GWR plans to try out direct trains between Oxford and Bristol

Great Western Railway is planning a trial of direct trains between Oxford and Bristol this autumn, if it can secure approval from Network Rail and the Government.

The trains would run on Saturdays only, starting on September 14 and operating until December, with an initial service of two trains each way, calling en route at Bath Spa, Chippenham and Swindon:

  • 10.18 Bristol Temple Meads-Oxford
  • 11.55 Oxford-Bristol Temple Meads
  • 15.18 Bristol Temple Meads-Oxford
  • 17.12 Oxford-Bristol Temple Meads

GWR says that the fastest end-to-end journey will take one hour, 11 minutes. Some of the trains may also serve Didcot Parkway, by reversing in the station, which will extend journey times.

GWR managing director Mark Hopwood said: “We’re always looking at innovative ways of creating new business and improving connectivity. Changing customer patterns since Covid have provided a clear opportunity for us to expand our leisure offering and the Bristol-Oxford route is one which offers real potential.”

The last direct service between Oxford and Bristol was a joint venture between Thames Trains and First Great Western that operated between 1998 and 2003.

Unfortunately, due to the trial services being operated from Bristol, the timings of the trains mean there will not be an opportunity for day trips from the Oxford area.

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