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  • 175 years - Didcot to Oxford: June 15, 2019
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Author Topic: 175 years of Didcot to Oxford - celebration on 15th June 2019  (Read 6868 times)
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« on: April 11, 2019, 06:05:31 pm »

From the press release of Didcot to Oxford GWR 175

The Didcot to Oxford Branch of the Great Western Railway opened in June 1844 and we’ll be celebrating its 175th anniversary with events at or near all five stations along the line – Didcot, Appleford, Culham, Radley and Oxford – on Saturday 15 June 2019.

The railway came rather late to Oxford, mainly due to opposition from the University which feared for the morals of its students. In particular it was very worried about providing undergraduates with easy access to London, where they might be involved in “improper marriages and other illegitimate connexions”. After several years - and two failed parliamentary Bills - the University finally dropped its opposition when it was agreed that its officials could patrol the station and physically prevent students from travelling to unsuitable destinations. Moreover, the Act of Parliament giving permission for the branch line stated that the Great Western could sell undergraduates tickets only to approved stations, and not to places like Ascot and Henley.

The opening of the line to the public on 12 June 1844 caused enormous excitement and great crowds gathered in areas adjacent to the railway. Thousands of people watched enthralled as the first public train arrived from Didcot:
“ of those rampageous, dragonnading fire-devils ... arrived at a sufficiently astonishing rate, and though gasping for breath and shining with heat, seemed to have turned not one hair more than was deemed proper by each spectator, even after its long and whirlwind chase.” (Jackson's Oxford Journal, 15 June 1844)

Join us for an equally exciting day on Saturday 15 June. You’ll be able to buy a special GWR ticket to take you from one station to the next, and included in the price will be discounted entry to the Didcot Railway Centre.  There it’ll be a special Steam Day, with locomotives which served on the Didcot to Oxford line on display. At Appleford’s steam-themed fête there’ll be a beer tent and barbeque; at Culham you can explore the 1844 Brunel-designed ticket office; and at Radley you’ll be able to hear story tellers relating tales about the village and the railway. At Oxford we’ll be based in Grandpont, very near the site of the city’s first (1844) railway station, and you’ll be able to enjoy rides on miniature trains, working model displays, exhibitions about the history of Oxford’s railways, and free guided walks to the nearby LMS swingbridge, a national Scheduled Monument.

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2019, 08:20:54 am »

And possibly commemorations at the sites of Abingdon Junction, Abingdon Road and Hinksey station who have not survived the course of time.
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2019, 04:18:20 am »

From IanVisits

This year marks the 175th anniversary of the railway between Oxford and Didcot, and they’re having a special day of celebrations on 15th June 2019.

There will be events at or near all five stations along the line – Didcot, Appleford, Culham, Radley and Oxford – and you’ll be able to buy a special “hop-on/hop-off” GWR ticket to take you from one station to the next

They’ve now confirmed that an unlimited all day ticket will cost… just £19.50.

The ticket will also include entry to the Didcot Railway Centre (normally £11).

On the day, the Flying Scotsman will leave Didcot at about 8:40am and pass along the line to Oxford, hauling a railtour bound for Worcester, and — maybe — a flypast by the Red Arrows.

Tickets can be purchased on the day on the train, or in advance from any GWR station. Advance ticket sales coming soon. Note that these tickets will only be valid for travel on GWR train services and bus services operated by the Oxford Bus Company.

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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