Lost stations and halts


Click or tap to see a larger version
Based on maps published by Ordnance Survey Office in 1953/1967

Whilst preparing the display banners for use during the 175th anniversary celebrations in 2019, our researches into the history of the Didcot to Oxford railway revealed that at one time Oxford and its suburbs was home to a number of railway halts and stations that had long disappeared. This background, whilst interesting, did not fall within the overall scope of either the early history of the line or that of Culham Station itself and so was put to one side for a while. We decided that it was time to revisit and expand on what we found, and this page is the result.

~~~~~~ ooooooOOOoooooo ~~~~~~
Click or tap on the overview map to see an enlarged version.
~~ O.S. maps reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland ~~
~~~~~~ ooooooOOOoooooo ~~~~~~

Why so many Halts?

In an attempt to boost local traffic and combat the emerging threat brought about by bus companies, both the Great Western Railway and the London & North Western Railway introduced steam railmotors to provide a service between local stations and a series of specially built halts. These unmanned halts were rather sparse, having little or no shelter for passengers and sometimes the wooden platforms would not be raised above ground level. Neither were they always particularly well located to attract the hoped for passengers.

GWR Railmotor
A GWR railmotor, unknown location
Courtesy of the Great Western Trust
LNWR Railmotor
Postcard showing an L&NWR railmotor at Bicester Town
Published by the L&NWR, author's collection
GWR Railmotor
A GWR railmotor, unknown location
Courtesy of the Great Western Trust
LNWR Railmotor
Postcard showing an L&NWR railmotor at Bicester Town
Published by the L&NWR, author's collection
The railmotors for the two companies were very similar in appearance, both being powered by what was essentially a small four-coupled vertical boilered steam locomotive built into one end of a specially designed carriage. There was a driving postion at each end so the unit never had to be turned at the end of a journey. The most obvious difference between the two desingns was that the GWR railmotor had outside valve motion, whereas that of the L&NWR version was not visible. As well as the driver, there would be a fireman who had to work in the confined space near the hot boiler, and a guard who would have sold tickets to those passengers boarding at the halts. The use of these railmotors was confined to a few years starting in about 1905 and finishing around 1915. Rather lacking in power, the railmotors generally operated by themselves, or sometimes with just a single coach or goods van attached. Many of the railmotors were converted into unpowered driving trailers for use with specially fitted steam locomotives which were capable of handling up to four coaches with the engine coupled at the centre. Later innovations included the successful GWR diesel railcarsGWR streamlined railcar
Early streamlined GWR diesel railcar
Senior Service cigarette card
no 41 of 48 in the British Railways series
Author's collection
and a cutting edge experimental LMS diesel trainLMS diesel train
LMS diesel train
Senior Service cigarette card
no 12 of 48 in the British Railways series
Author's collection
with articulated coaches and pneumatic doors, which operated on the Oxford Rewley Road to Cambridge route in the 1930s.

~~~~~~ ooooooOOOoooooo ~~~~~~
Navigate between pages using the drop down list on the right of the secondary menu bar
~~~~~~ ooooooOOOoooooo ~~~~~~