Oxford station impression

UK: The government has formally announced £161m of funding for implementation of the Oxford Corridor Phase 2 remodelling project to increase capacity and better integrate the station into the surrounding environment.

The works at Oxford station will include the construction of a new track and platform alongside platform 4, creating an island on the west side. There will be a new western station entrance designed by IDOM, with ticket office, waiting room, toilets, café and shops.

Three new higher speed crossovers will be installed at Oxford North Junction, increasing speeds from 40 km/h to 120 km/h to reduce journey times by up to 2 min.

The remodelling will increase capacity to enable the operation of additional Oxford to Birmingham trains and future East West Rail services, as well as an additional 12 freight trains per day from Southampton to the Midlands and northern England.

The bridge over the Botley Road will be replaced and the road profile changed to enable standard height double-decker buses to pass underneath, and there will be a 4 m wide cycling and walking path.

Electrification is not included, but there will be passive provision for future wiring.

The works ‘will transform this station so that is fit for the 21st century and significantly enhance its capacity for increases in passenger numbers and future services’, said Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Western Route & Strategic Operations Director.

The project will be one of the first to be delivered through the Swift, Pragmatic & Efficient Enhancement Delivery scheme which aims to halve the time it takes to complete rail projects and cut the cost.

Earlier this year, Network Rail awarded Kier Infrastructure and WSP a contract for design work, with an option for implementation once the funding was confirmed.

Work is now set to begin later this year, with the Botley Road improvements to be completed by the end of 2023 followed by the new platform and entrance in 2024.

The £161m of funding announced on August 17 includes £10m from the Oxford Local Enterprise Partnership for the highways works, and follows on from £69m announced for development of the project in May 2021.