Bicester Village (BIT)

Bicester Village, situated between Islip and Haddenham & Thame Parkway, is one of two stations in the Oxfordshire town of Bicester, the other being Bicester North.
Chiltern 168 323 at Bicester Village

Type: National Rail (Oxford-Bicester Line)
Station code: BIT
Opened: 1850 (Closed 1968)
Re-Opened: 1987 (as Bicester Town)
2016 (as Bicester Village)
Platforms: 2

The station has had a varied history with a number of name changes and two closures! It was originally opened as Bicester by the Buckinghamshire Railway in 1850 on it's line between Banbury and Bletchley which later became part of the Varsity Line between Oxford and Cambridge. The station was owned by the London North Westen Railway. In 1954 it was renamed Bicester London Road but was closed in 1968 along with parts of the Varsity Line.

British Rail reopened the station in 1987 as Bicester Town with services from Oxford. The services were later taken over by Chiltern Railways who closed the station again in 2014 for rebuilding as part of a project to extend Oxford trains through to London Marylebone. The station was re-opened as Bicester Village in 2015 named after the designer outlet shopping centre which is adjacent to the station built on the site of the former goods yard [2]. This name change was not without local controversy.

The rebuilt station has two platforms (Bicester Town had just one and was unstaffed [1]) as well as ticket buying facilities in a new station building. There are two hundred and thirty car park spaces. Access between the two platforms is via a footbridge. Due to the large number of tourists who use the station for the shopping centre signage is tri-lingual in English, Arabic and Chinese.
Station footbridge

View from the footbridge, notice the multi-lingual signage

Station building

Chiltern 168 324 arrives at Bicester Village

Station frontage

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Oxford to Bletchley (Middleton Press, 2005) Fig. 54
[2] Ibid. Map. X