Waterloo to Reading Line

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Waterloo to Reading Line
Egham Juniper Train.jpg
Type Commuter rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Greater London
South East England
Termini London Waterloo
Stations 26
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) South West Trains
Depot(s) Clapham Junction
Rolling stock Class 458 "Juniper"
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 750V DC Third rail
Waterloo to Reading Line
0m 00ch London Waterloo London Underground London River Services
Vauxhall London Underground
Queenstown Road (Battersea)
West London Line
enlarge… Clapham Junction London Overground
South Western Main Line
Wandsworth Town
River Wandle
Point Pleasant Jn
District route used by SWT diversions
LU District ( Putney Br. – E. Putney )
Barnes Junction
Vine Lane
Link lifted
Hounslow Loop | White Hart Lane
Sheen Lane
North Sheen
North Sheen (Manor Road)
Link lifted. LU District and LO NLL share
 tracks Richmond to Gunnersbury
Richmond London Underground London Overground
Richmond Railway Bridge over River Thames
St Margarets
Kingston Loop Line
River Crane
Duke of Northumberland's River
Whitton Junction
Hounslow Loop Line | Hounslow Jn
Feltham Junction
River Crane
Feltham marshalling yard (1917-1967)
14m 68ch Felthamfor Heathrow Airport
Longford River
Bedfont Lane
17m 40ch Ashford (Surrey)
19m 02ch Staines
Staines to Windsor & Eton Line
Staines Railway Bridge over River Thames
Thorpe Lane
Pooley Green
M25 motorway
21m 02ch Egham
Virgina Water Cutting
23m 15ch Virginia Water
Chertsey Branch
25m 11ch Longcross
London Road
26m 71ch Sunningdale
28m 79ch Ascot
Ascot to Guildford Line
Ascot West Race Platform
31m 09ch Martins Heron
32m 24ch Bracknell
Waterloo Road
Star Lane
Milepost Change 36m 34ch/61m 74ch
North Downs Line
62m 08ch Wokingham
M4 motorway
64m 10ch Winnersh
64m 72ch Winnersh Triangle
River Loddon
66m 01ch Earley
River Kennet
GWML to Paddington
Reading Southern (1855-1965)
68m 68ch Reading
Great Western Main Line to Bristol

The Waterloo to Reading Line is a National Rail suburban electric railway line which runs between London Waterloo station and Reading railway station, running generally westwards from the UK capital, London, to Reading, in central Berkshire. It is operated by South West Trains (SWT).

With the connecting Hounslow Loop Line it forms the most northern line of the SWT franchise. Other connecting lines of the franchise are the Kingston Loop Line, the Chertsey Branch Line, the Ascot to Guildford Line, and the Staines to Windsor & Eton Line. With its many stations and suburban nature, it is a slower line than the Great Western Main Line.

Within the M25 motorway, the Waterloo to Reading train only calls at major stations (Clapham Junction, Richmond, Twickenham, Feltham and Staines). After Staines it proceeds to stop at all stations to Reading.


  • London to Richmond was opened on 27 July 1846 by the Richmond Railway, which was purchased by the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) in 1847. Until 1 July 1848 the London terminus was Nine Elms, thereafter it was Waterloo which was called "Waterloo Bridge station" until 1886.
  • Richmond to Staines (and Datchet) opened on 22 August 1848 by the Windsor, Staines and South Western Railway under L&SWR auspices. This line reached Windsor on 1 December 1849.
  • Staines to Ascot was opened 4 June 1856 by the Staines, Wokingham and Woking Junction Railway (worked by the L&SWR).
  • extended from Ascot to Wokingham on 9 July 1856 to join the South Eastern Railway line to Reading which had opened in 1849.

The line was electrified on the DC third rail system, initially at 660 volts, in sections:

  • Waterloo to Twickenham flyover (for Kingston Loop) 30 January 1916
  • Twickenham to Whitton Junction (for Hounslow Loop) 12 March 1916
  • Whitton Junction to Windsor 6 July 1930.[1]
  • Virginia Water to Ascot and Reading South 1 January 1931.[dubious ] The Ascot station article says "1 January 1939"
Reading station with Southern Region trains in 1979.

Early on Sunday 15 November 2009 the bridge carrying the line over the River Crane at Feltham partly collapsed. Services between Feltham and Whitton, and between Feltham and Hounslow, were suspended. They were restored eight days later on a temporary diversionary line with a 20 mph speed limit laid across the adjoining site of the disused Feltham Marshalling yard. The defective bridge was demolished and rebuilt.


Most stations between Waterloo and Windsor are having platforms lengthened to allow the operation of 10 coach trains from May 2013. Some, such as Feltham, which is sandwiched between a level crossing and a road bridge, will use SDO. The services will be operated by class 458/5 rolling stock; 6 of the 8 class 460 8-car trains are being converted to 5-car class 458/5 trains, and the 30 remaining intermediate vehicles will be used to lengthen the 4-car 458/0 trains to 5-cars. Platform 20 at Waterloo (within the Eurostar terminal) is due to come into use in May 2014 to provide additional capacity. dft.


  1. ^ Marshall, C.F.D (1963) History of the Southern Railway, 2nd ed, Ian Allan, London p.413