Waterloo to Reading Line
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|Waterloo to Reading Line|
South East England
|Operator(s)||South West Trains|
|Rolling stock||Class 458 "Juniper"|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||750V DC Third rail|
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.
- 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.
- Virginia Water to Ascot and Reading South 1 January 1931.[dubious ] The Ascot station article says "1 January 1939"
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. Additional rolling stock Class 460 is being introduced to provide the services. Platform 20 at Waterloo (within the Eurostar terminal) is due to come into use in May 2014 to provide additional capacity. dft.
- Marshall, C.F.D (1963) History of the Southern Railway, 2nd ed, Ian Allan, London p.413
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