Shepperton Branch Line

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Shepperton Branch Line
Overview
Type Commuter rail, Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Greater London
South East England
Termini London Waterloo
Kingston
Shepperton
Stations 6
Services 1
Operation
Opened 1 November 1864
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) South West Trains
Depot(s) Wimbledon
Rolling stock Class 455
Class 450
Technical
Number of tracks 2
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 750 V DC third rail
Operating speed 60 mph (97 km/h)
Shepperton Branch Line
Strawberry Hill depot
Kingston Loop Line to Waterloo
Left arrow via Twickenham • via Kingston Right arrow
Cutting
12 mi 75 ch Fulwell
High Street, Hampton Hill, 350m
Longford River
14 mi 47 ch Hampton
Metropolitan Water Board Rly
16 mi 28 ch Kempton Park
16 mi 64 ch Sunbury
17 mi 34 ch Upper Halliford
18 mi 73 ch Shepperton

Miles and chains from Waterloo via Twickenham

The Shepperton Branch Line is a railway line in the south west of London and north Surrey. It is also known as the Shepperton Line and connects to the Kingston Loop by a triangular junction between Strawberry Hill and Teddington stations.

History[edit]

The line opened on 1 November 1864 briefly named The Thames Valley Railway with access only from the Twickenham direction. The line was originally intended to reach a terminus on the north bank of the River Thames immediately east of Chertsey Bridge and the town itself but this plan was abandoned in 1862.[1] The line's optional curve linking Fulwell and Teddington initially opened only to freight on 1 July 1894 and first carried passengers on 1 June 1901. The line was electrified by the L&SWR using 630v DC third rail on 30 January 1916.

'Even the railway is a quite retiring type of line, ending abruptly at Shepperton, which is not in the way of being a metropolis; and so for many years a single train ran quietly to and fro upon a single line, resting a good deal and never hastening. And it is still in this state...till the racing tap is turned on every month or so.'

— Charles Dickens, Jr., Racecourses about London, an article in All the Year Round, 1887[2]

Demand and population in the area increased after the railway's relatively late introduction. Hampton station is the line's busiest with more than 1.2 million journeys made in the 2014-2015 financial year[3] Its recorded use was 0.7 million ten years before.[3] The total of journeys per year of the six stations on the line has reached 2.848 million recorded journeys. Hampton station has formally been assigned C2 (Important feeder) status as its station category.

Stations[edit]

Stations on the line are:

Services[edit]

Service on the line is half-hourly to London Waterloo via Kingston (hourly on Sundays).[4] Monday to Friday, four additional early morning rush-hour trains to Waterloo are routed via Twickenham and Richmond. Three additional evening rush-hour trains from Waterloo arrive via that route.[4]

In common with the 16 hourly off-peak closer commuter services to/from London Waterloo,[5] trains must stop at every intermediate station. There are no mid-track destination Waterloo to inner suburban services such as to Wimbledon or Kingston despite sidings there, which due to the long travel time gives overcapacity at Shepperton and overcrowding during the inner city phase of peak-hour journeys.[6] This situation can be contrasted to many other routes to destinations just outside Greater London.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ London's Local Railways by Alan A. Jackson, Capital Transport (1999); ISBN 1-85414-209-7
  2. ^ Charles Dickens, Jr.| All the Year Round Volume: 60 p.582.
  3. ^ a b "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation.
  4. ^ a b [1]
  5. ^ Calling at Earlsfield railway station and all intermediate London stations all managed by South West Trains, namely:
  6. ^ "10-car SWT hangs in balance". Modern Railways (London): p. 52. December 2010.
  7. ^ e.g. New Southern Railway's Tonbridge, Reigate and East Grinstead services which until leaving London only call at Clapham Junction and at East Croydon.
  • Mitchell, Vic & Smith, Keith (1990). London Suburban Railways: Kingston and Hounslow Loops. Middleton Press.