PASSENGERS are facing a ‘nightmare’ this summer with Network Rail announcing plans to cancel nearly all services into and out of Oxford Railway Station for a fortnight in July.

The move will allow Network Rail to carry out ‘vital’ improvements on the busy stretch of track and at the station itself but users have slammed the prolonged closure claiming it will cause chaos.

The works, which include renewing track and upgrading signals, mean there will be no trains running to or from the city between Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 22 and again on the weekend of July 28 and 29, with the exception of a limited direct service to London between July 16 and July 20.


All mainline services run by Great Western Rail (GWR) and Chiltern Rail into Oxford between Didcot Parkway, Oxford Parkway, Banbury and Moreton-in-Marsh will be affected, with bus replacement services operating at all stations instead.

Network Rail said it is the final phase of the Oxford Corridor work which will allow for freight and passenger trains to 'flow more smoothly' through the station.

Spokesperson for Network Rail Dean Shaw added: “Between July 6 and 23 we will be delivering a vital part of our re-signalling upgrade that, once complete, will allow trains to run faster and more effectively through Oxford, reducing congestion and speeding up journey times.

“The work is carefully planned with work taking place around the clock to minimise disruption for passengers. We thank those affected for their patience and urge passengers to check before they travel.”

The station building itself will remain open during the works.

thisisoxfordshire: Pictures a Great Western Railway Class 166 DMU in the new livery..pictured at oxford railway station.2015..

Around 20,000 people are estimated to use the station each day.

A spokesperson for GWR, which runs the service busy commuter service to London Paddington, said: “This work will improve the resilience of Network Rail’s infrastructure, and also serve to reduce congestion in the Oxford area.

“Vital to our long term plans for Oxford and the North Cotswolds, we are working hard to keep any disruption to a minimum and ensure customers can continue their journeys with as little impact as possible.”

While Chiltern Railways, which serves London Marylebone, said it would be providing additional carriages to Oxford Parkway in expectation of increased demand.

However, according to some critics, restricting train travel in to the city will put further pressure on Oxford’s often already gridlocked roads, while tourism could also be negatively impacted.

Commuter Mick Gravestock from Farnborough in Warwickshire travels through Oxford each day to get to work in Swindon.

He said that with the added time of the bus replacement services at the north and south of the city, there was no way he’d be able to make it to work on time.

“It’ll be a nightmare.

“I’ll have to try and get a lift otherwise I won’t make it with the buses.

“Two weeks seems like a long time to have the whole thing shut down.”

Dr Hugh Davis who works at Oxford University said: “I travel from Southampton and this will cause a problem for me.

“It will probably mean I’ll drive along the A34 instead which is already running beyond capacity.

“It will be chaos.”

Sarah Morgan who commutes from Didcot twice a week said: “I drive in when I have meetings but get the train when I know I’ll be based at the main office.

“But with this I’ll probably drive in all week.

“It’s not going to be great because there’s going to be more traffic in the summer anyway.”

Reg Carney from Wantage said: “I can see this causing a lot of problems.

“I don’t use the train regularly but there are a lot of tourists who come in by train which will be affected by this.”

It is not the first time Oxfordshire passengers have had to deal with major rail closures. Last year, the line between Didcot and Oxford closed for a week.

For full details of impacted services visit: