Winslow railway station

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Winslow National Rail
Winslow station - Geograph-3940343-by-Andrew-Bodman.jpg
Proposed site of new station in April 2014.
Local authorityAylesbury Vale
Grid referenceSP772285
Managed byTBA
Number of platforms2
Original companyBuckinghamshire Railway
Pre-groupingLondon and North Western Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
1 May 1850Opened
22 May 1967Closed to goods traffic
1 January 1968Closed to passengers
29 May 1993Last train passes
National RailUK railway stations

Winslow railway station is a former railway station which served the town of Winslow in north Buckinghamshire, England. It is on a disused section of the Varsity Line; a single track remains in place but is rusted and overgrown far beyond use. The site of the original station is mostly covered by a small housing development, and although the platforms still remain, they are in a very poor state. In 2014 it was anticipated that the station would reopen on a different site in 2019 as part of East West Rail.[1] In September 2016, Buckinghamshire County Council purchased a site for a new station, beside the A413 bridge.[2] As of March 2018, however, a definitive schedule of works on the line and station have yet to emerge but funding is in place with a target date of 2024.[3]


Early days[edit]

Winslow was opened by the Buckinghamshire Railway on 1 May 1850[4][5] as part of its line from Banbury to Bletchley.[6][7][8] The line was worked from the outset by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) which absorbed the Buckinghamshire Railway in 1879.[7][6][9][10] The line was subsequently extended westwards to Islip, to a temporary station at Banbury Road and then to Oxford, opening throughout on 20 May 1851.[7][11][9][12][10] Winslow station was conveniently situated at the end of Station Road which branches off from the High Street,[13] serving the village of Winslow which comprised 1,805 inhabitants at the time.[14][13] The coming of the railway had a significant impact on the village, resulting in its northward extension and the opening of a "Railway Inn".[15]

A 1911 Railway Clearing House map of railways in the vicinity of Winslow

Winslow was regarded as an important station on the line, possibly even more so than Bicester, for it was the place where trains for Banbury and Oxford were joined and divided in the early years, even after the opening of Verney Junction.[16][17][18][19][20][21] Passenger facilities were provided on each platform which were more generous than those found elsewhere on the line.[20] Architecturally, the brick station resembled the stone structure provided at Bicester, particularly its twin symmetrical gables covered by ridge tiles and its portico.[22][23] A stationhouse was also provided for the stationmaster and this was situated just beyond the main station building and arranged around a circular driveway at the centre of which was a large horse chestnut tree.[22][24] A coal yard lay to the east of the station, while a goods yard was provided to the west.[25] Winslow Gasworks opened in 1880 on a site immediately to the south of the coal yard; it received up to 1000 tons of coal annually via the yard, although it was not rail-connected.[25][13] The station was lit by gas until the trains cease to call.[26]

A typical LNWR goods shed was constructed in the goods yard and contained a crane with a 5-ton capacity.[27] Like Bicester, Winslow had its own signal box with 34 levers which controlled the section between Verney Junction and Bletchley No. 1 box.[13][28] Two water columns - the only ones between Bletchley and Oxford - supplied water to locomotives, these tanks taking their supply from a large 70,000 imperial gallons (320,000 litres) iron water tower which pumped water from a nearby brook.[13][26][8] The columns, which had been manufactured by Edward Bury, may have pre-dated the station itself.[20] Beneath the water tower was a brick engine house and boiler room which also served as accommodation for an LNWR engine driver.[13][15] Until 1907 there was a long refuge siding trailing off the Up main line behind the Up platform which allowed freight trains stopping to take water to allow a following passenger train to pass.[26][25][20] A second siding from the Up main line further to the west led to a turntable; this had been removed by 1925.[25] Three further sidings trailed from the Down line; two for coal and one serving a separate side end loading dock for horses.[20] A final siding served a milk dock at the rear of the Up platform.[20]


