Slough to Windsor & Eton Line


Slough to Windsor & Eton Line

The Slough to Windsor & Eton Branch Line is a short railway line between the towns of Slough and Windsor in Berkshire, England. Trains run from a dedicated bay platform at Slough to Windsor and Eton Central Station. At Slough, the branch is connected to the Great Western Main Line, but no service trains currently use this connection.

ervices

Trains along this line are operated by First Great Western and run every 30 minutes in each direction for most of the day, increasing to roughly every 20 minutes during peak periods.

All services terminate at Slough (platform 1) and passengers wishing to travel to onward stations should change there. Despite the need to change, passengers taking this 'Western' route enjoy considerably faster journey times between Windsor and London than those using the 'Southern' line between Windsor and Eton Riverside and London Waterloo (around 30-40 minutes, via Slough, compared with the near one-hour duration for the direct, but stopping, South West Trains service via Staines).

Rolling Stock

As with all other First Great Western railways west of Hayes and Harlington railway station, the Windsor Branch is not electrified and all trains are diesel-powered.

Services are currently provided using Class 165 and Class 166 2- and 3-car diesel multiple units.

In the 1970s and 1980s, 'First Generation' DMUs like the Class 117 and Class 121 ('Bubblecars') were used.

History

The line opened, despite opposition from Eton College, on 8 October 1849. It was built as a broad gauge line but dual gauge track was laid in 1862. [ [http://www.steamindex.com/gwrj/gwrj4.htm Windsor Branch workings in the Postwar Years, abstracts from Great Western Railway Journal Volume 4. Accessed 10 February 2007] ]

For a period from 1863, Metropolitan Railway trains served the line. Between 1 March 1883 and 30 September 1885 the branch was also served by the Metropolitan District Railway.

Chalvey Halt

There was only ever one intermediate stop on the branch line, a halt in Chalvey, ["Around Slough in Old Photographs", p53, Judith Hunter & Karen Hunter, Alan Sutton Publishing (1992)] ["The Changing Face of Slough", p69, Slough Museum, Breedon Books (2003)] 47 chains (945 m) south of Bath Road Junction. [cite book
last =Quayle | first =H.I.
coauthors =Stanley C. Jenkins
title =Branch Lines into the Eighties
publisher =David & Charles | date =1980
pages =pp30-32
id =ISBN 0-7153-7980-1
] The appropriately named "Chalvey Halt" was authorised on 24th February 1929, at an estimated cost of £840, and opened on 6 May, 1929. It comprised both up and down platforms, built from heavy timbers to the standard GWR design for halt platforms. Also provided were waiting shelters, and steps down to a nearby road. [cite book
last =Robertson | first =Kevin | authorlink =
title =Great Western Railway Halts (Volume One)
publisher =Irwell Press | date =1990
pages =p51
id =ISBN 1-871608-17-1
]

After only fourteen months of operation, the halt closed on 7 July, 1930. A note in the GW Engineer's Department minutes of 19 October, 1930, records that the materials from Chalvey Halt had been used to build Cashes Green Halt, on the Gloucester to Swindon "Golden Valley Line", between Stroud and Stonehouse. [ Robertson, p48]

References

Further reading

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