Taplow railway station

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Taplow National Rail
Taplow
Location
Place Taplow
Local authority South Bucks
Grid reference SU915813
Operations
Station code TAP
Managed by First Great Western
Number of platforms 4 (2 operational)
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  0.149 million
2005/06 Increase 0.155 million
2006/07 Increase 0.174 million
2007/08 Increase 0.187 million
2008/09 Increase 0.196 million
2009/10 Increase 0.197 million
2010/11 Increase 0.212 million
2011/12 Increase 0.230 million
2012/13 Increase 0.239 million
History
Key dates Opened 1 September 1872 (1 September 1872)
Original company Great Western Railway
Pre-grouping GWR
Post-grouping GWR
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Taplow from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Taplow railway station is a railway station in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, England. The station is served by local services operated by First Great Western (FGW) from Paddington, 22 12 miles (36 km) to the east, to Reading stations, using class 165, and class 166 DMU trains. The station is on the original line of the Great Western Railway (GWR).

History[edit]

There have been two stations named Taplow.

Original station[edit]

The first station was opened on 4 June 1838 as Maidenhead[1][2] (referred to as Maidenhead Riverside in some publications).[3] The station was the terminus of the Great Western Railway for just over a year until the opening of Maidenhead Railway Bridge and the line to Twyford on 1 July 1839.[4] The station was renamed Maidenhead and Taplow in August 1854.[2] It was constructed of wood, and situated west of the skew bridge that carries the railway over the Bath Road (the modern A4),[5] near grid reference SU909812.

With the opening of the present Maidenhead station 1 12 miles to the west on 1 November 1871,[6] Maidenhead and Taplow station was renamed Taplow;[2] it was closed less than a year later on 1 September 1872,[7] when a new Taplow station was opened at its current location  14 mile to the east.[8] As with Burnham station, the actual station is a significant distance south of the village that it takes its name from.

Paddington - Weston-super-Mare express in 1958

Current station[edit]

The current station was opened on 1 September 1872.[7] It was probably designed by GWR architect J. E. Danks, and largely dates from the quadrupling of the line, with dual gauge main line tracks. It is unusually large and grand in appearance, despite the fact it only serves a relatively small number of passengers during the day. The first reason for this was because several major GWR shareholders lived nearby and therefore used the station in Victorian times. The second being that it was always intended to be part of a high quality network of stations for commuters using the GWR.

During World War II Taplow station played an important part of transporting tanks stored at "the dump" which is now at the site of Slough Trading Estate. The concrete and steel reinforced road that was laid to take the weight of the tanks can still be found in the station's south car park. Just to the north of the station on a rail siding was a large Barbed wire dump. The siding has long since been removed, the remaining noticeable incline being partially occupied by the nearby SGT car dealership buildings.

The remaining buildings of the station are outwardly little changed since their original construction. The station has been used in a scene from the film Highly Dangerous and in the album cover of the 1973 album Back to the future by Man. The south car park and platform 1 buildings were used in filming as Cambridge Station for Chariots of Fire but the sequence does not seem to have been used in the released cut of the film. The station and the south car park also featured in the 1981 series Shillingbury Tales. In 2003, the station was used in a scene in the BBC TV comedy series Catterick, starring Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. Renamed with signs, it played the part of Northallerton station for its bit part in the show. The station is mentioned in the book The Secret Places of the Heart by H. G. Wells.

Up South Wales express passing in 1953

2006 refurbishment[edit]

In 2006, the 1884 built station footbridge underwent a major refurbishment costing £250,000.[9] The footbridge was in a very poor state of repair before the work began. This project also included a repaint of the station buildings, partial resurfacing of the island platforms and renewal of the flower beds. The refurbishment was completed in time for the 2006 World Rowing Championships at Dorney Lake, which used a shuttle bus service to transport spectators to and from the event. During the duration of the event, the station briefly had a Sunday service. The station was heavily used during the London 2012 Olympics, because of the rowing and canoeing events at Dorney Lake.

Crossrail[edit]

Crossrail trains will call here when the scheme is completed, bringing electrification, a higher frequency 4 trains/hour 'stopping' service and for the first time, a regular Sunday service which may utilise Platforms 1 and 2 on Sundays. No services currently use these platforms. The platforms will not be lengthened to accommodate the longer ten car (made up of two five) car Crossrail trains, in order to reduce the overall cost of constructing the Crossrail line. Instead, the trains will have a selective door opening system.[10] The longest trains that currently fit station platforms are six car DMUs. Crossrail will also probably assume day-to-day running of the station. A FGW service between Reading and Slough will also call at the station once Crossrail begins operation.