Station buildings in 1985

In the wake of the abandonment of a plan to develop the Varsity Line as a freight link from the East Coast ports to South Wales, including a marshalling yard near Swanbourne, Winslow station was listed for closure in the Beeching report[29] which called for the closure of all minor stations on the line.[30] This followed the introduction of diesel trains in an attempt to reduce operating costs after a failed proposal to close the line, which had been put forward in 1959 but successfully resisted by local authorities.[30][31] With the line's expenses amounting to £199,700 against a revenue of £102,200 in 1964,[30] Winslow duly closed to goods traffic on 22 May 1967[32] and to passengers on 1 January 1968;[4][5] the signal box followed one month later.[28] The delay in closure was the result of replacement bus services not being able to handle the projected extra traffic.[30][31] The line between Oxford and Bletchley was closed to passengers and local goods services,[30][33] and later singled in 1985.[34]

Winslow station continued to be used during the 1980s for "Chiltern Shopper" specials and British Rail handbills survive which show that services called at the station during November and December between 1984 and 1986.[5] The station building, which was by then in a very derelict state, survived long enough to see the first visit of a Class 43 on 13 February 1993, but was demolished very shortly afterwards.[35][36] The line between Claydon and Bletchley through Winslow was closed and mothballed in May 1993 following the closure of the ARC stone terminal at Wolverton which had provided the line's last source of traffic.[37] The last train over the section was a Class 56 railtour called "The Mothball" which ran on 29 May 1993 from Waterloo to Bletchley via Winslow.[37] Winslow station site was later developed for housing.[38] The platforms remain in an overgrown and degraded state.[39]


A new station is planned for Winslow as part of the East West Rail project which envisages the reopening of the line between Oxford and Cambridge.[40] On 29 November 2011, Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement that £270 million would be committed towards the construction of the western section of the project between Oxford, Milton Keynes Central and Bedford.[41] The new route was expected to be open in 2019,[1] but continues to be delayed. As of 2015, the Bletchley - Bicester line (via Winslow) was programmed and funded for CP6 (2019 to 2024), but not the line to Aylesbury.[42] In his budget of November 2017, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, allocated further funding to open the western section by 2024.[3][43]

A site for the new station has been purchased west of the former station site, in a cutting by a proposed industrial estate and housing, at the junction between Buckingham Road (A413) and Horwood Road (B4033) at grid reference SP766283.[44][45] In October 2016, it was reported that Buckinghamshire County Council had acquired the station site for £900,000.[46]

When the lines reopen, Winslow should have direct trains to Oxford, Milton Keynes and Bedford as well as to Aylesbury and London Marylebone.[41][47] The journey time from Winslow to Oxford is estimated at 27 minutes.[47]

The service pattern proposed in 2011 had 3 trains per hour (tph) calling at Winslow in each direction:[47][clarification needed]

Preceding station   Disused railways   Following station
Verney Junction
Line and station closed
  British Rail
Varsity Line
Line and station closed
  Future services  
Bicester Village
towards Oxford
  East West Rail
Oxford-Milton Keynes Central/Bedford
towards Bedford or Milton Keynes Central
Aylesbury Vale Parkway
towards London Marylebone
  East West Rail
London-Milton Keynes Central
towards Milton Keynes Central



