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 www.networkrail.co.uk/contactus

If you’d like regular updates during the blockade, please sign up to our newsletter by emailing Amy Harland at amy.harland@networkrail.co.uk.

Important update from Chiltern Railways regarding weekend services from Islip station, 14th – 15th May

On Saturday and Sunday nearly every train that calls at Islip will be using Platform 2. Please see schedule below.

Between 0800 & 1950 on each day the line that passes through Platform 1 is subject to an engineering blockade.

Due to only being able to use one line between Bicester Village and Oxford Parkway, the normal ‘base’ timetables are  slightly amended.

Trains at ISLIP

All trains from 00:01 to 23:01 on 14/05/16

Lc  Arr   Dep  Wttid    Origin        Destination   Typ Days  In  Plat

07:18 07:18 1Y05 OXFORDPWY 07:15 MARYLBONE 08:26 WTT SO         2

07:30 07:30 1T06 MARYLBONE 06:25 OXFORDPWY 07:35 WTT SO         1

08:32 08:33 1T11 MARYLBONE 07:35 OXFORDPWY 08:38 VAR SO    DB   2

09:18 09:18 1Y12 OXFORDPWY 09:15 MARYLBONE 10:16 WTT SO         2

09:31 09:32 1T15 MARYLBONE 08:35 OXFORDPWY 09:37 VAR SO         2

10:18 10:18 1Y15 OXFORDPWY 10:15 MARYLBONE 11:18 VAR SO         2

12:18 12:18 1Y26 OXFORDPWY 12:15 MARYLBONE 13:19 VAR SO         2

12:31 12:32 1T27 MARYLBONE 11:35 OXFORDPWY 12:37 VAR SO         2

15:18 15:18 1Y41 OXFORDPWY 15:15 MARYLBONE 16:21 VAR SO         2

15:31 15:32 1T39 MARYLBONE 14:35 OXFORDPWY 15:37 VAR SO         2

18:18 18:18 1Y55 OXFORDPWY 18:15 MARYLBONE 19:16 WTT SO         2

18:31 18:32 1T51 MARYLBONE 17:30 OXFORDPWY 18:37 VAR SO         2

21:18 21:18 1Y71 OXFORDPWY 21:15 MARYLBONE 22:16 WTT SO         2

21:27 21:28 1T63 MARYLBONE 20:35 OXFORDPWY 21:32 WTT SO         1

22:18 22:18 1Y77 OXFORDPWY 22:15 MARYLBONE 23:25 WTT SO         2

Trains at ISLIP

All trains from 00:01 to 23:01 on 15/05/16

Lc  Arr   Dep  Wttid    Origin        Destination   Typ Days  In  Plat

00:05 00:06 1T73 MARYLBONE 23:10 OXFORDPWY 00:10 WTT SO         1

08:43 08:44 1T11 MARYLBONE 07:35 OXFORDPWY 08:49 WTT SUN        1

09:03 09:04 1Y12 OXFORDPWY 09:00 MARYLBONE 10:11 WTT SUN        2

10:32 10:33 1T19 MARYLBONE 09:35 OXFORDPWY 10:37 VAR SUN   DB   2

11:18 11:18 1Y20 OXFORDPWY 11:15 MARYLBONE 12:16 WTT SUN        2

12:32 12:33 1T27 MARYLBONE 11:35 OXFORDPWY 12:37 VAR SUN   DB   2

13:18 13:18 1Y29 OXFORDPWY 13:15 MARYLBONE 14:19 VAR SUN        2

14:32 14:33 1T35 MARYLBONE 13:35 OXFORDPWY 14:37 VAR SUN   DB   2

15:18 15:18 1Y41 OXFORDPWY 15:15 MARYLBONE 16:16 WTT SUN        2

16:32 16:33 1T43 MARYLBONE 15:35 OXFORDPWY 16:37 VAR SUN   DB   2

17:18 17:18 1Y51 OXFORDPWY 17:15 MARYLBONE 18:19 VAR SUN        2

19:18 19:18 1Y61 OXFORDPWY 19:15 MARYLBONE 20:19 VAR SUN        2

20:27 20:28 1T59 MARYLBONE 19:30 OXFORDPWY 20:33 VAR SUN        1

21:18 21:18 1Y71 OXFORDPWY 21:15 MARYLBONE 22:15 WTT SUN        2

22:27 22:28 1T67 MARYLBONE 21:35 OXFORDPWY 22:33 WTT SUN        1

OBRAG AGM 2015 (Summary)

OBRAG 2015 AGM was held in the Terrace Room, Islip Village Hall, on Tuesday 20th January 2015.

