Slough to Windsor & Eton Line
|Slough to Windsor & Eton Line|
South East England
Windsor & Eton Central
|Operator(s)||First Great Western|
|No. of tracks||1|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Slough to Windsor & Eton Line|
The Slough to Windsor & Eton Branch Line is a railway line, some two and a half miles long, in Berkshire, England. Trains run between Slough and Windsor and Eton Central stations. The branch is connected at Slough to the Great Western Main Line, but no service trains now use the connection.
A 20-minute service interval in each direction is operated by First Great Western using the dedicated bay platform 1 at Slough. Onward rail travel requires a change despite which the 'Western' route is quicker, at some thirty to forty minutes, between Windsor and London Paddington than the South West Trains service from Windsor and Eton Riverside to London Waterloo via Staines which takes about an hour for the direct, but stopping, journey.
The junction at Slough was a triangular junction connecting to the mainline in both eastbound (London) and westbound (Reading) directions. It is not known whether it was used for turning complete trains; a turntable was available at Slough Shed for turning locomotives up to a certain maximum length.[clarification needed] The layout of the junction was complicated as the east curve ran between sidings of the Slough Locomotive Shed (BR shed code 81B).
Most service trains accessed Slough station by the eastern chord, which remains in use. It is double track, with the "outer" track to the bay platform used by branch-line trains at Slough, and the "inner" track, connected to the mainline, used by ECS (empty stock) workings, but rarely by timetabled traffic.
The western chord, known as the "Royal" or "Queen's" Curve, was little used except by excursion traffic and royal trains, (whence its nickname}. It was closed through lack of use in 1964, and was used for a time to stable carriages, after which the track was lifted.
All land west of the eastern chord was sold for housing, and there is little evidence of the junction at the site now although aerial photographs show the curving line of the western tracks.
The only intermediate stop on the branch line was Chalvey Halt, 47 chains (945 m) south of Bath Road Junction. The halt was authorised on 24 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. There were also waiting shelters, and steps down to the nearby road.
After only 14 months of operation, Chalvey 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. The short siding beside the halt was used by the MoD in World War II, until it became redundant in 1944 and was lifted shortly afterwards. A further track section just down line from Slough was cut back.
- "Windsor Branch workings in the Postwar Years, abstracts from Great Western Railway Journal Volume 4.". Steamindex.com. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
- 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)
- Quayle, H.I.; Stanley C. Jenkins (1980). Branch Lines into the Eighties. David & Charles. pp. 30–32. ISBN 0-7153-7980-1.
- Robertson, Kevin (1990). Great Western Railway Halts (Volume One). Irwell Press. p. 51. ISBN 1-871608-17-1.
- Robertson, p48
- Mitchell, Vic and Smith, Keith (2002). Branch Lines to Henley, Windsor and Marlow. Middleton Press. ISBN 1-901706-77-X.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Slough to Windsor & Eton Line.
- The Railways at Windsor at The Royal Windsor Web Site
- slough loco shed 81B 3Q at Flickr
- Steam Locomotive Shed 81B Slough at Rail UK
- British Railways London Western Region Locomotive Depots 1948–59
- Ordnance Survey Popular and New Popular Editions at Vision of Britain