According to a 2005 Crossrail document,[11] journey times to and from these major destinations will be as follows:

Heathrow Airport - 32 minutes (including interchange)
Paddington - 37 minutes
Tottenham Court Road - 43 minutes
Liverpool Street - 49 minutes
Canary Wharf - 57 minutes

The station[edit]

Key features include the Victorian era ticket office, toilets and the aforementioned footbridge. Features installed during the Network SouthEast (NSE) era includes a permit to travel machine installed on platform 4, all the existing passenger seating, station clocks, CCTV monitored help points and a CRT service information screen. Thames Trains Ltd. installed the LED 'next train indicators'. FGW has recently replaced the ticket machine, installed a new bike shelter on the east end of platform 1 and life-expired NSE-era signage. FGW have also refurbished the toilets, repainted the station doors, lamp posts, seats and the existing bike shelter in corporate First Group purple.

Also built into the main station building is a Victorian postbox on the platform 4 side, and a card-only BT payphone on the platform. Riviera Cars (taxi rank) and the Taplow Rail User's Group (TRUG) also occupy the main building. Only platforms 2 and 4 have OPO equipment. The island platform waiting room is usually closed from public use. According to FGW,[12] the station has BTP 'Secure Station' accreditation. This is despite the station being in a somewhat remote countryside location.

There are 2 CCTV monitored car parks, both run by APCOA Parking UK Ltd. on behalf of FGW, one on the north side of the station and one on the south. Within the south car park is a small South Bucks recycling centre.[13] To the east of the south car park is a large storage facility, where a portable ticket office is currently stored. Just outside the facility are leftover materials from the recent works.

Original features removed over time, by BR and Network Rail, include

  • the waiting room, ticket office and platform canopy on platform 1
  • the ornate lanterns on the 1884 footbridge[14]
  • the platform 2 canopy
  • the island platforms' remaining red Victorian tiles[15] (removed during the 2006 refurbishment), although tiles still remain on platform 1.

The station is a popular location for railway photographers and enthusiasts owing to the secluded location, long views of track alignments and the low number of station users at off-peak times. When a special train is due, the footbridge and platforms will usually have a large number of photographers and enthusiasts along them.

Ticket Office hours, service and other information[edit]

  • The ticket office on platform 4 is open weekdays only, between 0620 and 1300.[16] Under Thames Trains' management there was a trial period of Saturday opening. This trial did not lead to permanent Saturday opening, so the opening hours reverted and still remain 'weekdays only'.
  • A touch-screen, cash and card payment ticket machine has been installed (11/2006), and is the first to offer nationwide destinations.
  • Monday to Saturdays there is a regular half-hourly service to London Paddington eastbound (platform 4) and Reading westbound (platform 3).
  • There is currently no regular service on Sundays (excluding the last trains on the Saturday timetables).
    Taplow Rail User's Group is currently campaigning for a Sunday service, and is asking passengers to write to FGW, MPs Dominic Grieve and Tom Harris, and the Department for Transport.
  • Only platform 4 (London bound) is currently wheelchair accessible.
  • The Taplow Rail User's Group office is run by Mr Jon Willmore and is usually open every Thursday.
  • To get to the station via sat-nav, the postcode is SL6 0NT.
  • The station is now included in the FGW RingGo cashless electronic parking service (operated by Cobalt Telephone Technologies Ltd.). The location code for Taplow station is '1970'.
  • The nearest bus routes from the station (as of June 2007) are the:
  • Rail replacement buses normally operate from either the north car park or the bus stops on Approach Rd. A monthly or weekly list of dates when a rail replacement service operates is placed on notice boards outside the Approach Rd station exit and by the ticket office, and is available online via this link.

Penalty fare rules apply to all FGW trains using this station.[17]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Maidenhead   First Great Western
Great Western Main Line
  Burnham
  Future Development  
Preceding station   Crossrail roundel.svg National Rail logo.svg Crossrail   Following station
towards Reading
Crossrail
Line 1
towards Abbey Wood or Shenfield

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  • MacDermot, E.T. (1927). History of the Great Western Railway, vol. I: 1833-1863. Paddington: Great Western Railway. 
  • Over, Luke (September 2001). Delaney, Peter, ed. "The Railway Comes to Maidenhead". Wargrave Local History Society. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′26″N 0°40′52″W / 51.524°N 0.681°W / 51.524; -0.681