Who We Are and What We Do
CLPG is a membership organisation founded 45 years ago, when there was a post-Beeching threat to Charlbury’s railway service. The proposal to sever the line by halting all services between Moreton in Marsh and Evesham was thwarted, with no small measure of thanks due to the late Sir Peter Parker, the then chairman of the British Railways Board, who used Charlbury Station to reach his home in Minster Lovell. Sir Peter was supportive of CLPG for more than twenty years – from our foundation until his death in 2002. You can read about how he is commemorated at both Charlbury Station and Charlbury Museum by scrolling down to ‘Sir Peter Parker Commemorated’.
The main purpose of the group is to encourage the fullest use of the railway between Oxford, Worcester and Hereford and to improve connectivity between the railway, its local communities and other transport modes.
We continue to work with the rail industry and with national and local organisations to improve rail services and the facilities at stations. We have frequent contact with train operators, trying to make positive and practical proposals for improvements to services and facilities.
We also work with other bodies to encourage support for railway use, and to provide funding for improvements that benefit local communities. Our efforts have seen stations re-opened and services at some stations increased from four daily trains to near hourly.
We arrange charter trains to attractive day out destinations for members and the public.
We liaise with our local heritage railways, the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) and Severn Valley Railway (SVR), to enhance appreciation of railway history and heritage and to encourage leisure travel.
We make financial contributions to support other funding for improvements to railway stations.
Although we have achieved a lot during those 45 years, there is always more to be done. Most recently we played a full part in getting the station ticket office closure proposals abandoned by asking members and the public to sign a petition or submit their objections to Transport Focus.
We welcome new members - both active and passive – and invite you to join us. Annual subscriptions are modest; details of fees and an application form can be found on the group’s website: CLPG.online.
Sir Peter Parker Commemorated
The death of Sir Peter in 2002 coincided with the 150th anniversary of the Cotswold line and our good working relationship with First Group, resulted in one of the HST ‘power cars’ being named after him. The naming also marked the 150th anniversary. When the HST was surplus to the needs of GW, the nameplate was removed from the train and given to CLPG. In September 2023 it was then given to Charlbury Museum and is on display there. Another example of the ‘plate can be seen in the hopefully-soon-to-be-reopened Charlbury station ticket office. Below is a photograph of the immediate-past chairman of CLPG, John Ellis, seen in the museum alongside the nameplate.
Advance Notice of Railway Engineering Work
The Cotswold Line Promotion Group (CLPG) has been notified by Great Western that engineering work in late March will affect our rail services.
Starting on Sunday 24th March, up to and including Wednesday 27th, all services to and from Oxford & Paddington will start or terminate at Charlbury. On the Sunday, buses will replace trains between Charlbury and all stations to Worcester, where rail services will resume. On weekdays buses will replace trains between Charlbury and Evesham.
The weekday morning ‘peak hours’ services have some minor changes but those throughout the daytime are expected to be largely unaffected.
Please note that services from Paddington to Charlbury will leave approximately 30 minutes earlier than the usual and the last train will be at 20.20 from Paddington.
If you are planning to travel on Thursday 28th March please be aware that services may be affected if the engineering work overruns.
Further details will be posted here when available.