The Anonymous Widower

Progress On The Cowley Branch

I first wrote about the Cowley Branch in Oxford Takes A Leaf Out Of Cambridge’s Book In November 2014.

Much of my post was based on this article on the BBC, which is entitled Cowley line passenger train service planned for Oxford.

So how is the planning of the branch progressing?

In the November 2016 Edition of Modern Railways, there is an interview with Dave Penney of Chiltern Railways, as the company is opening their service to Oxford station on the twelve of December.

In Science Park Next?, this is a paragraph.

Extending services from Marylebone through Oxford’s platform 3 to Kennington Junctionfor the Cowley Branch might be trouble; the problem is coming back, with Oxford Parkway-bound services having to cross the main lines on the flat at Kennington and into constrained line capacity on the route into Oxford station Extending the down goods loop into the station would help here, but that is some way down Network Rail’s list of priorities, so an Ocford Science Park service seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.

But help might be at hand, in that a new Oxford station might be built, which I wrote about in Could This Be A Ground-Breaking Idea In Station Design?

Surely, if a new station is built, current and possible future services will be taken into account, in the design.

I have no idea if the Cowley Branch will be opened to passenger trains.

I do think that there could be good reasons to create this service.

  • Oxford Science Park, Oxford Business Park, Oxford United Stadium and the Mini Factory would gain a passenger rail link.
  • Extending Along The Cowley Branch my make oiperation  easier.
  • It fits well with the East West Rail Link
  • It would greatly increase Chiltern’s catchment area in Oxford.

But, I don’t think we’ll see any progress until planning and building of the new Oxford station has started.

This is Google Map shows the route of the Cowley Branch.


Kennington Junction is where the branch leaves the Oxford to Didcot Line and then curves across the South of the City to the Mini Factory, which is the massive set of light-coloured buildings in the North-East corner of the map.

The Oxford Science Park is indicated by the red arrow, with the stadium to its East.

October 27, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , , ,

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