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Closure of the line between Didcot and Oxford

Train operators are currently unable to run services between Didcot Parkway and Oxford due to the closure of the line for ongoing repair work of Nuneham Viaduct, near Abingdon.

A rail replacement bus service is operating non-stop between Oxford and Didcot, and customers should allow extra time for their journey. There is also a stopping service calling at Radley, Culham and Appleford.

Customers who have already bought tickets and decide not to travel will be able to claim a full refund or amend their ticket.

Advice to customers

Customers planning to travel from Oxford to stations beyond Didcot Parkway towards London may find it more convenient to start their journey from Didcot Parkway.

Customers travelling between London Paddington and The North Cotswolds will need to change at Didcot Parkway (travelling out of London) or Oxford (travelling towards London) for a non-stop replacement bus service, adding about 45 minutes to journey times. There is a road closure near Oxford station which may increase the journey time depending on traffic conditions.

  • Customers from Hanborough and the wider Oxfordshire area (Radley, Culham, Appleford) are advised to consider starting their journey at Didcot Parkway. Customers should use the pay and display multi-storey car park at the station.
  • Customers travelling between Worcestershire Parkway/Pershore/Evesham and London stations should consider travelling via Bristol Parkway or Birmingham
  • Customers travelling between Honeybourne/Combe and London stations should travel via Oxford for connecting services

This line closure will also affect CrossCountry train services on the Bournemouth to Birmingham route. We advise checking the CrossCountry website for the latest travel advice for these services.

Trains continue to operate largely as planned between Hereford/Worcestershire and Oxford; however, they may be re-timed and customers should check before travelling.

Tickets are also being accepted on:

  • Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, London Underground, and West Midlands Railway via any reasonable route
  • Transport for Wales between Hereford and Newport, where you can change for GWR services to London Paddington
  • Thames Travel X2 and X32 bus services between Didcot and Oxford
  • Stagecoach route S6 between Oxford (Osney Island) and Swindon (Bus Station)

Customers who travel and are delayed may be entitled to Delay Repay if they are delayed by 15 minutes or more.

Disruption is expected to last until Friday 9 June, and train services will resume Saturday 10 June. We are contacting season ticket holders directly regarding compensation arrangements.

Passenger information

Online journey planners are being updated on a weekly basis. Please check your journey closer to your time of travel.

Customers are advised to check their journeys on and National Rail Enquiries.

Why is the line closed?

Network Rail has closed the railway between Didcot Parkway and Oxford. 

Nuneham Viaduct, which carries the Cherwell Valley Line across the River Thames, is located between Culham and Radley, near to the town of Abingdon in Oxfordshire.

Network Rail has been monitoring the viaduct for some time because of its movement and has been undertaking engineering interventions to stabilise it. Unfortunately, the movement in the structure has significantly worsened in recent weeks and has now reached a point where it is not safe to carry passenger and freight trains. That is why Network Rail has taken the significant step of temporarily closing it.

Network Rail is responsible for more than 20,000 miles of track and 30,000 bridges across England, Scotland and Wales. Its engineering teams constantly monitor these bridges and viaducts, checking structural aspects and carrying out repairs as required.