  1. ^ a b "Disappointment as East West Rail delayed by two years". Bucks Herald. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Council buys land for £900,000 for Winslow train station". Buckingham Today. 12 September 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b Chancellor accepts East West Rail targets and strengthens plans with extra cash, Rail Technology Magazine, 22.11.2017
  4. ^ a b Butt (1995), p. 252.
  5. ^ a b c Quick (2009), p. 415.
  6. ^ a b Oppitz (2000), p. 53.
  7. ^ a b c Davies & Grant (1984), p. 102.
  8. ^ a b Maggs (2010), p. 97.
  9. ^ a b Leleux (1984), p. 39.
  10. ^ a b Awdry (1990), p. 63.
  11. ^ Oppitz (2000), p. 55.
  12. ^ Reed (1996), p. 46.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Simpson (1981), p. 106.
  14. ^ Leleux (1984), pp. 39-40.
  15. ^ a b Grigg (1980), p. 76.
  16. ^ Simpson (1981), pp. 18, 106.
  17. ^ Mitchell & Smith (2005), fig. 78.
  18. ^ Oppitz (2000), pp. 55-56.
  19. ^ Grigg (1980), pp. 75, 103.
  20. ^ a b c d e f Preston Hendry & Powell Hendry (1986), p. 175.
  21. ^ Maggs (2010), p. 100.
  22. ^ a b Simpson (1981), pp. 106, 108.
  23. ^ Mitchell & Smith (2005), figs. 77 and 81.
  24. ^ Preston Hendry & Powell Hendry (1986), p. 176.
  25. ^ a b c d Mitchell & Smith (2005), fig. XVI.
  26. ^ a b c Grigg (1980), p. 75.
  27. ^ Mitchell & Smith (2005), figs. XVI and 83.
  28. ^ a b Mitchell & Smith (2005), fig. 82.
  29. ^ Beeching (1963), p. 121.
  30. ^ a b c d e Leleux (1984), p. 28.
  31. ^ a b Grigg (1980), p. 152.
  32. ^ Clinker (1988), p. 149.
  33. ^ Davies & Grant (1984), pp. 102-103.
  34. ^ "Winslow History". 1 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  35. ^ Simpson (2000), pp. 10, 42.
  36. ^ Oppitz (2000), p. 56.
  37. ^ a b Brown, Murray, ed. (12 May 1993). "Class 56 special over 'doomed' Bletchley flyover line". RAIL (200): 6.
  38. ^ Mitchell & Smith (2005), fig. 80.
  39. ^ "Disused Stations". Subterranea Britannica.
  40. ^ Broadbent, Steve (21 September – 4 October 2011). "East-West link on the brink". RAIL (679): 64.
  41. ^ a b Broadbent, Steve (14–28 December 2011). "Sudden 'yes' for East-West link surprises campaigners". RAIL (685): 10–11.
  42. ^ Report from Sir Peter Hendy to the Secretary of State for Transport on the replanning of Network Rail's Investment Programme  – Network Rail, 25 November 2015 (pdf)
  43. ^ Transport Secretary officially launches East West Railway Company at Bletchley Park East West Rail, 22 November 2017
  44. ^ East West Rail (July 2010). "GRIP 4 Outline Business Case; Final Report" (PDF). Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  45. ^ "Milton Keynes here we come as new Aylesbury rail link wins government funding". The Bucks Herald. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  46. ^ Boyd=Hope, Gary (October 2016). "Council buys land for East West Rail's Winslow station". The Railway Magazine. p. 73.
  47. ^ a b c East West Rail (November 2011). "East West Rail - Western Section Prospectus" (PDF). Retrieved 27 June 2014.


  • Davies, R.; Grant, M.D. (1984) [1975]. Forgotten Railways: Chilterns and Cotswolds. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles. ISBN 0-946537-07-0.
  • Grigg, A.E. (1980). Town of Trains: Bletchley and the Oxbridge Line. Buckingham: Barracuda Books. ISBN 0-860231-15-1.
  • Leleux, Robin (1984) [1976]. A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: the East Midlands. 9. Nairn: David St John Thomas. ISBN 0-946537-06-2.
  • Maggs, Colin G. (2010). The Branch Lines of Buckinghamshire. Stroud, Gloucs: Amberley Books. ISBN 978-1-848683-42-6.
  • Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (July 2005). Oxford to Bletchley including Verney Junction to Banbury. Country Railway Routes. Middleton Press. ISBN 1-904474-57-8.
  • Oppitz, Leslie (2000). Lost Railways of the Chilterns. Newbury, Berks: Countryside Books. ISBN 978-1-853066-43-6.
  • Preston Hendry, R.; Powell Hendry, R. (1986). An Historical Survey of Selected LMS Stations. 2. Poole, Dorset: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 0-860933-30-X.
  • Quick, Michael (2009) [2001]. Railway passenger stations in Great Britain: a chronology (4th ed.). Oxford: Railway and Canal Historical Society. ISBN 978-0-901461-57-5. OCLC 612226077.
  • Reed, M.C. (1996). The London & North Western Railway. Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport. ISBN 0-906899-66-4.
  • Simpson, Bill (1981). Oxford to Cambridge Railway. 1. Headington, Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 0-860931-20-X.
  • Simpson, Bill (2000). The Oxford to Cambridge Railway; Forty years on 1960-2000. Witney, Oxon: Lamplight Publications. ISBN 978-1-899246-05-2.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°56′58″N 0°52′48″W / 51.9495°N 0.88°W / 51.9495; -0.88