Status Update

OBRAG held its Annual General Meeting on 24 January 2017. The minutes are posted here. Those attending provisionally agreed on a constitution (posted here), which will be ratified at the annual general meeting in 2018.

In the coming year, we identified the main priority for campaigning as improvement of evening service from London and maintaining or increasing service to Oxford. We will continue to write to Chiltern and to maintain pressure in order to accomplish these objectives. We are happy to coordinate with others who wish to write to Chiltern, and we will let you know when we send letters on behalf of OBRAG, so that you can support us if you wish.

Those attending also agreed that OBRAG would become affiliated with Railfuture, which makes us part of a nation-wide campaign group, advocating for ‘a bigger, better railway that more people choose to use’. This will offer us support and credibility as a part of a national network, as we transition into a rail user group. In order to do this effectively, however, we must be able to support ourselves and to show that we have an identifiable membership. Therefore, we agreed on an annual membership fee of £3 per person (or per couple for married/partnered individuals). The form for joining can be found here. (Please either email to an OBRAG officer or post to: Evershot, Kings Head Lane, Islip, Kidlington, Oxon., OX5 2SA.)

In the past Railfuture has subsidized OBRAG, and they continued to do so this year, covering the cost of renting the village hall for the AGM. We are grateful to them for their past support, and we will be paying them a membership fee in the future, out of the membership fees that we receive.

Other business at the meeting included the election of officers—Scot Peterson, Chair; and Richard Povey, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. 



 Message from the Co-Chairs:

The OBRAG AGM will be held Tuesday 24th January from 7pm to 8:30pm in the Terrace Room of Islip Village Hall. We have provisional agreement to have a speaker from Network Rail who will be able to explain and answer questions about the new and planned future infrastructure changes at Oxford railway station and their impact upon rail services for Islip, Kidlington and Bicester residents. This will hopefully provide us with some impartial information to use as a springboard for further discussion about how best to campaign for improvements to the current service, in particular the Islip timetable.

The OBRAG coffers are empty, so we will be discussing a membership subscription of £1 per month, to be paid either in one sum or as a standing order (here is a form: Membership application form). This will also make it easier to maintain a membership list, so that we can contact members by email, although meetings will continue to be open and developments and events will continue to be posted on the web site. We will also discuss a draft constitution (Constitution) with a standing committee of three members, a chair, a vice-chair/secretary, and a treasurer. We are happy to fill two places and would appreciate volunteers for a third, the duties for which could be quite minimal.

We anticipate that now that the rail lines and station are complete OBRAG will move in the direction of becoming a rail user group to represent the residents of Bicester, Islip and Kidlington, including affiliation with Railfuture (for more information see Advantages would include access to a common legal fighting fund if OBRAG were ever to need it, being “plugged in” to wider national campaigns to improve the rail system and representation of OBRAG’s particular interests and objectives within these broader campaigns. Affiliation would cost £21/year for the entire organisation. Of course, we will continue to work in close cooperation with Islip Village Council, as well as other stakeholders in Kidlington and Bicester.

The order of business at the AGM will be a brief discussion of the past year’s events, the Network Rail talk, OBRAG campaigning strategy going forward, a brief discussion of the constitution (any changes will be delegated to a committee to report back next year) and election of the standing committee. We will conclude the meeting by 8.30 at the very latest.

We look forward to seeing as many people as possible there.

Richard Povey and Scot Peterson, Co-Chairs

Update on impact of summer blockade on services

Please find below some further information about the impact of the rail works over the next few weeks on services through Bicester and Oxford Parkway.

The document below details a few minor changes to times of services from Oxford Parkway. The only major change is that the 7:14 from Oxford Parkway will not be running from 1st-5th August 2016.

Islip SX Blackade week 1 August 2016

There is also a 9 day closure on the line between Leamington Spa and Bicester North from 30 July until 7 August 2016.   For more information, please visit

FWD: Network Rail works summer blockade – 30 July to 14 August 2016

Forwarded message:

Network Rail works summer blockade – 30 July to 14 August 2016

This notification is for information only. These works are unconnected with East West Rail phase 1 works.

As part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, they will be carrying out major rail improvement work between Leamington Spa, Banbury, Bicester North, Oxford and Didcot Parkway this summer and lines will be closed for up to 16 days (30 July – 14 August 2016).

During this time Network Rail will be working throughout the Oxford Corridor on a number of projects which may be disruptive to lineside neighbours. However, please be assured, that Network Rail are working hard to minimise noise as much as possible, including limiting the working shift hours, and using techniques and equipment that are quieter than the standard methods we use across the country.

Download this information as a leaflet here.


Aristotle Lane

Auger Piling may continue and minor associated works in preparation for the footbridge to demolished, and the new bridge to be lifted in.

  • 3–5 August: Auger Piling and minor associated works (7am-7pm)
  • 3–5 August: Ditch clearance (7am-7pm)

Castle Mill Stream

We continue our piling in preparation for the bridge deck reconstruction as per previous piling works. Please note Network Rail will be using a large crane to lift and install the bridge.

  • 30 July – 3 August: Auger piling (24hr working)
  • 3 – 8 August: Bridge reconstruction throughout (24hr working including track works).

Sheepwash Bridge

During the blockade we will be working on Sheepwash Bridge to upgrade the current track and install a cantilever walkway.

  • 30 July (12.01am) – 1 August (8am): Remove existing track and reinstate (24hr working)
  • 1 – 4 August: Install cantilever walkway – planned day shifts only but may require some 24hr working

Oxford Station

We will be delivering a package of works in preparation for the new Chiltern Railways Oxford to Marylebone service starting on the 12 December 2016.

  • 30 July (11pm) – 1 August (8am): Relay and tamping of the new Platform 1 & 2 track (24hr working)
  • 30 July – 7 August: Auger piling (24hr working)
  • 2 – 7 August: Installation of new platform inc brick laying (24hr working)

Botley Road Bridge

  • 1 – 5 August: Track repairs – maintenance of track fixing will involve drilling the concrete (7am-7pm)

Stone Meadow to Walton Well Bridge

  • 1 – 6 August: Track works inc welding and stressing (7am-7pm)

Sheepwash Bridge and Rewley Road area

  • 1 – 6 August: Track works inc points enhancements (7am-7pm)

Deliveries will be throughout, generally during day times with crane delivery in the early hours on the 2 August, and then being removed from site on the 8 August.

Contact Network Rail

I hope this information is helpful and we apologise for any inconvenience these essential works may cause.

However, if you have any additional questions or concerns about the work taking place in your area please call our dedicated 24-hour National Helpline on: 03457 11 41 41 or visit

If you’d like regular updates during the blockade, please sign up to our newsletter by emailing Amy Harland at