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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Just one week to go before the start of major railway upgrades in Oxford

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The start of a nine-day period of intensive track and signalling work around Oxford station begins on 29 July, supporting an increase in train services and ushering in a new era in passenger and freight train travel for the city and wider county.

From 29 July until 6 August, Network Rail will be installing new high speed crossovers (where trains change tracks) to the north of Oxford station, between Walton Well Road bridge and Aristole Lane footbridge, as well as upgrading lineside signalling equipment, modifying Osney Lane footbridge and making adjustments to platforms in the station.

The upgrade is part of Oxfordshire Connect – the programme of work that is transforming the station and the surrounding area.

High speed crossovers being installed this summer will make it quicker and easier for trains to get in and out of the station, as well as making way for an additional line and platform that will be installed in 2024, ready to support additional train services through East West Rail.

During the nine-day closure, no trains will run to or from Oxford station. Replacement buses will be in operation between Oxford and:

  • Banbury
  • Didcot Parkway
  • Hanborough
  • Leamington Spa (Saturday 29 July – 13:15 Friday 4 August only)
  • Oxford Parkway

Replacement buses will leave at different times to the usual train timetable with longer journey times.

Botley Road has been closed at the rail bridge since April to facilitate the first stage of the work which includes diverting the complex layout of utility services, such as water, gas and electricity, that run beneath the road. Work at the site is currently paused, following the discovery of an expansive brick arch beneath the road surface, while engineers assess how best to safely remove the structure.

With the utility services diverted out of the way, there will be another road closure next year to carry out the highway improvements, which includes new four-metre-wide designated cycle and pedestrian space on either side. There will also be a further period of track upgrades and a new, wider bridge will be installed on Botley Road, to accommodate the extra railway line.

Clare Mahoney, Network Rail’s industry programme director said: “This nine-day period of 24-hour working is a really important milestone in the Oxfordshire Connect Programme and we thank passengers, local residents and businesses for their patience while this work is completed. It is a vital enabler for the upgrades that will follow and crucial preparation for the introduction of East West Rail.”

Image credit: Network Rail

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