Oxford Down Loop

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L&Y Robert

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I may have heard, or mis-heard (only catching the tail end of the item) on BBC Oxford News on Friday night (20th April) that there is some neighbourhood trouble about a contractor cutting down trees to enable restoration of the Down Relief road north of Oxford Station. If so, it will be a continuation of the Down Platform road from the station, and this already reaches out northwards as far as Port Meadow. I remember in the 60s when it was intact and in use, and extended as far as Wolvercote Junction (branch for the Cotswold Line to which the former loop connected). Then yesterday, I heard that the proposed re-instatement is the first move in a re-arrangement of the tracks north of Oxford such that the Up and Down "fast" lines will be on the outside of the formation, with the "slow" freight lines on the inside! Does anybody know anything?
 
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MidnightFlyer

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Cold it be part of the proposed track remodelling around Oxford (including that station) that has been about for a few years now? I know the plans include several crossovers being moved and another through platform at the station.
 

L&Y Robert

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Cold it be part of the proposed track remodelling around Oxford (including that station) that has been about for a few years now? I know the plans include several crossovers being moved and another through platform at the station.
Yes, there is a proposal for a single buffer-stop platform (not a through platform though) on the SE side - the 'Up' side - of the station, on the S side of the Botley Road, to be accessed from the main station by a dedicated footbridge. Also Chiltern have plans for 2 buffer-stop platforms where the old parcels depot used to be, on the NE side of the station, to form the terminus of their proposed new Oxford-Marylebone route via Biceser. But neither of these plans impinges on the down relief loop!
 

swt_passenger

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The proposal is briefly mentioned in the latest CP4 enhancement summary in a couple of places. Firstly there's 'converting the down and up goods loops to passenger status' using NR's discretionary fund, (NRDF) so it is a by definition a relatively minor project, and there's no detail given, but it is confirmed as happening.

Then in the Strategic Freight Network section the work to extend the down goods passenger loop to Wolvercote Jn is listed - as part of the [freight] train lengthening project.

There are a few references to the work in the GWML RUS as well, but again no detail given.
 

Schnellzug

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Yes, there is a proposal for a single buffer-stop platform (not a through platform though) on the SE side - the 'Up' side - of the station, on the S side of the Botley Road, to be accessed from the main station by a dedicated footbridge. Also Chiltern have plans for 2 buffer-stop platforms where the old parcels depot used to be, on the NE side of the station, to form the terminus of their proposed new Oxford-Marylebone route via Biceser. But neither of these plans impinges on the down relief loop!
Didn't there used to be another station there in the old days, for the trains from Cambridge/Bletchely?
 

MidnightFlyer

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Yes, there is a proposal for a single buffer-stop platform (not a through platform though) on the SE side - the 'Up' side - of the station, on the S side of the Botley Road, to be accessed from the main station by a dedicated footbridge. Also Chiltern have plans for 2 buffer-stop platforms where the old parcels depot used to be, on the NE side of the station, to form the terminus of their proposed new Oxford-Marylebone route via Biceser. But neither of these plans impinges on the down relief loop!
The plan I have before me from a magazine (TRUK96; December 2009) shows a proposed layout with two new through platforms created behind the existing side platforms...
 

W-on-Sea

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Didn't there used to be another station there in the old days, for the trains from Cambridge/Bletchely?
I believe that station was just to the east of the present one (north side of Botley Road), but its site is now taken up by (a) the mini-bus station there, and (more to the point) (b) the Said Business School
 

Rugd1022

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I believe that station was just to the east of the present one (north side of Botley Road), but its site is now taken up by (a) the mini-bus station there, and (more to the point) (b) the Said Business School
That was the old Rewley Road Station, the wooden building of which is now at Quainton Road ;)
 

The Planner

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Seeing as you asked the question on The Signal Box, I'll answer it the same way here. The Down Goods will be extended out towards Wolvercote Jn and will be of passenger standard with a speed increase which will include the turnout at the north end. The Up Loop will also be be improved with a high speed turnout at Wolvercote. The centre roads will in effect become two long goods loops capable of handling 775m freights. This is likely to be done as part of the Oxford re-control, so somewhere around 2015.
 

L&Y Robert

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I believe that station was just to the east of the present one (north side of Botley Road), but its site is now taken up by (a) the mini-bus station there, and (more to the point) (b) the Said Business School
Yes, indeed there was. We (students) used to call it "The LNW Station", it was existant but out of use in my days in Oxford, and comprised two platforms and four platform roads. Most interesting about it was the concourse building, constructed, it is said, from parts of Crystal Palace recovered following the disasterous fire in 1937-ish. A few years ago this building was dismantled, moved, and re-erected and restored at Quainton Road station, where it now serves as the main museum building of Buckinghamshire Railway Centre - a lot better use than the motor tyre and exhaust fitting workshop I remember! We're getting off the thread a bit here - sorry.
 

John55

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Yes, indeed there was. We (students) used to call it "The LNW Station", it was existant but out of use in my days in Oxford, and comprised two platforms and four platform roads. Most interesting about it was the concourse building, constructed, it is said, from parts of Crystal Palace recovered following the disasterous fire in 1937-ish. A few years ago this building was dismantled, moved, and re-erected and restored at Quainton Road station, where it now serves as the main museum building of Buckinghamshire Railway Centre - a lot better use than the motor tyre and exhaust fitting workshop I remember! We're getting off the thread a bit here - sorry.
The station was built (circa 1850) at the same time as the original Crystal Palace was built in Hyde Park and by the same contractors. The contractors used very similar structural elements in both buildings so they did have some striking similarities. However the parts were not re used.
 

aylesbury

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Rewley Road building is undergoing a refurbishment at the moment to address leaks etc.Oxford needs a new station not a tinkering with the layout.
 

swt_passenger

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This 'tinkering with the layout' is primarily to provide a suitable location to recess longer (665m) freight trains so they can be overtaken by passenger trains.

That seems a pretty good idea in my opinion, because that procedure will still be required somewhere on the route, even if they do subsequently rebuild or relocate the station?
 

L&Y Robert

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Rewley Road building is undergoing a refurbishment at the moment to address leaks etc.Oxford needs a new station not a tinkering with the layout.
A vision swam before my eyes of a man in hi-viz suit on the roof, carefully addressing each hole in the roof " - well, this one's 17th slate, fourth rib, west face" type of thing.
Sorry, Aylesbury - couldn't resist it!
 

L&Y Robert

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To summerise : they are just reinstating the old layout at Oxford
Well, Yes - and No! The track diagram would be similar to the original, but, as I understand it, the intention is quite different. The Down Fast will be on the line of the former Down Loop (a track extending from the down platform), and the Down Slow will be the former Down Fast which does not have a platform face. So goods trains will be "Laid aside" in the centre, whereas passenger trains, having called at the platform, will pass by on the outside. There will be a similar arrangement in the Up direction. Then, of course, there will have to be arrangements for trains to have access to (and egress from) both the Cotswold and Cherwell Valley lines at Wolvercote Junction. And we mustn't forget the access to the Bicester Line on the east side of the layout. All quite clear, are we?
 
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