Our bid to the Restoring Your Railway Fund
Building a better-connected West Oxfordshire – a transformational project for the wider Oxford economic region.
Excerpt from the Introduction:
A rail line would link Oxford with the two largest towns in West Oxfordshire – Witney (population 28,800 in 2017) and Carterton (population 16,500 in 2017) – and with Eynsham, where the population is forecast to more than double by 2030, from 5,000 in 2017. These communities have been, and continue to be, heavily reliant on the chronically congested A40. This has been the case ever since they lost their passenger rail services in June 1962. Please see here for an indicative overview of the potential rail route.
Our core proposition would be two trains per hour at least in the weekday peak periods running between Carterton and Oxford. Refining service levels, frequencies and timetabling will be a key focus of the feasibility work, including exploring opportunities to link into the national rail network for journeys to Oxford and beyond (Banbury, Bicester, Bletchley, Cowley, Culham, Didcot, etc).
Infrastructure requirements – c.15 miles of new single track over either flat or gently undulating terrain from a new junction currently assumed to be with the Cotswold Line near Yarnton (c.4.5 miles from Oxford station), via Eynsham and Witney, to a terminus station at Carterton. The safeguarded formation should be able to accommodate future service frequency growth by allowing for selective doubling using a passing loop or loops whether between or within stations (as for example at Penryn on the Falmouth line), with this all to be refined in the feasibility work on timetabling. RAF Brize Norton is a confirmed supporter of a feasibility study covering both passenger and freight options. A substantial Park & Ride transport hub at Eynsham with 1,000 car parking spaces is currently in advanced planning stages. There is a good opportunity for this to become a multi-modal hub including a rail station. This site could also serve a parkway function for the A40, maximising line patronage and modal shift.
Our bid would fit into the Railfuture Proposal for the Oxford Metro