Of all the lines covered by this site, this is the one that has survived to the present day as a public utility, although not without sacrifice. The line was singled from Moreton to Norton Junction in 1971 with Evesham being the only passing point in this section, and many of the smaller stations that littered the line were closed, although Honeybourne was re-opened in 1981, but at that point was only a single platform unstaffed halt.
The line has survived many threats of closure and has also been the subject of many rumours about re-doubling. However, in 2008, it was agreed that the single line sections between Evesham and Charlbury would be re-doubled. This would leave single line sections between Evesham and Norton Junction, and Charlbury and Wolvercote Junction remaining, but is (in my opinion, anyway) a step in the right direction, and whilst probably not increasing line capacity by much, will hopefully reduce problems caused by late running trains. Work commenced on this during 2009, and was completed during the middle of 2011. Proposals have now been made to redouble the section west of Evesham, possibly starting in 2019.
I have chosen to refer to the line as the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton (OW&W) line in the following timeline. This is purely a personal preference and some sources will often refer to the line between Oxford and Worcester as the Cotswold line.
An ex GWR class 4300 locomotive, possibly 6334, at Evesham, probably during the 1950's (photograph by John Kyte)