Banbury railway station

Banbury railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Banbury

manager = Chiltern Railways
code = BAN
locale = Banbury
borough = Cherwell
usage0405 = 1.137
usage0506 = 1.174
usage0607 = 1.290
platforms = 4 numbered
years = 1850The Great Western archive -]
events = Opened
years2 = 1958The Great Western archive -]
events2 = Rebuilt by BR

Banbury railway station serves the town of Banbury in Oxfordshire, England. The station is currently operated by Chiltern Railways, lying on the Chiltern Main Line, and has five platforms in use.


Banbury Bridge Street station opened on the 2nd September 1850. some four months after the Buckinghamshire Railway (L&NWR) opened its Banbury Merton Street terminus. The station was going to be part of the GWRs Oxford & Rugby railway, before the problems with changing gauges at Rugby put pay to that. The 24 mile single track extension from Oxford to Banbury did open, and at first Banbury was just a single platform through station (works were continuing to Birmingham) however the popularity of the line meant that the route was soon double tracked barely two years later, and the station was given an extra platform in an up and down configuration. In 1884 an extra up line was added, and by 1903 Banbury had the extra up line converted into up and down bays, along with an extra bay on the downside, and freight loops to cope with the traffic from the GCML joining at Banbury junction to the north. The inclusion of terminating bays and freight loops reflected Banburys incresaing strtegic position in the national network.The Station was rebuilt into its present incarnation in 1958 [ [ Great Western Railway publicity ] ] .

Banbury was once a junction for the line to Buckingham, however that closed in the 1960s. There was also another station very near by at Banbury Merton Street Station. Banbury Bridge Street station occupied one of the most strategic and important locations in the entire rail network in Britain. For example, the Aberdeen to Penzance Express used the Woodford Halse branch of the GCR through Banbury as part of its journey [ Cross-Country Routes ] ] and the "Ports to Ports Express" from the North-East (Newcastle, Middlesbrough etc) to South Wales (Cardiff, Newport) used the GCR branch line and the Banbury and Cheltenham Direct Railway, and passed though Banbury [ Cross-Country Routes ] ] as well as Newcastle-Bournemouth, Newcastle-Southampton, York-Swindon Sleeper, Bournemouth-Birkenhead/Manchester etc, etc [ Cross-Country Routes ] ] . Most Cross Country Services in Britain passed through Banbury, which helped the station become just as, if not more, important as the London Termini, which also helped fuel the growth of the town and its Cattle Market.

The railway station of today lies on the site of the Great Western Railway's line from Oxford to Banbury opened in 1850. The original station's overall roof survived until 1953, 5 years before a rebuild in 1958. The rebuilding of the station was delayed due to the Second World WarThe Great Western archive -] , and could have been based on the GWR's new station at Leamington Spa, which was finished just before war commencedLeamington's New Station -] .

List of former services through Banbury

* Aberdeen/Edinburgh - Penzance

* "Ports to Ports" (Newcastle/Middlesbrough/Hull/Sunderland - Cardiff/Newport/Swansea/Barry)

* Newcastle - Bournemouth

* Edinburgh via Newcastle - Southampton

* Bournemouth - Birkenhead/Manchester

* Birkenhead - Dover via Reading

* Birmingham - London

* Birmingham - Oxford

The station today


The present station has four numbered platforms (one active bay not numbered), numbered 1 to 4 from west to east, and are split into two island platforms, accessible via a footbridge.

Platform 1 is a through platform used as a bay platform by First Great Western's terminating local trains to Oxford and commuter trains beyond to Reading and Paddington, and by Chiltern Railways through and terminating services from the south - all terminating trains at this platform travel a short distance up the line before reversing back to the same platform and boarding outbound passengers, unless a train has since occupied the platform, which then means the train reverses to platform 3 to board passengers, It is also used as an emergengy through platform if one of the others is out of use for any reason. Platforms 2 and 3 are through platforms: platform 2 is for Chiltern services north to Leamington Spa, CrossCountry to Birmingham New Street, Manchester, The North West and Scotland; platform 3 is for Chiltern services to London via Bicester and Cross Country services to Oxford, Reading and the South Coast. There are also two terminal platforms: platform 4 is for terminating Chiltern services to and from London; An unnumbered bay platform (trains stopping here are classified as either or both Platforms 1 & 2, usually 1) is used by terminating Chiltern services to and from Birmingham and Stratford. Freight loops serve as main through lines for non-stopping freight trains. All passenger services passing Banbury stop at the station, and heritage trains stop here to fill up on water.

Many redundant loops and sidings surround the station: most of these were for goods services stopping at Banbury, which have all disappeared. Two goods loops survive to allow the stoppage of goods trains for the uninterrupted passage of passenger trains.

The station is also being considered for remodelling to improve 'operational flexibility' by Network Rail [ Page 35]


Chiltern Railways provide most trains to Banbury, with trains between London Marylebone and Birmingham Snow Hill, Stratford-upon-Avon and Kidderminster, as well as trains from London terminating there.

It is also the northern terminus of First Great Western's local services from London Paddington via Oxford and operates Mondays to Saturdays only.

Banbury is also served by CrossCountry services between Birmingham New Street and Reading.

Finally, there are services operated by the new Wrexham & Shropshire company, on their way between Wrexham General and Marylebone. However, so as not to abstract traffic from existing trains to London, southbound services only set down passengers in Banbury, and northbound services only pick up.


Most recently, on the 14th of March 2008, there was a train fire on an Arriva CrossCountry Voyager Train to Derby which was at Platform 2. The fire was located in the air conditioning vents, and all passengers in both the trains at the station and the station itself were evacuated as the fire crews arrived, but the blaze was soon put out. In the period afterwards, one of the emergency procedures at Banbury station was put in place, where Platform 1 was used as a through line in the place of Platform 2, which had the CrossCountry train occupying it being moved from the platform. [ [ Train Fire Is Out (from Oxford Mail) ] ]

rail line|previous="Terminus"|next=Chalcombe Road Halt|route=British Railways
Great Central Main Line|col=41A317


External links

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