Staines and West Drayton Railway

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Staines & West Drayton Railway
West Drayton
Colnbrook Estate Halt
Colnbrook Cargo Centre
Old Bath Road
Poyle Estate Halt
Poyle Halt
M25 (line severed)
Yeoveney Halt
Staines Moor Junction
(World War II link)
Reversing point for oil trains
from Windsor line
Oil terminal link
Oil terminal
Staines West
Staines High Street

The Staines & West Drayton Railway (S&WDR) is a former railway on the western edge of London, England. It was about 5 12 miles (9 km) long and ran roughly north-south along the River Colne, parallel to the modern M25 motorway west of Heathrow Airport. It opened from West Drayton on the Great Western Main Line to Colnbrook in 1884 and reached Staines the next year.


By 1961 it had five intermediate stations but local passenger traffic failed to develop. The area is sparsely populated, being in the flood plain of the river Colne and with the large Staines and Wraysbury reservoirs on both sides of the line. The line closed to passengers in March 1965 and replaced by the 224 bus.[1]


The promoters had wanted a connection at Staines to the London and South Western Railway but that company would not allow the Great Western Railway access and the S&WDR terminated at a separate station, converted from a Georgian house. A connection of sorts between the two lines developed through the sidings and turntables of the Staines Linoleum Company's factory but the first purpose-built link was a curve laid in 1940 from Staines Moor Junction some three chains south of Yeoveney Halt[2] to an east-facing connection on the Southern Railway east-bound route to give a diversionary route should central London north-south routes be cut by bombing.

The line today[edit]

Northern section[edit]

Freight trains still run from West Drayton serving the aviation fuel terminal for Heathrow Airport at Colnbrook and formerly the now closed aggregates depot at Thorney.

Southern section[edit]

The section south of Colnbrook to the bridge over the Southern's line from Staines to Windsor was abandoned in 1981 as part of the route was required for the construction of the M25 motorway. Between Colnbrook and Staines Moor the track has been lifted and the formation built over in several places. Part of the viaduct at Staines Moor is used as a footpath. A fuel oil terminal was built in 1964 on the site of the former goods yard at Staines West. Simultaneously with the closure of the line south of Colnbrook in 1981 a new connecting line was built for it to the Staines to Windsor & Eton Line and this was used until closure in 1991.

Proposed changes[edit]

The proposed Airtrack-Lite rail link from Heathrow Airport through Staines would entail laying track near the former southern part of the S&WDR route.[3]

Phase 2 of the proposed Windsor Link Railway would link the existing northern section to a new interchange station at Poyle then onward to both Slough and Staines via an extended Staines to Windsor Line.


  1. ^ Staines West station at Disused Stations in the UK Accessed 2008-11-20
  2. ^ Atlas of the Great Western Railway as at 1947, R.A.Cooke, revised edition,1997 ISBN 1-874103-38-0
  3. ^ "Improving public transport access to Heathrow Airport, October 2008, Consultation brochure 2" (PDF) (Press release). BAA Heathrow Airport. 20 October 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2008.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′9″N 0°30′13″W / 51.48583°N 0.50361°W / 51.48583; -0.50361