Chessington branch line

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Chessington branch line
455732 D Chessington South.JPG
Class 455 at Chessington South
TypeSuburban rail
SystemNational Rail
LocaleGreater London
TerminiMotspur Park
Chessington South
Opened1938 - 1939
OwnerNetwork Rail
Operator(s)South Western Railway
CharacterSuburban branch
Rolling stockBritish Rail Class 455
British Rail Class 456
Number of tracks2
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification750 V DC third rail
Route map
0m 0ch London Waterloo London Underground National Rail
Raynes Park Jn and Raynes Park
Motspur Park
10m 11ch
Motspur Park Jn
S&MV Lines: to Dorking or Guildford
11m 05ch Malden Manor
12m 06ch Tolworth
13m 25ch Chessington North
13m 73ch Chessington South
Section not constructed south of station
Malden Rushett not built
Ashtead not built
Section not constructed
S&MV Lines: to Dorking or Guildford
S&MV Lines: to Dorking or Guildford

The Chessington branch line is a short National Rail railway line in England, mostly in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, from Motspur Park to Chessington South.


The branch, double track and electrified on the DC third-rail system (660 V at the time of its construction), was the last line built by the Southern Railway. It was to serve the housing, industrial, engineering and storage developments south of Surbiton and secondly, never realised, to form a corollary line to Leatherhead.

It was opened on 29 May 1938 from Motspur Park to Tolworth, with an intermediate station at Malden Manor, and extended on 28 May 1939 to Chessington North and Chessington South.

All the stations on the line were of concrete in an Art Deco style, typical of the period.

Work to extend beyond Chessington was halted by the outbreak of World War II, with track laid beyond Chessington South as far as Chalky Lane, and preparatory works continuing further south. This included an embankment built by the Royal Engineers as a military exercise from Chalky Lane as far south as Chessington Wood, close to where the next station at Malden Rushett would have been built. A second station to serve Ashtead, namely at its northern extreme, was also planned.[1] After the war green belt legislation put a stop to any resumption because Ashtead Common was given protective status. A goods yard south of Chessington South was used as a coal concentration depot from the mid-1960s to the end of the 1980s. The goods yard and the 0.5 miles (0.80 km) of trackbed towards Malden Rushett are overgrown by trees. Two platforms were built at Chessington South but as a result of the truncation, only one platform has ever been in public use.

It was originally intended to name Chessington North station Chessington Court and Chessington South station Chessington Grange.[2]

The line was mainly constructed on embankment with short distances in cuttings and several bridges. A 140-foot (43 m) viaduct crosses the Hogsmill River near Malden Manor.

Demand and population in the area increased after the railway's relatively late introduction. Malden Manor station is the line's busiest with 0.60 million journeys made in the 2014-2015 financial year. Its recorded use was 0.58 million ten years before. The total of journeys per year of the four stations on the line has reached 2.219 million recorded journeys. Malden Manor station has formally been assigned E (small staffed) status as its station category.[3]


  1. ^ "New Southern Railway Suburban Line" (PDF). The Railway Magazine: 25. July 1938. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  2. ^ Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith, Wimbledon to Epsom, Middleton Press, Midhurst, 1995, ISBN 1 873 793 62 6
  3. ^ "Part D: Annexes" (PDF). Better Rail Stations. Department for Transport. 2009. p. 105. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2016.

External links[edit]

Illustrated article on Malden Manor station at this illustrated article on Malden Manor station