A DIFFICULT few weeks for rail passengers in Oxford will continue over the next two days with buses once again replacing trains.

Services will not be running to or from Oxford Station over the weekend, with rail replacement bus services taking passengers between the city centre and Oxford Parkway, to Charlbury and Moreton-in-Marsh, Banbury and, crucially for passengers to London, Didcot Parkway.

Buses will leave from the Beckett Street car park but Oxford Bus Company, Stagecoach and Thames Travel services can also be used.

The weekend closures follow a 16-day halt during which track was relaid, new signals installed and platforms raised.

Some services finally resumed to and from Oxford Station last Monday after a fortnight of improvement work closed the station. But emergency speed restrictions were in place all week because of high track temperatures and were still being enforced during rush hour yesterday evening.

Trains departing for London Marylebone left Oxford 10 minutes earlier than normal while services in the other direction arrived in Oxford 10 minutes later than scheduled.

The beginning of next week is expected to be slightly cooler and services should return to normal.

Disruption will return later this year with work to upgrade the Cotswold Line from November 17-25. Longer platforms will be built at various stations between Oxford and Evesham in preparation for new Intercity Express Trains.