Defining and Protecting the Rail Route

We are seeking to define and protect a rail route to ensure that a route is planned for, defined and protected so that a railway can be built in the future. This issue is an entirely separate issue from when the railway will be built.

There are two material developments currently underway along the rail route which have the potential to block a rail route permanently. These are the A40 Programme to dual seven miles of carriageway and the housing developments around Eynsham, namely Grosvenor’s Salt Cross Garden Village (2,200 homes) and the 1,000 homes planned for West Eynsham.

WOT Group therefore commissioned SLC Rail, a leading national rail consultancy with a long track record of working with Oxfordshire County Council (“OCC”), to consider and compare three issues:

  1. potential location for an Eynsham rail station
  2. junction options for connecting this rail line into the existing rail network
  3. Route options for connecting in and out of Eynsham rail station

We are very grateful to the OCC and A40 Programme teams who gave their support, shared their latest schematic drawings and offered views, advice and help. The full report will be published very shortly. Key conclusions of the report include:

  1. The 8.8 hectare Eynsham Park & Ride is the most suitable place for locating a future Eynsham railway station, as:
    • it is adjacent to the A40, so can take traffic directly from the road,
    • it is located in the central point between the existing village, the 2,200 houses planned for Salt Cross Garden Village, and the 1,000 houses planned in the West Eynsham development, and
    • there are synergies to be shared with the £53m Park & Ride project, including its 850 planned car parking spaces.
  2. SLC Rail considered four potential junctions with the existing mainline and concluded that a junction with the North Cotswold Line north of Worton and west of Yarnton would avoid Cassington village and align well with an Eynsham rail station in the Park & Ride.
  3. A route option involving bridges over Lower Road, Cuckoo Lane and over the A40 to the west of the Eynsham Park & Ride looks to be the most promising alignment. An alignment over Lower Road, under Cuckoo Lane and over the A40 also looks possible, but more challenging.