The Witney Railway
In 1849 a branch line was proposed from the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway at Wilcote near Charlbury via North Leigh to Witney, but the route was considered too costly. Instead in 1861 the Witney Railway Company opened its line from the OW&WR at Yarnton to Witney. At 8 miles (13 km) it was longer than the route proposed earlier, but passed through much less hilly terrain which made for lower construction costs per mile and better gradients on the completed line.
The East Gloucestershire Railway
In 1873 the East Gloucestershire Railway Company built 14 miles (23 km) of line from the Witney Railway at Witney to Fairford. The EGR planned to extend its line to Cheltenham, but did not do so.
The Great Western Railway operated all services on the Witney Railway and the EGR, and in 1890 the GWR absorbed both companies. In 1962 British Railways closed the EGR to all traffic and the Witney Railway to passenger traffic. BR closed the Witney Railway to goods traffic in 1970.