The main entrance to Oxford station

Oxford (Oxford)

Welcome news is that the station is being modified, which is having an impact on how the trains can be accessed. Though what won’t be altered for some time is how the platforms (tracks) are configured and which train services use each of them.

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It doesn’t always follow that an elegant city will be served by a beautiful station and sadly this applies to Oxford, though in terms of appearance the city’s station has always been unremarkable.

Not that it particularly matters if you will be taking a train to from Oxford
The two key things that are worth knowing about Oxford station are
(1) it's a comparatively simple station to use and
(2) it is well located for the city’s numerous attractions.

And for the time being also worth knowing is that the station is being modified, which is having an impact on how the trains can be accessed.

Though what won’t be altered for some time is how the platforms (tracks) are configured and which train services use each of them.

Platform (track) 3 is beside the station building so you will step on to it when you pass through the ticket gates.
It is usually where the trains to London Paddington depart from, as well as the Cross Country services southwards to Reading and beyond.

Platforms (tracks) 1 and 2 are terminus platforms directly linked to platform 3, over to the right - and this part of the station is where the Chiltern Railways trains to London Marylebone depart from

Platform (track) 4 is on the other side of the railway lines and is connected to the main station building by a footbridge, which can be accessed by both stairs and a lift (elevator).
The GWR trains from Paddington usually arrive at that platform and its where the Cross Country trains towards Birmingham normally depart from.

Something to watch out for at Oxford is that the departure indicators on platforms (tracks) 3 and 4 are particularly useful sources of information - they don't just show the destination and departure time.
If you have a reserved seat on a GWR or CrossCountry train they will also tell you where to wait for easy boarding into the coach in which your reserved seat(s) is located.

Train service summary:

Train Operating Company:

Destinations:
 

Great Western Railway

(1) London Paddington via Reading and Slough (for Windsor)
(2) (Hereford) and Great Malvern via Charlbury, Moreton-in-Marsh, Evesham and Worcester

CrossCountry

(1) Manchester via Leamington, Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent
(2) Newcastle via Leamington, Birmingham, Derby, Sheffield, York, Darlington and Durham
(3) Bournemouth via Reading, Winchester, Southampton and Brockenhurst (New Forest)

Chiltern Railways

London Marylebone via Bicester Village and High Wycombe.

To the city centre:

If you’re thinking of making a day trip by train from London to either Oxford OR Cambridge, what might tip the balance is that Oxford station is within an easier waking distance of the historic centre of its city, than the station in Cambridge.

The heart of the most scenic part of Oxford city centre, the area around the Sheldonian Theatre is a 10 – 20 min walk from the station.
Turn right when stepping out of the station and then turn left, once you reach the main road on the other side of the bus stops on the station forecourt.
Then go straight ahead on Park End Street, with the new Business School building on your left.

Cross the Hythe Bridge on to George Street – keep going ahead for the Sheldonian Theatre, the Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Camera.
Turn left on to Magdalen Street for the Ashmolean Museum.

The Oxford Natural History Museum is on the far side of the city centre to the station, but even its location can be reached on foot in around 15 – 25 minutes.

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