New timetable made public for the first time – Oxford and the North Cotswolds

Wednesday 02nd October 2019

The new December railway timetable for Oxford and the North Cotswolds has been made public for the first time, offering faster journey times, and more frequent services to key locations.

Regular users are being asked to check their new journey times ahead of the biggest timetable change on the network since 1976. GWR’s Intercity Express Trains (IETs) will take advantage of infrastructure improvements to run to a fully electric timetable between Bristol and London for the first time. 

Train services between the North Cotswolds via Oxford and London will be restructured to deliver a more consistent service pattern throughout the day from Sunday 15 December. 

The planned improvements are so significant, especially for those who travel regularly and used to catching a particular service every day, that GWR has launched an awareness campaign to highlight the changes ahead, and make sure customers are prepared. It is encouraging customers to find out more and register for updates at 

It is the biggest timetable change on the network since 1976, GWR’s Intercity Express Trains (IETs) will take advantage of recent infrastructure improvements to deliver a series of improvements.

Lord Richard Faulkner, Chair of the North Cotswolds Line Taskforce said:  

“We expect more people to travel by rail with the new improved timetable and numbers will increase further with the opening of the new Worcestershire Parkway station. We will continue to press for more doubling of the line so that in time we can achieve our plans for two trains an hour between Worcestershire and London.”

In restructuring the timetable GWR will be able to offer a new direct IET fast service between Banbury and London Paddington during the peak periods removing the requirement to change trains at Oxford for customers traveling to and from Banbury. This will offer an increase in capacity and reduce journey times to 1 hour 6 minutes from the current 1 hour 34 minutes at the same time in the evening peak. 

The fastest journey time between Oxford and London Paddington will be just 44 minutes, with typical journey times of 55 minutes.

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:

“It’s just 12 weeks until Sunday December 15, and we have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare to implement the biggest timetable change on this network since 1976, enabling us to take advantage of the full benefits that new Intercity Express Trains are bringing.

“In providing more frequent and quicker journeys, our new timetable will for the vast majority of users quite literally mean ‘all change please’ and we are pleased the new timetable has been published.”

A minimum hourly standard pattern through service, with some peak time additional trains will also be provided between London Paddington and the North Cotswolds. 

Mike Gallop, route managing director for Network Rail, said

“The timetable change this December will be the biggest since 1976 and will mean faster journeys and more frequent services for passengers. 

“It follows unprecedented investment in railway infrastructure including electrification, improved signalling, upgraded stations and much more which together with the introduction of new trains will transform rail travel.”

The timetable will come into effect from Sunday 15 December. 

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 is a FirstGroup company.