By Phil Marsh

Expect train alterations if travelling to, through or via Didcot, Oxford and Banbury until mid August

Published: 22nd July 2016

Resignalling & flood prevention works will be disrupting rail travel in late July & August

Resignalling and flood prevention works will be disrupting rail travel in late July and August on Cherwell Valley services.

A key section of the former Great Western Railway between Didcot, Oxford and Banbury will be affected by a huge investment in the line from now until mid-August.

Two separate schemes are underway, one is a flood prevention scheme around Oxford where the line is regularly flooded and the second is in the Banbury area where Victorian mechanical signalling system will be replaced by a modern system.

These upgrades come at a cost to passengers as well as accountants! The Banbury area upgrade will mean the Chiltern main line will close for nine days between Leamington, Banbury and Bicester North to allow the £76million signalling scheme to be finalised, commissioned and tested as safe.

When is it closing?

The Banbury resignalling means the line will be closed from Saturday 30 July and reopens on Monday 8 August. This will affect train services operated by Chiltern Railways, Cross-Country and Great Western. A new Chiltern Railways depot just south of the station will also be opened in Banbury as part of the upgrade of which a significant amount has already been carried out. This with a new track layout will help the Chiltern Railways’ fleet expand and be maintained when opened next year.

They said:

Martin Ball, area director for Network Rail said: “There is never a good time to close the railway for this length of time, but we have looked at all options and worked with Chiltern Railways and CrossCountry to complete this work at a time which will cause the least disruption to passengers. Our Railway Upgrade Plan is delivering significant investment into the railway network which will provide a better, more reliable railway for passengers.

Dave Penney, managing director at Chiltern Railways said: The work at Banbury is an important investment to improve the infrastructure so we can keep our trains some of the most reliable in the country. We are working hard to provide our customers with co-ordinated fast replacement bus services to make the closure as easy as possible.

Flood prevention work near Oxford

Network Rail, Railtrack and British Rail have all been badly affected by flooding in the Oxford area and at last remedial work is about to be carried out to the tune of £18million around Hinksey just south of Oxford.

Train services between Oxford and Didcot Parkway will be affected between Saturday 30 July and Sunday 14 August. The line will be closed for nine days from Saturday 30 July until being re-opened on Monday 8 August.

In a nutshell – Chiltern Railways’ revised services

On Saturday 30 to Sunday 31 July 2016 trains will run between:

London Marylebone and Bicester North

London Marylebone and Oxford Parkway via Bicester Village

Solihull and Birmingham Moor Street

Rail replacement coaches will run between:

Bicester North – Warwick Parkway – Solihull.

Bicester North – Banbury – Leamington Spa – Warwick – Warwick Parkway – Dorridge – Solihull.

Bicester North – Banbury – Stratford Upon Avon.

Leamington Spa – Warwick – Stratford Upon Avon Parkway – Stratford Upon Avon.

A minibus shuttle will serve :

Bicester North – Kings Sutton – Banbury

Warwick Parkway – Hatton – Lapworth – Dorridge – Solihull.

On Monday 1 to Friday 5 August 2016 trains will run between :

London Marylebone and Bicester North

London Marylebone and Oxford Parkway via Bicester Village

Leamington Spa and stations to Birmingham, Kidderminster and Stratford Upon Avon

Rail replacement services will run between :

Bicester Village – Warwick Parkway (non-stop; morning and evening peaks only).

Bicester Village – Banbury – Leamington Spa.

Bicester Village – Banbury – Stratford Upon Avon.

A minibus shuttle will serve:

Bicester Village – Kings Sutton – Banbury.

On Saturday 06 August 2016 trains will run between :

London Marylebone and Bicester North

London Marylebone and Oxford Parkway via Bicester Village

Leamington Spa and stations to Birmingham, Kidderminster and Stratford Upon Avon

Rail replacement services will run between :

Bicester North – Leamington Spa

Bicester North – Banbury – Leamington Spa.

Bicester North – Banbury – Stratford Upon Avon.

A minibus shuttle will serve:

Bicester North – Kings Sutton – Banbury.

On Sunday 07 August 2016 trains will run between:

London Marylebone and Bicester North

London Marylebone and Oxford Parkway via Bicester Village

Solihull and Birmingham Moor Street

Rail replacement coaches will run between:

Bicester North – Warwick Parkway – Solihull.

Bicester North – Banbury – Leamington Spa – Warwick – Warwick Parkway – Dorridge – Solihull.

Bicester North – Banbury – Stratford Upon Avon.

Leamington Spa – Warwick – Stratford Upon Avon Parkway – Stratford Upon Avon.

A minibus shuttle will serve :

Bicester North – Kings Sutton – Banbury

Warwick Parkway – Hatton – Lapworth – Dorridge – Solihull.

In a nutshell – Cross-Country revised services

Trains will operate between: Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford

Didcot Parkway and Bournemouth, Newcastle and Oxford (weekdays). Newcastle and Birmingham New Street/Birmingham International (weekend, change for rail services to/from Oxford)

Rail replacement road transport will operate between:

Oxford - Didcot Parkway.

During this time, journeys between the north and Reading/ Southampton Central/ Bournemouth will be extended by up to one hour.

On 30 & 31 July trains will operate between:

Manchester Piccadilly and Coventry

Didcot Parkway and Bournemouth

Newcastle and Birmingham New Street / Birmingham International. Change for rail services to/from Coventry

Rail replacement road transport will operate between:

Coventry and Didcot Parkway (non-stop)

Coventry - Leamington Spa - Banbury - Oxford

Leamington Spa - Banbury - Oxford - Didcot Parkway

On 1-7 August trains will operate between:

Manchester Piccadilly and Leamington Spa

Didcot Parkway and Southampton Central/Bournemouth

Newcastle and Leamington Spa (weekdays). Newcastle and Birmingham New Street/Birmingham International (weekend, change for rail services to/from Leamington Spa)

Rail replacement road transport will operate between:

Leamington Spa - Didcot Parkway

Leamington Spa - Banbury - Oxford

Banbury - Oxford - Didcot Parkway

On 8-14 August trains will operate between:

Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford

Didcot Parkway and Bournemouth

Newcastle and Oxford (weekdays). Newcastle and Birmingham New Street/Birmingham International (weekend, change for rail services to/from Oxford)

Rail replacement road transport will operate between:

Oxford - Didcot Parkway.

NOTE!

While the work is going on, journeys between the north and Reading/ Southampton Central/ Bournemouth will be extended by up to one hour.

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