Passengers thanked for their patience as Didcot to Oxford line reopens on time

Friday 19th August 2016

The line between Didcot and Oxford has re-opened on schedule this morning after being closed for 16 days while Network Rail carried out improvement works to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway.

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood thanked passengers who have had to cope with a more difficult journey over the last two weeks. He said:

“Some of you have faced longer journeys or bus replacement services – I would like to say thank you for your patience as this vital flood alleviation work was completed.

“The Great Western network is already seeing the biggest investment since Brunel, and these improvement works will allow passengers to take advantage of the full benefits of electrification; providing newer trains, faster, more frequent services and importantly, given the growth this network has seen in recent years, more seats.”

Over the past 16 days, Network Rail’s orange army has raised the track at Hinksey; renewed 200 metres of track and installed 44 culvert sections under the track to allow water to flow from one side to the other, reducing the impact of future flooding on this part of the rail network. Nine railway points, which enable trains to move from one track to another, have also been renewed to improve the reliability of journeys for passengers.

Additionally, two bridge decks have been removed, refurbished and reinstalled, and a new foot bridge has been installed.

Joanna Grew, Network Rail’s commercial scheme sponsor for the project, said:

“Our engineers have worked safely and diligently to complete this work to schedule with minimal disruption for passengers.

“I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while the improvements took place, and also GWR, CrossCountry and Chiltern Railways for their co-operation in providing replacement bus services to minimise disruption for passengers while these works have been carried out.

“Our Railway Upgrade Plan is delivering significant investment into the railway network which will provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers.”

Notes to editors

Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.

We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR.com. GWR is a FirstGroup company.