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Great Western Railway planning to restore direct Bristol-Oxford services

Great Western Railway is planning to run direct services between Bristol Temple Meads and Oxford for the first time in more than 20 years.

In response to growth in demand for leisure travel by train, GWR wants to run two return Saturday services between the cities from September. A direct service last ran in 2003.


Customers will be able to take in iconic sights for these two popular destinations, with quickest direct journey times between the two cities starting from one hour 11 minutes.

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.”

Bristol-Oxford route map

GWR has requested to run the following services from September 14, including stops at Bath Spa, Chippenham and Swindon:

1018 Bristol Temple Meads-Oxford
1155 Oxford-Bristol Temple Meads
1518 Bristol Temple Meads-Oxford
1712 Oxford-Bristol Temple Meads

The proposal is still being discussed and needs approval from the Department for Transport and Network Rail. The trial would run until December.

Contact Information

John Carter

Media and Communications Manager

Great Western Railway

0845 410 4444

Notes to editors

First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. GWR has been awarded a National Rail Contract to continue operating the Great Western network, which shall run up to 21 June 2025, with the potential for a further three years at the Secretary of State’s discretion. Find out more here: