Future of Banbury GWR services

Status
Not open for further replies.

Mordac

Established Member
Joined
5 Mar 2016
Messages
2,062
Location
Birmingham
Wondering if once electrification to Oxford is completed, all Banbury GWR trains will be curtailed to become Oxford shuttles operated by Turbos, or are there plans to keep some of the through Reading and Paddington services going (possibly with 80x trains)?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Joined
9 Apr 2016
Messages
1,909
I wouldnt be surprised if they transferred to Chiltern Railways. Do these services currently require a Guard between Oxford and Banbury or are they DOO?
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
25,944
DMU shuttles between Banbury and Oxford with some extended to or from Didcot in the peaks, is the way ahead, as per the franchise stakeholder brief:

Overview
• The Oxford-Banbury route is not expected to be
electrified during the lifetime of the next Direct
Award. With the advent of electrified services
between Paddington and Oxford most services
will be operated by an Oxford to Banbury diesel
shuttle. The trains will be equipped with free Wi-Fi
May 2017
• From May 2017 services between Paddington and
Banbury will be replaced by Oxford-Banbury shuttle
services, four of these will extended in each direction
to Didcot Parkway. This will improve connections
into mainline services at Didcot and also meet the
Oxfordshire County Council and OxLEP aspiration for
improved calls at Culham for the growing
science park
December 2018
• As May 2017 timetable
 

leomartin125

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2015
Messages
985
Location
Maidenhead
I wouldnt be surprised if they transferred to Chiltern Railways. Do these services currently require a Guard between Oxford and Banbury or are they DOO?

Chiltern are not getting the Banbury route operated by GWR. At least for another Control Period in time scale. I work at Oxford so would know Chiltern's plans at at the moment they are limited to Marylebone routes utilising Oxford Parkway using 168's and 68's as of December 2016.
 

cactustwirly

Established Member
Joined
10 Apr 2013
Messages
6,311
Location
UK
It could be a possibility in the next franchise, it would free up a 165 or two to move west.
 

fgwrich

Established Member
Joined
15 Apr 2009
Messages
7,034
Location
Between Edinburgh and Exeter
Do we know what came of the talk of re-transferring the Stratford Upon Avon to London service back to Paddington and operated by the Great Western franchise?

I'd have thought if this does come about, Oxford-Ban locals would be more than likely to stay within GW.
 

leomartin125

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2015
Messages
985
Location
Maidenhead
Do we know what came of the talk of re-transferring the Stratford Upon Avon to London service back to Paddington and operated by the Great Western franchise?

I'd have thought if this does come about, Oxford-Ban locals would be more than likely to stay within GW.

I was talking to a Chiltern driver today who mentioned 'Stratford' and 'Chiltern' in the same sentance regarding the future around Oxford...
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
25,944
Do we know what came of the talk of re-transferring the Stratford Upon Avon to London service back to Paddington and operated by the Great Western franchise?

I'd have thought if this does come about, Oxford-Ban locals would be more than likely to stay within GW.

It didn't make it into the direct award spec did it?

As far as I can find so far, it was mentioned in the 2012 ITT, the one that was abandoned, and didn't appear in anything more recent than that. You have to assume it has died a death...
 
Last edited:

jimm

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2012
Messages
5,095
It didn't make it into the direct award spec did it?

As far as I can find so far, it was mentioned in the 2012 ITT, the one that was abandoned, and didn't appear in anything more recent than that. You have to assume it has died a death...

Well don't assume that. GWR management spoke at the time about their desire to reinstate a tourist market-focused Paddington-Oxford-Stratford service, but with the scrapping of the franchise process, DfT put the lid on the idea for the time being. I feel fairly confident it will feature in the bidding for the post-2019 franchise, most likely a few Class 800 services in visitor-friendly timings.

GWR are also strong supporters of reopening Long Marston to Stratford and put money into the 2012 Arup study of prospects for the reopening.

The post-wiring Turbo shuttles between Oxford and Banbury are viewed purely as an interim measure until electrification between Oxford and the West Midlands happens - when the GW rolling stock plan was being drawn up the expectation was probably that this would happen somewhere between 2019 and 2024.

That date looks on the optimistic side now but so long as GWR continues to have a diesel fleet to hand based at Reading, I can't see any compelling reason why the Oxford-Banbury service should go to Chiltern - especially when the clear expectation is that electrification beyond Oxford would see 387s maintaining direct links between Banbury and the likes of Culham and Didcot - never mind that Chiltern isn't exactly flush with spare dmus to allow it to take on extra work anyway.
 
Last edited:

bignosemac

On Moderation
Joined
12 Oct 2009
Messages
4,981
Are there still paths available from Banbury to Stratford-on-Avon? More Chiltern services on this line now than when FGW Link gave up on S-o-A.
 

MidnightFlyer

Veteran Member
Joined
16 May 2010
Messages
12,854
Don't the LM Birmingham-Stratford via Solihull services have to miss out Claverdon and Bearley in order to clear the single line?

That said however, surely if the services did transfer from the Chiltern franchise to the Great Western one they could just use the same (or slightly amended) paths?

Edit - The last paragraph is with regards to the line between Leamington and Stratford; though I can't imagine the line between Banbury and Leamington is full, it's only four passenger trains an hour plus freight either way IIRC.
 
