Wantage Road railway station

For the Wantage Tramway station, see Wantage railway station.
Wantage Road

Wantage Road station just prior to closure showing preserved Wantage Tramway loco "Shannon".
Place Grove
Area District of Vale of White Horse
Grid reference SU409913
Original company Great Western Railway
Pre-grouping GWR
Post-grouping GWR
Western Region of British Railways
Platforms 2
1846 Opened
7 December 1964 Closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
UK Railways portal

Wantage Road railway station was a railway station on the Great Western Main Line in the Vale of White Horse district in Oxfordshire. The station was actually at the village of Grove, Oxfordshire (then part of Berkshire), more than two miles north of Wantage. The station closed in December 1964 as part of the Beeching cuts.


Wantage Road station was opened in 1846, six years after the section of the GWR main line that served it.

In 1873 the independent Wantage Tramway was formed to link Wantage Road station with its terminus at Mill Street, Wantage; it was built parallel to what was then the Besselsleigh Turnpike (now the A338). This short line was opened for goods on 1 October 1875, and to passengers on 11 October.[1] The tramway junction was to the east of Wantage Road station; interchange passengers walked under the bridge to reach the tramway yard, where the westernmost siding (parallel to the road) was reserved for passenger tramcars.[1][2]

The tramway closed to passengers on 1 August 1925, and to goods on 22 December 1945.[1][3]

On 7 December 1964 British Railways withdrew passenger services from Wantage Road and all other intermediate stations between Didcot and Swindon; the goods yard survived a little longer, closing on 29 March 1965.[2] The station buildings have been demolished but the platforms survive.

In June 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) produced a report called 'Connecting Communities' in which it was suggested that Wantage Road Station would be a viable station to re-open during any expansion of the rail network.[4] If a proposed service from Oxford to Westbury is given the green light, it is hoped that a new station entitled either Wantage & Grove or Wantage Parkway can be built as part of the introduction of this service.

Signals for Wantage Road Loop on the Great Western Main Line.


On 24 June 2014 Oxfordshire County Council posted potential plans for a new Wantage & Grove railway station as part of the Connecting Oxfordshire scheme. The proposed station will remain in the same location as the old station however Network Rail have stated that they would not want trains stopping here as it would affect the rest of the line.[5] Oxfordshire County Council held a public meeting in Wantage about this proposal in July 2014 where council leader Ian Hudspeth said the new station could become a tram hub if plans are rejected by Network Rail to re-open the station to trains.[6]

In September 2014 it was reported that Ed Vaizey (MP for Wantage) was backing a campaign to introduce a direct link between Oxford and Bristol which, if the plans are accepted, could see Wantage Road re-opened to trains. [7]

A new station for Wantage and Grove has been included in Oxfordshire's Local Transport Plan 4 (LTP4) and it is hoped that the station could be opened and operational within the 16-year lifespan of the plan.[8] Plans for a new station have also been included in the Wantage Neighbourhood Plan which was published in January 2015.[9]

Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Line open, station closed
  British Rail
Western Region

Great Western Main Line
Line open, station closed
Terminus   Wantage Tramway   Wantage
Line and station closed


  1. 1 2 3 Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2003). Branch Line to Wantage - The Wantage Tramway. Midhurst: Middleton Press. ISBN 1-904474-25-X.
  2. 1 2 Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (July 2002). "X. Wantage Road". Didcot to Swindon. Western Main Lines. Midhurst: Middleton Press. ISBN 1-901706-84-2.
  3. Wantage Museum
  4. "Connecting Communities - expanding access to the rail network" (PDF). London: Association of Train Operating Companies. June 2009. p. 9. Archived from the original (pdf) on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  5. Wynick, Alex (28 June 2014). "Residents air views on tram line debate". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  6. "Leader's vision for tram hub in Grove unveiled". Oxford Mail. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  7. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29430204
  8. https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/sites/default/files/folders/documents/roadsandtransport/transportpoliciesandplans/localtransportplan/ConnectingOxfordshirevol1policyandoverallstrategy.pdf
  9. http://www.wantageneighbourhoodplan.org/images/Wantage%20NP_First%20Report_v7.pdf

Coordinates: 51°37′11″N 1°24′31″W / 51.6197°N 1.4085°W / 51.6197; -1.4085

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