Twyford railway station

Twyford railway station is a railway station in the large village of Twyford, in the English county of Berkshire.

Twyford National Rail Crossrail
2013 at Twyford station - view from the east (FGW 165109).JPG
The station looking west, showing platforms 1 to 4 from left to right. Platform 5 is hidden behind the station buildings on right.
Twyford is located in Berkshire
Twyford
Twyford
Location of Twyford in Berkshire
LocationTwyford
Local authorityBorough of Wokingham
Grid referenceSU790757
Managed byGreat Western Railway
Station codeTWY
DfT categoryD
Number of platforms5
AccessibleYes
National Rail annual entry and exit
2015–16Increase 1.380 million[1]
– interchange Increase 0.651 million[1]
2016–17Increase 1.383 million[1]
– interchange Increase 0.667 million[1]
2017–18Increase 1.411 million[1]
– interchange Increase 0.786 million[1]
2018–19Increase 1.508 million[1]
– interchange Increase 0.791 million[1]
2019–20Increase 1.528 million[1]
– interchange Decrease 0.757 million[1]
Railway companies
Original companyGreat Western Railway
Pre-groupingGWR
Post-groupingGWR
Key dates
1 July 1839Opened
Other information
External links
WGS8451°28′34″N 0°51′47″W / 51.476°N 0.863°W / 51.476; -0.863Coordinates: 51°28′34″N 0°51′47″W / 51.476°N 0.863°W / 51.476; -0.863
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal

The station is on the Great Western Main Line, 31 miles 1 chain (49.9 km) from London Paddington. It is the junction station for the Henley-on-Thames branch, and is served by local services operated by Great Western Railway and TfL Rail.

HistoryEdit

 
The 1892 buildings seen from the east end

The first Twyford station opened on 1 July 1839 and was the terminus of the GWR until 30 March 1840, pending the completion of Sonning Cutting. It was a timber building to the north of the line at right angles to the track. The actual platform was on a loop off the running line and served trains running in either direction, of which there were nine per weekday. Just to the west was a temporary engine shed, moved here from Maidenhead, the first terminus. After the opening to Reading the shed was removed and a platform was provided on the south side offset to the west. The line was crossed by a footpath between the platform ends.

In 1846 the buildings were replaced in brick and stone to a standard design with an all-round canopy. This was similar to a building which survives at Culham. The platforms were altered to serve the running lines directly. The construction of the Henley Branch Line in 1857 led to the extension of the up platform in a curve to match the new branch and the creation of a north face for branch trains. The repositioning of the goods shed was also necessary, as the new line cut through the old goods yard. As the extended platform blocked the footpath across the main line a footbridge was provided.

The demise of broad gauge in 1892 gave the Great Western the opportunity to quadruple the main line as far as Didcot. At Twyford the new lines meant building a second arch onto the Waltham Road bridge and moving Hurst Road further south. The station was completely reconstructed into the form largely visible today, with new platforms (1 and 2) to serve the fast lines and a new footbridge. A cattle dock and coal yard were built opposite the Henley bay (platform 5) and a weighbridge provided which can still be seen (outside what is now the office of a taxi company). The goods yard was extended and a new goods shed built. The new track layout was much more complex and required the construction of two signal boxes, East and West, to replace the original one which stood on the up platform by the footbridge steps.

The Station Master's house was built in 1900, after which there were no significant changes until the 1960s. The GWR was nationalised on 1 January 1948, becoming part of the Western Region of British Railways, but apart from new signs this had little effect at Twyford until the 1960s. In 1961 the trackwork was simplified and the two signal boxes were decommissioned and replaced by a single one in the vee between the up relief and branch lines. This lasted only until 1972, when all signalling control was transferred to Reading. The goods yard and cattle dock closed in 1965 and were cleared to provide the present car parks. In 1975 the road bridge was reconstructed and platforms 1 and 2 altered to reduce the curve through the station and make the main lines suitable for 125 miles per hour (201 km/h) High Speed Trains.

In 1989 the main buildings on platform 4 were gutted and rebuilt internally to provide a new booking office and waiting room. The building lost its chimneys in the process, but the chimneys on the island platform building remain. The GWR pagoda cycle shed was removed from platform 4 at this time and moved to the garden of the former Station Master's house, where it can still be seen.

In 2005 Norman Topson, the station master for 16 years and local rail worker for 43 years, was awarded an MBE for services to the railway industry and community.[2]

In the summer of 2009 the station footbridge was replaced with a new one incorporating three lifts. The new bridge is on the site of the old one, but with only one staircase to platforms 4 and 5 and built a few feet higher to accommodate future electrification.[3]

DescriptionEdit

The station has 5 platforms. Platform 1 and 2 are on the "fast" Reading – London lines, with Platform 1 being the "down" line (from London). Platforms 3 and 4 are the "relief line" platforms, with platform 3 being the "down" line. Platform 5 is a west-facing bay platform with access only to the Henley Branch Line. Platform 4 also allows access to the Henley Branch via two crossovers: one just east of Platform 4 and one just west of it between it and Platform 5. Throughout the day trains mainly call at platforms 3, 4 and 5. However, during peak times fast services to and from London Paddington use platforms 1 and 2. The platform are of differing lengths. Platform 1 is long enough to accommodate an eight coach train; platforms 2 and 4 can each hold a nine coach train; platform 3 is long enough for twelve coaches; whilst platform 5 can hold just five.[4]

At Twyford, the running speed is 125 mph on the fast lines, and 60 mph (90 mph for the Class 165s and Class 166s) on the relief lines. The up relief line is also signalled for wrong direction running at a speed of 40 mph, or 10 mph for the crossover onto the Henley branch.

The main entrance to the station, and main station building, are on platform 4 and serve the village centre. There is a second entrance on platform 1. There is a large car park between the main line and Henley branch and it is often full with morning commuters' cars.

ServicesEdit

 
Class 165 diesel (left) on the Henley branch and Class 387 electric (right) on the main line

Monday to Saturdays there are four trains per hour to London Paddington eastbound and two Reading westbound and two to Didcot Parkway. On Sundays there is a half-hourly service in each direction. Trains to Henley-on-Thames run at about 50 minute intervals Mondays to Fridays and hourly at weekends.[5]

Typical train times are 50 minutes to London (Paddington), 7 minutes to Reading and 12 minutes to Henley. In the peak periods there are a few through trains to and from London taking between 20 and 30 minutes.

Services are summarised as follows:

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Maidenhead   Great Western Railway
Great Western Main Line
  Reading
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Henley-on-Thames branch
  Wargrave
    Crossrail
Maidenhead   TfL Rail
Paddington - Reading
  Reading
  Future Development  
Preceding station       Crossrail   Following station
Terminus
Crossrail
Elizabeth line
towards Abbey Wood

MediaEdit

Twyford Railway station has been used as a television film location in Midsomer Murders and in the BBC comedy series Mutual Friends where it is the scene of a suicide.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Estimates of station usage". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  2. ^ "I nearly binned my MBE letter". GetReading. 23 June 2005. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  3. ^ "New lifts at Twyford Station provide access to all". Network Rail. 17 November 2009. Archived from the original on 17 June 2020.
  4. ^ Yonge, John; Padgett, David (August 2010) [1989]. Bridge, Mike (ed.). Railway Track Diagrams 3: Western (5th ed.). Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. map 3A. ISBN 978-0-9549866-6-7.
  5. ^ GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Tables 117 & 121
  • Pearse, Marion; Pearse, John (1985). Twyford's Railway Heritage. Twyford: Twyford and Ruscombe Local History Society. ISBN 0-948245-00-X.