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Author Topic: Oxford and Didcot - General Information  (Read 12571 times)
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« on: February 14, 2008, 08:51:50 pm »

Main line journeys and connections - NOT London


Didcot is a major junction, where the former Great Western Railway line to Oxford, Birmingham and points north leaves the Great Western Main Line to Bristol Temple Meads and Swansea.

The station is located just to the north of the town centre in Didcot. It can only be accessed by car from Station Road itself on the south side of the railway, although passengers may park in Foxhall Road Long Stay Car Park, situated on Basil Hill Road, and cross a footbridge to the station.

The station entrance is at road level; all platforms may be accessed by lifts.

Stopping patterns westward from Didcot are peculiar and at time sporadic, and connections sometimes too short and sometimes too long. Local service is exclusively provided by local trains taking the line to Oxford. Poor punctuality records mean that a Swindon to Oxford commute is a bit of a lottery. However a proportion of the Inter-City services to Bristol and South Wales do stop here, with the remainder passing through the station non-stop. Fast trains to and from the Oxford line can avoid the station using the Didcot East curve, and generally do not stop at Didcot.

A few trains call at Didcot for the Cotswold Line to Hereford. Other infrequent services run to Cheltenham Spa or Weston-super-Mare and beyond.

Platform 1 ^ for Westbound First Great Western high speed services to Swindon, Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea. Very limited service to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance, although most of these services pass Didcot via the Reading to Plymouth Line.
Platform 2 ^ for Eastbound First Great Western high speed services towards London.
Platform 3 ^ for Northbound First Great Western local services to Oxford and beyond. Also used by Adelante services to Oxford and Hereford
Platform 4 ^ for Eastbound First Great Western local services to Reading and London.
Platform 5 ^ is used for Eastbound First Great Western local services when platform 4 is unavailable.
Please note that many high-speed passenger and freight trains pass through all platforms with little or no warning. As with any station, it is advised to keep a sensible distance from the platform edge, particularly on platforms 1 and 2 as trains can pass through at speeds of up to 125mph.
Didcot has developed as a major junction between the Great Western Main Line and the route to Oxford and the Midlands. A marshalling yard is opposite the platform and another was once provided at Moreton, a little to the east. Moreton is still a junction, allowing trains to pass between the main lines on the south, and the relief and Oxford lines on the north. An avoiding line runs from Didcot East Junction, behind the marshalling yard and the Didcot Railway Centre, allowing trains to Oxford to run through without blocking the station platforms. There also used to be another line at the East Junction which lead to a line to Newbury.

West of the station is Foxhall Junction which allows freight trains from Oxford to travel towards Swindon. Immediately beyond this two goods lines diverge on the north side of the line. The first serves a loop for Merry-go-round trains to the npower electricity generating station; the second serves the Milton Freight Terminal. Beyond this the four main and relief lines merge into two.

Oxford railway station is about ten minutes walk to the west of the city centre, and on the line linking Reading with Birmingham New Street. It is also on the line for express trains from London Paddington to Hereford via Worcester. It is the starting point for fast trains to Paddington and for local trains to Reading, Worcester and Bicester Town.

The station is operated by First Great Western, and also used by CrossCountry and occasionally Chiltern Railways.

Until about five years ago, an excellent Oxford to Bristol service was offered by Thames trains. Once they were a part of the First Group, and competing with trains from London to Bristol operated by the same company, they were withdrawn.

Peak flows

There is considerable commuter flow from Swindon and West thereof to Oxford.

Known issues

A petition has been created to campaign for the redoubling of the Cotswold line. (The Cotswold Line is an 86.5 mile long railway line running from Oxford to Worcester, serving the intermediate towns of Charlbury, Moreton-in-Marsh, Evesham and Pershore. Some train services continue to Hereford via Malvern.)

« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 02:24:43 pm by Phil » Logged
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