried out during 1974 including the provision of a new travel centre,[6] and the new main building and footbridge were added in 1990 by Network SouthEast.

Planning permission was granted for the expansion to support the proposed Chiltern Railways service to London Marylebone [7] and the service was subsequently launched on 12 December 2016.[8] Meanwhile, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council and Network Rail have developed a masterplan for further development of the station.[9] Construction of an additional platform has been proposed.[10]

Flood remediation work south of the station at Hinksey saw services at the station curtailed & replaced by buses to/from Didcot Parkway in July and August 2016. This allowed the trackbed to be raised by 2 feet (0.65 m) and new culverts installed to reduce the impact of flooding from the nearby River Thames upon the railway (which has caused service interruptions on several occasions in recent years). Concurrent bridge repair work at Hanborough and signalling alterations at Banbury was also carried out over this period. The £18 million scheme was completed on 15 August 2016.[11]

The station has always been busy. In addition to current services, formerly there were others over the Wycombe Railway, Oxford, Witney and Fairford Railway, and Blenheim and Woodstock Branch Line. [b] Through trains from the north to the Southern Railway also typically changed locomotives at Oxford.

It was for a time known as Oxford General station to distinguish it from the London and North Western Railway's Oxford Rewley Road terminus of the Varsity Line to Cambridge, which was adjacent and came under joint management in 1933.[citation needed] On 1 October 1951 British Railways closed Rewley Road station to passengers and transferred its services to this station.[1]

South of the station immediately west of the railway tracks is Osney Cemetery, established in 1848 just before the current station site. Nearby is the site of the former Osney Abbey.

Station masters[edit]

  • James F. Relton 1853[14] - 1863 (afterwards station master at Newport)
  • Alfred Jordan 1863 - 1866[15]
  • William M. Beauchamp 1866[16] - 1868 (formerly station master at Worcester)
  • James William Gibbs, 1868 - 1880[17] (formerly station master at Warminster)
  • Mr. Newsom 1880[18] - 1883 (formerly station master at Taplow)
  • Robert Davis 1883[19] - 1905[20] (formerly station master at Plymouth North Road)
  • R. Brooker 1905 - 1918[21]
  • William Frederick Knutton 1918[22] - 1924 (afterwards station master at Reading)
  • H.C. Foster 1924 - 1927[23] (formerly station master at Penzance)
  • Frank Buckingham 1927 - 1941
  • F.C. Price 1941[24] - ???? (formerly station master at Gloucester)
  • C.H. Swancutt 1947- 1950[25] (afterwards station master at Birmingham Snow HIll)
  • James Miller 1951 - 1960[26] (formerly station master at Newbury)


Further expansion[edit]

In November 2009 it was announced that Oxford station would be expanded. A £10 million joint development between Network Rail and Oxfordshire County Council would create a new platform on part of the station’s long-stay car park. The new platform (south of platform 1) would allow trains to arrive and depart from the same track and reduce the need for empty trains to be shunted around the station. Currently, in busy periods trains can be kept waiting outside of the station for a platform to become available.

A new covered footbridge would also be built over Botley Road to link the station building with the new platform, replacing the existing footbridge to the car park. The new platform was to have been brought into use during 2011, and was to be part of the city and county councils' West End Area Action Plan for the western part of the city centre, which also considers other rail projects such as Evergreen 3 and the Paddington–Oxford electrification.[27]

Chiltern Railways has raised the possibility of developing a service between Oxford and the Cowley branch line.[28]

Project Evergreen 3[edit]

A Chiltern railways service at Oxford in 2017

In August 2008 Chiltern Railways announced Project Evergreen 3, a proposal to construct a 0.25 miles (400 m) chord between the Oxford to Bicester Line and the Chiltern Main Line, to allow a new Oxford to London Marylebone service to run via Bicester Village and High Wycombe. Work began in 2014;[29] the project, which included reinstatement of double track between Bicester and Oxford, was completed in 2015 as far as the new station at Oxford Parkway and the service from here to Bicester and Marylebone commenced on 26 October 2015. Services to Oxford were planned to start in Spring 2016, although locals objected to the extra noise that would be caused.[30][31] Network Rail completed the final stages of infrastructure work in the Wolvercote Tunnel and Peartree areas in September 2016, and Chiltern Railways began services from Oxford to Oxford Parkway on 11 December 2016.[32][33][34]

East West Rail[edit]

The Chiltern route out of Oxford is shared with the western section of East West Rail, which reuses part of historic Varsity Line route between Oxford and Cambridge. The initial services are planned to commence in 2023,[36] calling at Winslow and Bletchley, then Milton Keynes Central or Bedford. Extension to Cambridge is planned,[37] but not scheduled.


A CrossCountry Class 220 passing a GWR Class 165 at Oxford

Great Western Railway run two fast trains per hour to London Paddington via Reading and two stopping services to Didcot Parkway or Reading per hour. The stopping trains mainly originate here (a small number come from Banbury), however some fast trains continue to and from Worcester and Hereford.

Chiltern Railways run two fast trains per hour to London Marylebone via High Wycombe. These also call at the nearby Oxford Parkway. Chiltern Railways also provide a limited peak-hour service to Stratford-upon-Avon.

CrossCountry run trains twice per hour to Reading, of which three trains per two hours continue to Southampton Central and one train per hour continues on from Southampton Central to Bournemouth. These trains come from Manchester Piccadilly and Newcastle via Birmingham New Street.

