January 1978

The county council approves the Worcester Parkway scheme, but the scheme is suspended, allegedly due to the non-sanctioning of extra HST units to work services through the station.

May 1981

Honeybourne stations re-opens although it is now a single platform unstaffed halt, a far cry from its days as a major junction station.

May 1982

British Rail sets out plans to withdraw through services between Paddington, Worcester & Hereford, blaming the condition of the track. Media attention is drawn to this, and ultimately the proposal is never carried out.

August 1981

The last freight workings into Evesham occur, and the "New" freight yard is closed down.

14th May, 1984

The first High Speed Train (HST) unit works the OW&W.

30th November 1984

The 07.05 service from Hereford to Paddington is derailed at Stoulton (between Pershore & Norton Junction), near milepost 115. There are no major injuries and a broken fishplate is blamed. The line is closed for three days.

22nd August 1993

GWR "King" class no. 6024 "King Edward I" visits Worcester as part of a excursion, via the OW&W line. Since weight restrictions at Worcester prevented "Kings" from working the OW&W during GWR days, this is the first time a member of the class is seen in the city, and on the line.

2nd October 1987

Ex-LMS 8F no. 8233 is piloted from the Severn Valley Railway by a class 37 diesel to Long Marston, where it takes part in a 200th anniversary celebration of the Royal Engineers.

4th October 1987

Ex-SR "Merchant Navy" class no. 35028 "Clan Line" joins in, with a charter over the OW&W.

3rd April 1990

Ex-LNER K4 Class no. 3342 "The Great Marquess" runs light over the OW&W

15th August, 1991

Ex-GWR "City" class no. 3440 "City of Truro" passes with support coach from Hereford to Old Oak Common.

16th May 1993

The last timetabled locomotive hauled service from Paddington-Worcester with 47821 "Royal Worcester" given the honours.

17th May 1993

The first day of service of class 165/166 DMUs.

27th June 1993

Ex-GWR "Castle" class no. 5029 "Nunney Castle" passes along the line with a tour from Didcot to Worcester.

29th August 1993

Ex SR "West Country" class no. 34027 "Taw Valley" passes along the line with a tour from Didcot to Worcester.

April 1994

Rail privatisation sees the start of Thames Train and Great Western Trains (later First Great Western) services.

June 1997

Great Western Trains de-name "The Cathedrals Express" and the "Cotswold & Malvern Express", blaming the fact passengers didn't realise they were travelling on a "named" train.

27th September 1997

GWR "King" no. 6024 "King Edward I" visits Worcester as part of a excursion, returning via Evesham.

March 2000

The "Parkway" scheme is raised again.

2001

LNER A3 Class no. 4472 "Flying Scotsman" makes several appearances on the Cotswold Line, in April, June and September (twice).

GWR "Castle" Class no 5029 "Nunney Castle" passes through Evesham with steam tours in July, August and September[Photo].

April 2002

Two issues are brought to public attention regarding Evesham Station. The first relates to overspill from the car park into surrounding streets (one of which I am a resident of, and a problem that would still appear to persist at the beginning of 2015, despite additional station parking). The second is the removal of the barrow crossing at the east of the station for safety reasons, preventing passengers unable to use the footbridge from accessing the "up" platform. Unable to implement improvements that would allow the use of the crossing "safely" in the short-term, Thames Trains propose to transport passengers by road to Pershore where trains use a single platform. For "Up" travelling passengers, this is actually taking them further from their destination.

May 2002
On a more positive note, Pershore gets a refurbishment for its 150th birthday.

August 2002

GWR "Castle" class no. 5029 "Nunney Castle" passes through Evesham with an "Elgar Explorer" tour.   The author joined this tour at Oxford, traversing the Cotswold Line to Worcester and return, using regular service trains from Evesham to Oxford and return [Photo].

July 2003

A fatal accident occurres on the line at Charlton, just west of Evesham, when at around 8.20 am on Monday 7th, a First Great Western HST unit, bound for London Paddington, collides with a van on an occupation crossing. Three people in the van are killed, with one train passenger sustaining minor injuries. Initial investigations suggest that the van had proceeded onto the crossing without contacting Evesham Signal Box for permission to cross.

April 2004

First Great Western take over the Thames Train services on the line, a move supposedly to inprove services by the use of the new Class 180 "Adelante" units available to FGW. However, the use of the faster units is offset by further restrictions about services into Paddington.

August 2005

GWR "Castle" class no. 5029 "Nunney Castle" passes through Evesham with an "Cathedrals Express" tour.  

January 2007

The possibility of re-doubling of some or all of the single line sections from Oxford to Worcester is revived as Network Rail announces plans to conduct a feasibility study on the issue.

2008

Plans are approved to redouble the single sections of the line between Evesham and Charlbury.

Use of the class 180 DMUs is significantly reduced; First Great Western replacing these units with Class 43 "High Speed Train" workings. Some Class 166 DMU workings remain, and the Class 180 units do make the occasional appearance until 2009, when they are removed completely. 

November sees the opening of the new access ramp for Evesham's up platform. This has involved the truncation of the siding running behind this platform.

January - March 2009

Clearance of trackside vegetation occurs in Evesham in preparation for the beginning of the redoubling work later in the year.

July 2009

The initial re-alignment work takes place on the sections to be redoubled.   The line through Campden Tunnel is actually doubled at this point as it is felt that getting all the work done on this section is best done in one session. 

2009 also saw the cessation of the practice of token exchange at Evesham Signal Box, with improvement communications on the platforms rendering this unnecessary (the initial proposal for the re-doubling of the line suggested that the signal box will be closed with reworked signalling at Evesham controlled from elsewhere). 

July 2010

The track through Evesham Station is relaid.

January - August 2011

The redoubling starts, working its way north.   The end result is a redoubled line from just east of Charlbury, to around a mile west of Evesham.   The semaphore signals at Evesham are replaced with Multiple Aspect Signals, but the semaphores at Moreton are retained (in fact, another one is actually added), and the signal boxes at both locations remain open.

First Group announces that it will not be continuing its Great Western rail franchise after 2013.  Since they are the sole operators of passenger services on the Cotswold Line, this is likely to mean a new franchise will take over at that point.

17th September 2011

The first steam railtour on the Cotswold Line since 2005 takes place, with GWR Castle Class no. 5043 "Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" working both ways during the day. 

 

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Moreton-in-the-Marsh to Worcester Shrub Hill
Timeline Part 2 : 1978 -2011