Railway reopens through Oxford following upgrade work

Tuesday 01st August 2017

Work which will enable improvements in line speeds to ease congestion on the railway into and out of Oxford has been completed as part of a £200 million upgrade programme, allowing services between Oxford, Didcot and Banbury to run as normal on Monday 31 July.

More than 100 Network Rail engineers worked through each shift, putting in more than 32,750 people-hours in total during the nine-day closure to renew around 2km of track between Hinksey Lakes and Oxford Station.

The work, which included the use of more than 5,000 tonnes of ballast and more than 2,500 sleepers, will improve the resilience of the infrastructure and help to reduce congestion on the railway.

Lines reopened at 04:45, with the first passenger service running through at 05:01.

This work forms part of the £200 million Oxford Corridor Project, which will deliver a series of enhancement schemes to increase capacity and improve reliability for passengers and freight operators.

GWR Oxford station manager David Pinder said:

“We would like to thank passengers for their patience during the past week as Network Rail modernise the railway.

“The first Intercity Express Train to enter passenger service is just a number of months away; providing over a fifth more seats per train, more frequent service, and the greatest step-change in experience for our passengers in a generation.”

Senior programme manager for Network Rail, Rob Mashford,  said:

“We’ve had a very successful period of work over the past nine days. Our engineers have done a fantastic job in completing this work as planned and we’re always pleased to be able to deliver improvements for passengers as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.”

“I’d like to thank passengers for bearing with us as this work has taken place and I’d also like to thank our colleagues at GWR, Chiltern Railways and CrossCountry for their work which has kept passengers moving throughout this period.”

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.