A 1902 Railway Clearing House map of railways in the Oxford area
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
or Tackley
  Chiltern Railways
Stratford-upon-Avon – Oxford
Limited Service[c]
Oxford Parkway   Chiltern Railways
London Marylebone - Oxford
Banbury   CrossCountry
Manchester – Bournemouth
Newcastle – Reading and beyond
or Terminus
  Great Western Railway
Cotswold Line
  Didcot Parkway
or Reading or
London Paddington
Tackley or
  Great Western Railway
Cherwell Valley Line
  Future services  
Oxford Parkway   East West Rail
Oxford - Bedford or Milton Keynes Central
  Historical railways  
Wolvercot Platform
Line open; station closed
  Great Western Railway
Great Western Main Line
  Hinksey Halt
Line open; station closed

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The other is Oxford Parkway, near Kidlington
  2. ^ The recently published Lost Railways of Oxfordshire[12] gives information on all three of these services and The Woodstock Branch[13] gives an overview of how the service to Oxford changed over the line's life.
  3. ^ Currently one train per weekday from Stratford-upon-Avon to Oxford which returns as a stopping service to Banbury.[38]


  1. ^ a b c Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 179. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  2. ^ MacDermot, E.T. (1927). History of the Great Western Railway, vol. I: 1833–1863. Paddington: Great Western Railway. p. 300.
  3. ^ MacDermot 1927, pp. 322, 324–327
  4. ^ Cooke, B.W.C., ed. (November 1957). "The Why and the Wherefore: Original Station at Oxford". The Railway Magazine. Westminster: Tothill Press. 103 (679): 816.
  5. ^ MacDermot, E.T. (1931). History of the Great Western Railway, vol. II: 1863–1921. Paddington: Great Western Railway. pp. 65–66, 599.
  6. ^ Slater, J.N., ed. (July 1974). "Notes and News: Travel Centre for Oxford Station". Railway Magazine. London: IPC Transport Press Ltd. 120 (879): 361. ISSN 0033-8923.
  7. ^ "Oxford City planning approval". Oxford City Council planning. Oxford City Council. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Press release 20 Jan 2016". Press Releases Chiltern Railways. Chiltern Railways. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Masterplan". Oxford Station masterplan. Oxford City Council. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Plans for NEW platform, toilets and shops at Oxford Train Station". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Network Rail to carry out flood alleviation work to improve railway reliability for passengers". Press release. Network Rail. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  12. ^ Moors, Terry (2009). Lost Railways of Oxfordshire (First ed.). Newbury, Berkshire: Countryside Books. ISBN 978-1-84674-110-4.
  13. ^ Lingard, Richard (1973). The Woodstock Branch (First ed.). Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-902888-23-4.
  14. ^ "1835-1910 Clerks Vol.3". Great Western Railway: 9. 1835. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  15. ^ "Presentation of a testimonial to a railway official". Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette. England. 8 September 1866. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  16. ^ "1835-1910 Clerks Vol.3". Great Western Railway: 171. 1835. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  17. ^ "Presentation to the late station master of the G.W. Railway". Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser. England. 4 December 1880. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  18. ^ "The New Station Master". Reading Mercury. England. 18 September 1880. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  19. ^ "The New Superintendent at Reading". Berkshire Chronicle. England. 4 July 1905. Retrieved 10 July 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  20. ^ "Mr. R. Davis". Berkshire Chronicle. England. 17 June 1905. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  21. ^ "After 54.5 years service". Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser. England. 23 October 1918. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  22. ^ "Mr. Knutton". Banbury Advertiser. England. 31 October 1918. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  23. ^ "Presentation". Cheltenham Chronicle. England. 12 November 1927. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  24. ^ "Mr. F.C. Price promoted". Gloucester Journal. England. 22 November 1941. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  25. ^ "Obituary. Mr. C.H. Swancutt". Birmingham Daily Post. England. 27 July 1880. Retrieved 10 July 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  26. ^ Chipperfield, John (14 July 2016). "Popular and efficient stationmaster devoted working life to the railway". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  27. ^ Little, Reg (26 November 2009). "Grand plans for Oxford's train station". The Oxford Times. Oxford: Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd. pp. 1, 3.
  28. ^ "Chiltern railways to Cowley". Two new railway stations planned for Oxford. rail.co.uk. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Closure of Oxford to Bicester". Future engineering work. Network Rail. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  30. ^ "Oxford-Marylebone service delayed until December".
  31. ^ "Chiltern's Oxford city centre-London services pushed to December".
  32. ^ "1Y03 0743 Oxford to London Marylebone". Realtime Trains. swlines Ltd. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  33. ^ "Chiltern Railways Timetable from December 11" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  34. ^ "Oxford to Marylebone track now complete"Network Rail Media Centre press release 21 September 2016; Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  35. ^ a b "East West Rail Bedford to Cambridge Preferred Route Option Report" (PDF). East West Rail. 30 January 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 July 2021. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  36. ^ "Chancellor accepts East West Rail targets and strengthens plans with extra cash". Rail Technology Magazine. 22 November 2017.
  37. ^ Bedford and Cambridge Route Option Consultation: Have Your Say – East West Rail Ltd., 28 January 2018
  38. ^ "December 2015 Timetable" (PDF). Winter and Spring Train Times. Chiltern Railways. Retrieved 24 January 2016.


External links[edit]