Original nameboard from Oxford Station
Courtesy of the Didcot Railway Centre
Oxford’s station at Grandpont circa 1850
from 'History of the GWR' by MacDermot, 1927
Henry Taunt's map of the Thames in Oxford, 1879, showing the layout of the railway when all three stations were still in place.
from 'A New Map of the River Thames' (3rd ed)
Taunt & Co, 1879
Joint GWR and LMS poster
Courtesy of the Great Western Trust
1st to 30th June: South Oxford railway history trail
Visitors could discover the fascinating and hidden history of the first railway in Oxford by following a special self-guided trail. Using the map, they could search out all twenty five information posters and retrace the original route of the railway to Oxford's first station.
The trail posters have now been taken down, but you can still follow the trail and view the posters online or print them out by following one of the links below.
- Go to the online interactive trail page
- Download or print the trail map
- Download or print all the original posters
Saturday 15th June 12:00noon - 6:00pm
At Oxford the events were centred at the Grandpont Recreation Ground and Pavilion, which are very close to the site of Oxford’s first railway station, just off the Abingdon Road near Folly Bridge.
There was no admission charge for this event.
- Miniature train rides with COSME (who run the Cutteslowe Park Miniature railway)
- Refreshments provided by the South Oxford WI
- Working model train displays from the Oxford & District Model Railway Club
- Children’s activities organised by playworkers from the South Oxford Adventure Playground (SOAP) and the Orinoco Scrapstore, and railway and travel stories from storyteller Ciaran Walsh
- Victorian music from members of the Mellstock Band in period costume
- Stalls by Oxford Preservation Trust, Oxford Civic Society, the Museum of Oxford, Railfuture Thames Valley, Oxford Folio Books, Littlemore History Society, Kennington History Society, Oxfordshire Antique Bottle Collecting Club and St Matthew's Bridge Builder Trust
- Displays and exhibitions about the history of Oxford’s railways
- Guided walks to the nationally-important LMS swingbridge with local historian Mark Davies, and railway historian David Mather, and boat rides back on Oxford’s Water Taxi
- A self-guided trail focusing on local railway history
- A children’s competition to Design the Train of the Future, judged by – amongst others – Jim Noble, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s great-great-great grandson
- A children’s competition to describe A Train Journey of the Past, Present or Future, judged by – amongst others – former GWR Writer in Residence James Attlee, and novelist Lucy Atkins ; prizes for both competitions will be presented by Tim Dunn, railway historian and broadcaster
How to find us
- A map showing the location of the venue is HERE
- For those thinking of walking or cycling from Oxford railway station (a distance of just over a mile), an interactive map was available, or written instructions were available HERE
There is no direct bus service from Oxford railway station to Grandpont, but Oxford Bus Company offered a special rate of only £1 per single journey for any trip by PickMeUp bus to or from Grandpont, within the PickMeUp travel zone, all day on 15th June. Not only that, but children under 5 went free, and if three people were booked to travel together on the same journey, the third person went free as well.
You just had to download the PickMeUp app and put in the postcode of the event venue on Whitehouse Road in Grandpont - OX1 4QH
Steam railtours by Vintage Trains of Tyseley
- Vintage Trains joined the celebrations by bringing their Oxford 175 Express railtour from Birmingham to Oxford hauled by their flagship locomotive, GWR number 7029 'Clun Castle'.
- They also operated a very special Oxford 175 Luncheon Circular from Oxford Parkway and Oxford hauled of course by 'Clun Castle'. These railtours proved to be a great magnet all along the line for enthusiasts and casual observers alike, they certainly gave the day of celebrations a fantastic start and finished it in similar style.
Follow the South Oxford railway history trail
Learn more about the history of the Didcot to Oxford railway here
How to FIND US - walking or cycling route from Oxford railway station
How to FIND US - local area map