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The Oxford and Rugby Railway was a railway between Oxford and Fenny Compton that was projected to reach Rugby but failed to do so.

Oxford and Rugby Railway
SystemGreat Western Railway
LocaleSouth East England
West Midlands
Opened2 September 1850 (Oxford to Banbury)
1 October 1852 (to Fenny Compton)
OwnerGreat Western Railway
Operator(s)Great Western Railway
Line length50.5 miles (81.3 km)[citation needed]
Number of tracks2
Track gauge7 ft 14 in (2,140 mm)
4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
(Dual gauge)



On 4 August 1845[1] Parliament passed an Act for the Great Western Railway to build the Oxford and Rugby Railway from Oxford via Banbury, Fenny Compton, and Southam to Rugby.[2][3] The proposed route was to be roughly parallel with the Oxford Canal and 50 miles (80 km) long. At Rugby it was intended to link with the Midland Counties Railway.[4]


However, by 1849 GWR considered that gauge interchange issues at Rugby would create problems.[citation needed] On 2 September 1850 the 24 miles (39 km) single track broad gauge section opened from Oxford to Banbury.[5] This section was improved to be a double track mixed-gauge track on 1 October 1852. Due to the gauge problems, the section between the junction with the Birmingham and Oxford Junction Railway at Fenny Compton (opened on 1 October 1852) and Rugby was abandoned and never completed.[6] Evidence of where the line would have branched off can still be seen to this day on the east side of the present section between Banbury and Leamington Spa, roughly 2.5 miles north of Fenny Compton station site.


British Railways closed Fenny Compton station on 2 November 1964 in the Beeching cuts. Today the Cherwell Valley Line runs between Didcot Parkway and Banbury via Oxford.


  1. ^ "The Great Western Railway". Wolverhampton History and Heritage Website. UK: University of Wolverhampton. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012. External link in |work= (help)
  2. ^ Speller, John. "Oxford & Rugby Railway". John Speller's Web Pages — GWR Broad Gauge. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Oxford and Rugby Railway". Hansard. 81. 20 June 1845. pp. 999–1004. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  4. ^ Ferris, Robert. "The Great Western Railway in Warwickshire". Warwickshire Retrieved 25 October 2012. External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ Daniel, John (2000–2011). "A Selection of Great Western Stations: Banbury". The Great Western Archive. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  6. ^ Hendry, R. Preston; Hendry, R. Powell (1992). Paddington to the Mersey. Oxford Publishing Company. p. 8. ISBN 9780860934424. OCLC 877729237.

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