In 1900 the Great Central Railway opened a double-track branch line to Banbury from Culworth Junction on their main line. This line became the main interchange point for trains between the Great Central Railway and the Great Western Railway, allowing the running of trains from Sheffield (and via the NER and NBR to York, Edinburgh and Aberdeen), and (via the L&SWR) to Southampton and Bournemouth.B ranch trains ran from Banbury General (GW) station to Woodford Halse on the GCR main line, via Culworth Junction. There were intermediate stations at Chalcombe Road Halt and Eydon Road Halt. It is surprising that the Great Central and Great Western never considered a Banbury to Rugby local service, especially since a Fenny Compton – Southam – Rugby line (actually partially constructed) had been a goal of the Great Western in the 1850s. The most famous train to run along this route, the “Ports to Ports Express.” The Great Western and Great Central Railways already enjoyed a close relationship because of their joint ownership of the Great Western & Great Central Joint Railway (which was still affectionately being referred to as the Great Central Joint by British Railways Western Region employees, successors to the GWR, half a century after the Great Central ceased to exist in 1923).
More to Come