In attendance : 19, including the Chairman of the CR Passenger Board

 1 Chairman’s report

Summarised the grand success of achieving a timetable proposal which provides a useful service at Islip.  Highlighted remaining problems :

  • prior to opening :
  • lack of parking at both Islip and Bicester
  • lack of any shelter at Bicester Town
  • lack of adequate information concerning either new station
  • inadequate return service from Oxford after a 5.30pm finish at work.

All these have been brought to the attention of CR.

2 Nomination/election of officers and approval of accounts

No new committee members were proposed.  The current Chairman (Ian East) and Secretary (Henrietta Leyser) agreed to remain for another year.  Jon Spinage and Linda O’Dell will stand down.  They are thanked for their work over the years.

An attendee – Margie Salussolia – inspected the OBRAG account and approved.

3 Future representation on the CRPB

A call was made for a volunteer to act as committee member representing Islip and Bicester Town stations on the CR Passenger Board.  One person is considering this position but was unable to attend the meeting due to a work commitment.

It was proposed that the interests of all travel from/to these stations should be represented, but not those via either Oxford station.  However, the latter would currently remain open to any candidate.

4 Announcement

Following a request by FGW, it was announced that the main line between Didcot and Hayes will close for engineering works at Easter, from 3rd to 12th April.

 5 Open discussion

An Islip resident reported that they had been informed by someone from the Project that work has fallen ten weeks behind because of an error laying drainage.

Concern was expressed about the following :

  •  vibration from passing freight trains (in particular)
  • the loss of foliage and habitat along the route
  • the nature of the barrier alongside the path beside Islip school
  • delay imposed by changing at Water Eaton, after opening of service north
  • when service would resume into Oxford Central.

The chairman pointed out that all matters concerning the impact of works on Islip are the proper concern of Islip Parish Council, and that neither OBRAG nor CR could effect much regarding the last two.  CR are not obliged to continue bus service once rail service resumes, nor can they justify the expense it would incur.  Delays in reopening service south of Water Eaton are in the hands of NR and their contractors.

Carnet tickets and fraud

This morning, someone mailed me, yet again, to say they had suffered abuse and false accusation over a rejected carnet ticket; yet again, a woman.  As a result I have, yet again, emailed someone in authority at CR to complain about this abuse of their customers.

I also stopped off today and spoke with the Duty Manager at Oxford station, who responded with a complaint of his own, regarding their belief that there is wholesale fraud being committed by customers with carnet tickets. I pointed out that this, while regrettable (if true), cannot excuse the immediate accusation of fraud, and shouting at, an innocent passenger, attempting to use a carnet ticket honestly. He did at least agree that was unjustified, but made no apology nor any commitment to fix the clearly dysfunctional barrier machines or retrain staff in the art of customer service.

I told him that both I and my wife have demonstrated (to only ourselves, admittedly) that a brand new carnet ticket is quite often rejected by the barrier.  He merely responded by telling me of another machine which is capable of reading the magnetic stripe on the ticket and giving the date of earlier misuse, ‘proving’ fraud. Quite why that machine should be accepted as any more reliable than the barrier eludes me.  I doubt it would hold up under further scrutiny, or in court. Until the system can be verified reliable independently, I believe the allegation of “wholesale fraud” must be regarded with some doubt.

Let me make it clear to any who read this : if you are using carnet tickets fraudulently, OBRAG disowns you and condemns the practise, without reservation.

If, like myself and many others, you find yourself falsely accused of fraud at the barrier then please do the following :

  1. Make a note of the date, time and name (on lapel) of the individual making the accusation, or being abusive.
  2. Demand to have the ticket read by the other machine; if it confirms your innocence then demand an apology, in writing, and a replacement ticket.
  3. If the second machine also indicates misuse, when you are certain the ticket has not been used before, then 1) make a note of the ticket number, or ask for a photocopy, 2) decide for yourself how you wish to take things further, and 3) let me know.

Please make a complaint yourself.

I’m afraid the Duty Manager told me that FGW are petitioning to remove carnet tickets, leaving those (like myself) who regularly, but sparsely, use the service with no discount at all. So the innocent are to be punished, along with the guilty (if indeed they exist).

Finally, he accused me of being hostile toward him, which was quite untrue; I was being very careful with my words, and merely related what had been relayed to me. He said I was shouting, to which I pointed out that I raised my voice only enough to be heard above the din on a busy platform. My wife had a similar experience. So we run the risk of being accused of abuse if we dare to complain. The gulag awaits any who dare.

I have absolutely no desire to be at odds with any operating company – it is singularly unproductive. Neither have I the slightest room for conflict in my life. But this is customer service of the worst imaginable kind, and would never be encountered in the US. The attitude is openly hostile towards customers, and particularly towards those like me who would try to represent them.