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Suggested Oxford area clock face timetable post HS2

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Established Member
10 Dec 2013
What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
Following on from the Chiltern route the other week, I have had a go at designing a clock face timetable for the Oxford area which is attached below.

My start point was the present Paddington - Didcot Parkway Relief Line services as apart from continuing to/from Oxford as before when wires reach Oxford, there would not be much scope for any radical retimings of those services (maybe a few minutes when Old Oak Common station opens) as they also share the Relief Lines with the Crossrail trains and freight to/from Acton Yard. Also, I have built the timetable around the Cotswold services as the timings for those are unlikely to be radically altered.

I have included the reopening of Cowley - Witney with intermediate stations at Grenoble Road (for Science Park and Oxford United FC), Cassington (Horsemen Lane), and Eynsham (Station Road). As the Witney line used to continue to Fairford passing through Brize Norton, I do not anticipate that section of the former route to reopen being as both Brize Norton and Fairford are not that far from Swindon and Kemble. Also, the Witney line would require a passing loop (either at a station or a dynamic loop between stations) at Eynsford as the former Witney/Fairford line was only ever built as a single track railway. Also, the reinstatement of the former junction at Yarnton is required, but maybe slightly west of the former site as the first part of the diverging route seems to have been encroached upon by a waste centre. Furthermore, I have took the line beyond the vicinity of Station Lane in Witney to run through what looks like woodland to the back of the leisure centre along Wittan Way - unsure if the locals would like that or not, or whether it is best to have it run along the former alignment to Station Lane near the main road.

I have slightly modified the Didcot - Oxford section of the Relief Line Paddington services, with all trains calling at Radley every 30 minutes (Abingdon is a short distance west from Radley station - ideally should have an integrated shuttle bus if not already so), with alternate trains calling at each of Appleford and Culham every 60 minutes (I have made these request stops, but being as it is a former Network SouthEast service, I am unsure if they ever had request stops as most former NSE routes don't appear to have guards these days - perhaps somebody could start a new thread if driver only trains would work with request stops?).

I did try extending the Oxford Relief Line trains to Hanborough, but the timings would have it too close with the Cotswold trains. I also tried extending them to Banbury, but this would have meant a nine minute layover at Oxford (General) for other passenger trains to overtake. Also, it would not have left much leeway for any future Heathrow or Bristol trains at all, therefore I have left Paddington - Oxford Relief Line and Oxford - Banbury as two separate services.

I have improved the frequency of the Cherwell Valley Oxford - Banbury to run every 30 minutes (which would help to relieve the InterCity Crosscountry), with one train calling Tackley and Hayford every 60 minutes, with the other train calling Kings Sutton every 60 minutes. Again, I have these three stations as request stops as they are quiet stations, but unsure how it would work with driver only routes. Failing that, they can be normal stops as with Appleford and Culham mentioned above. Also, I do not know if the locals of Tackley and Heyford travel a lot to Kings Sutton or not and vice versa. An alternative would be is to have Tackley, Hayford, and Kings Sutton every 60 minutes, and a non stop Oxford - Banbury every 60 minutes - however, it would not be an even 30 minute frequency between Oxford and Banbury.

Regarding Heathrow, I did try attempting a Heathrow - Oxford, but going by the existing traffic between Langley and Didcot, it became apparent that I would not know how to fit it in on the Relief Lines while still keeping a 26 minute journey time (according to the Network Rail website) Heathrow T5 - Reading calling Slough (6 minutes from Heathrow T5), then alternating every 30 minutes each calling at Maidenhead or Twyford. Also, Crossrail is not fully in service yet, so I could not see how it would interface with the existing services along the Relief Lines apart from the Crossrail Reading trains which were recently took over from GWR.

Then I had another idea which was to introduce an Oxford - Bristol via Bristol Parkway, with reopened stations at Wantage & Grove (Station Road - the former Wantage Road station) and Wootton Bassett (Station Road). To Oxford, I have it behind the ex Wales InterCity, with the ex Cheltenham overtaking at Wantage and Grove. Although unlikely, it would be helpful to have the London loop extended further towards Stevenston as looking at both Google Maps and the Sectional Appendix, it appears to rejoin soon after the station site. In the Bristol direction, the Wales train overtakes at Wantage & Grove, and departs Bristol Parkway before the next Wales train arrives. Again, I did try extending to and from Hanborough, but for a decent layover would have meant occupying the line for around 20 minutes (there would only be 6 minutes if continued to Charlbury), therefore I have given a 13 minute layover at Oxford.

I do anticipate Wolvercote Junction - Charlbury to be redoubled (with the closure of Combe and Finstock) especially with the Witney - Cowley lines reopened so as to have a robust timetable. Regarding the Oxford - Bristol, I have routed it via Parkway as beyond Swindon, the only passenger services are the Wales InterCity and the Westbury trains (the Cheltenham immediately diverges past Swindon), whereas on the route via Chippenham and Bath Spa, there are the Westbury, Weymouth, and Portsmouth trains in addition to the Paddington - Bristol InterCity. Although beyond the scope of this thread, Corsham is between Bath Spa and Chippenham, which can be served by for example a Portishead - Chippenham with the disused platform at Chippenham being brought back into use.


  • GWR OXF BAN post HS2.xlsx
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