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Nostalgia night aims to boost rail service
EFFORTS to improve train services at a West Oxfordshire station will be given a boost by an evening of railway nostalgia on Saturday.
Ascott-under-Wychwood station, on the Cotswold Line between Oxford and Worcester, is currently served by just two trains a day from Mondays to Fridays.
But the Cotswold Line Promotion Group, which represents passengers, wants to see more weekday trains and the reinstatement of Saturday services.
To help focus attention on its campaign, the CLPG is staging a film show at the village's Tiddy Hall, with Rail archivist Michael Clemens showing cine-films shot by his father Jim in the 1950s and 1960s.
As well as the Cotswold Line, there will be footage of the old branches from Yarnton Junction to Eynsham, Witney, Carterton and Fairford and from Kingham to Chipping Norton.
Doors at the hall, in Shipton Road, will open at 7pm, with the film show starting at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £5 on the door.
The CLPG says that although facilities at Ascott-under-Wychwood station were improved last year as part of Network Rail’s £67m Cotswold Line track redoubling project, with a new second platform and an extension to the existing platform built, it has yet to get any extra services.
CLPG publicity officer Julian Palfrey said: “The group is committed to improving the service for Ascott villagers to match the improvements in facilities at the station.
"With the help of First Great Western we trialled additional shoppers’ services on Saturdays before Christmas last year, with dozens of passengers travelling to Oxford, London and Worcester, and we hope to be able to build on that success to improve the level of services generally from Ascott.”
FGW said two years ago it was keen to improve services at the station and was also looking at ways to provide a railbus link to nearby Burford.
It is not yet known if these proposals will form part of the company’s bid to win a new 15-year franchise to operate trains in the Great Western region from next year.
Michael Clemens is also showing the films of West Oxfordshire’s railways at Chipping Norton Railway Club’s monthly meeting next Tuesday. Visitors are welcome to attend the meeting, which starts in the town hall at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £2.