A NEW plan to overhaul Oxford's railway station will be drawn up.

Plans to redevelop the city's railway station, on the edge of Frideswide Square, have been in the pipeline for more than a decade, with the most recent efforts for a blueprint of how this might look coming to a head in 2017.

Now, a new 'Master Plan' will be written to replace the previous one, with the announcement that engineering consultancy firm Atkins has been brought on board to oversee the project.

Susan Brown, leader of Oxford City Council, said the new plan would be 'a significant step forward in delivering on our ambitions for the west end of Oxford and the wider city'.

The previous Master Plan was largely aimed at making the station into a much larger, more attractive one, described as a 'gateway' area to the city for travellers.

But the new Master Plan comes after the start of a research project called the Oxfordshire Rail Corridor Study, which has recommended a series of upgrades to the railways in the county that run through Oxford.

ALSO READ: Leisure centres in need of £800m funding

This project, partly funded by Oxfordshire's Growth Board, alongside the Department for Transport, has said there is a need for additional capacity and connectivity on the railway running between Didcot and Bicester through Oxford.

Extra capacity would mean more carriages on trains, while connectivity would mean a greater range of stops and quicker journey times.


Oxford Train Station in 2014. Picture: Greg Blatchford

To help make this a reality, Oxford's station would need to have two new railway lines and 'associated platforms'.

A press statement released by the city council alongside Network Rail added that Oxford would become a 'national rail hub' as a result of the expansion works in the future.

ALSO READ: Like the look of these new ultra-low emission Oxford Bus Company buses?

This would help long-term projects to go ahead, including the East-West Rail Link between Oxford and Cambridge, and the reopening of the Cowley Branch Line.

It could also lead to more frequent local trips between Oxford, Banbury and Didcot, as well as more direct trips to Heathrow Airport.

The project will also tie in to the city council's ambitions for the West End of Oxford, which include plans for shops and homes at Oxpens, Oxford University's plans to build an innovation quarter with science and tech offices at Osney Mead Industrial Estate, and a new pedestrian bridge over the Thames.


A now outdated design for a new Oxford station from 2017.

Rebuilding the station is now expected to take place in a series of 'incremental' stages, rather than in one single building project.

READ AGAIN: The city's civic society has previously said a new train station should be built at Oxpens

A public consultation, where people can submit their opinions on the plans, is expected to start later this year.

Mike Foss, principal programme sponsor at Network Rail, said: “We are delighted to be working with Oxford City Council and other stakeholders on this vital improvement work for Oxford and the wider region.

"This is a continuation of the work we have done over the past four years to improve services into Oxford for the benefit of passengers, freight users, and the wider economy”.