Last edited:

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
11,656
If you can zip the freight out at Banbury, in at Fenny and in at Hatton you can normally get them through. There is a bit of a gradient from Banbury to Fenny and freight gets ran down surprisingly quickly. In the up direction it is a different story, once you are out at Small Heath South it is right away Banbury.
 

greaterwest

Established Member
Joined
23 Nov 2014
Messages
1,217
Well don't assume that. GWR management spoke at the time about their desire to reinstate a tourist market-focused Paddington-Oxford-Stratford service, but with the scrapping of the franchise process, DfT put the lid on the idea for the time being. I feel fairly confident it will feature in the bidding for the post-2019 franchise, most likely a few Class 800 services in visitor-friendly timings.

GWR are also strong supporters of reopening Long Marston to Stratford and put money into the 2012 Arup study of prospects for the reopening.

The post-wiring Turbo shuttles between Oxford and Banbury are viewed purely as an interim measure until electrification between Oxford and the West Midlands happens - when the GW rolling stock plan was being drawn up the expectation was probably that this would happen somewhere between 2019 and 2024.

That date looks on the optimistic side now but so long as GWR continues to have a diesel fleet to hand based at Reading, I can't see any compelling reason why the Oxford-Banbury service should go to Chiltern - especially when the clear expectation is that electrification beyond Oxford would see 387s maintaining direct links between Banbury and the likes of Culham and Didcot - never mind that Chiltern isn't exactly flush with spare dmus to allow it to take on extra work anyway.

GWR will continue to have a diesel fleet at Reading until the Reading to Redhill via Guildford line is electrified (not any time soon!). Looks like they will need to retain a fair few units if the OXF-BAN shuttle is to remain Turbo operated.
 

BanburyBlue

Member
Joined
18 May 2015
Messages
504
So how does all this work?

London to SoA was GWR, then moved to Chiltern, with some suggestions in this thread that may go back to GWR.

Is this the ToCs making the case to the DoT that they want to obtain/lose this line? Or is there someone in the DoT with a grand plan who thinks moving a line from ToC A to ToC B is a good idea?
 

jimm

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2012
Messages
5,095
GWR will continue to have a diesel fleet at Reading until the Reading to Redhill via Guildford line is electrified (not any time soon!). Looks like they will need to retain a fair few units if the OXF-BAN shuttle is to remain Turbo operated.

They won't need a fair few units - the plan, at least last I heard, is for there to be a pair of two-car 165s provided at Oxford each weekday to cover the Banbury shuttle and the morning and afternoon peak Cotswold Line halts services.

So how does all this work?

London to SoA was GWR, then moved to Chiltern, with some suggestions in this thread that may go back to GWR.

Is this the ToCs making the case to the DoT that they want to obtain/lose this line? Or is there someone in the DoT with a grand plan who thinks moving a line from ToC A to ToC B is a good idea?

The last time that the DfT tried to run a competitive franchise bidding process for GW services in 2012 - which was cancelled after the West Coast fiasco - one or more of the bidders suggested a revived Paddington-Oxford-Stratford service in the early stages and this idea then appeared in the invitation to tender issued by the DfT as a potential additional service bidders might like to provide detailed proposals for - but it was not regarded as a core service for the GW franchise.

From page 49 at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...hment_data/file/3596/invitation-to-tender.pdf

4.3.2.2 Franchise Geography
The Franchise Agreement (paragraph 2.2 of Schedule 1.6), sets out the routes over which the Franchisee is permitted to operate. This has been based on those of the current franchise plus two further routes that have been added following receipt and review of suggestions from Bidders prior to the issue of the ITT. The additional routes over which the Franchisee may also operate if they so wish are:

Southampton Central to Poole from May 2017 onwards only;
and Banbury to Stratford upon Avon.

Bidders are free to operate trains over these routes, subject to fulfilling the other requirements of the Franchise Agreement. Such services will not form part of the TSR. By accepting Bids which include plans for such services, the Department does not guarantee it will support future applications for track access on these routes. During Bid assessment the Department may risk adjust revenue or cost assumptions if it believes the Bidder has taken an unreasonable view on any future allocation of track access rights.

There was no discussion of possible implications for the Chiltern service and because the franchise process was scrapped and FGW/GWR has been operating on a direct award basis ever since to get the region through the modernisation and electrification process and the introduction of the IEP and 387 fleets, the idea has been on ice ever since.

But GWR is clearly still keen on both a London-Oxford-Stratford service via Banbury and Leamington and reviving the link between the Cotswold Line and Stratford-upon-Avon - which would have the added attraction of adding another tourist hotspot to the mix in the shape of the Cotswolds, plus opening up extra regional journeys around the West Midlands to rail passengers.

Obviously Stratford-Long Marston-Honeybourne reopening is way down the priority list at the moment, but a limited GWR service via Banbury seems perfectly possible.

I don't for a minute envisage a high-frequency operation, just a limited selection of services targeting visitors to Stratford - such as day-tripping overseas tourists travelling from London, which is a big market, but is dominated by coach operators at the moment.

Stratford has one of the lowest percentages of visitors arriving by rail of any major tourist destination in the UK and the current shape of Chiltern's offer from and to London, requiring people to change trains most of the day, isn't likely to improve matters. But if GWR was able to market a direct Class 800 service to tour operators, plenty of group bookings would likely follow. But GWR isn't driven just by Stratford, the ability to offer Oxford as part of the mix is also important - and helped to shape the old NSE/Thames service in the first place.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top