Railways of Oxford (ePub)
A Transport Hub that Links Britain
This is a history of the railways of Oxford ,looking at the operations and development of services , from the opening of the Oxford Railway by the Great Western on 12 June 1844 through to the present day. This volume covers the development of the railway locally, including the London and North Western ‘Buckinghamshire Railway’ from Bletchley, together with the five local branch lines.
The opening of the Great Western / Great Central joint line from Culworth Junction to Banbury Junction in August 1900 resulted in the growth of inter regional ‘cross country' services passing through Oxford .
The advent of the Second World War saw the construction of a new junction at Oxford North, giving for the first time a direct link from the Great Western to the London Midland & Scottish Railway branch to Bletchley and beyond.
The opening of these two new junctions saw a considerable increase in both passenger and freight traffic, which resulted in Oxford becoming a major railway centre . For many years one of the highlights was the arrival and departure of locomotives on a daily basis from all of the big four railway companies. Those days are long gone, but today Oxford is as busy as ever, with passenger services to London operated by Great Western Railway and Chiltern Trains, and by Cross Country Trains to the south and the north of England.
Passing through Oxford station many times I never thought of it as a railway hub. The author makes a good case in a well-informed and properly presented book. Oxford’s railway history was more complex than appears at first sight. Lines included the “Old, Worse and Worse”, the Great Western and the London and North Western Railways. Plans for a Great Western carriage and wagon works was stymied but Morris Motors traffic became important. There were attractive branch lines within easy reach of Oxford and these also feature. This is a worthwhile book confirming Oxford‘s place in Britain’s railways and that it was far more than just “dreaming spires”.Roger Backhouse, The Society of Model and Experimental Engineers Journal
With so much information and photos, this book is not just for rail enthusiasts, but if you have an interest in local history, this is great to see how the railways helped Oxford to develop into what it is today.Rail Advent
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