Twyford railway station

Twyford railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Twyford
code = TWY


caption = The station looking west, showing platforms 1 to 4 from left to right. Platform 5 is hidden behind the station buildings on right.
manager = First Great Western
locale = Twyford
borough = Wokingham (district)
usage0405 = 1.083
usage0506 = 1.127
platforms = 5
start = 1840

Twyford railway station is a railway station in the village of Twyford in the county of Berkshire in England.

The station is served by local services operated by First Great Western from London Paddington, 50 km (31 miles) east. to Reading stations. Twyford is also the junction for the Henley-on-Thames branch.

The station is on the Great Western Main Line, the original line of the Great Western Railway, which opened as far as Reading in 1840. It has 5 platforms. Platform 1 and 2 are on the "fast" Reading-London lines, with Platform 1 being the "down" line (from London). Trains rarely stop at these platforms. 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.

The main entrance to the station, and main station building, is located on platform 4 and serves the village centre. There is a secondary entrance on platform 1. A large carpark is situated between the main line and Henley branch and is often full with morning commuters.

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.

ervices

Monday to Saturdays there are four trains per hour to London Paddington eastbound and to Reading westbound (with a half-hourly service onwards to Oxford). Sundays there is a half-hourly service in each direction.

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

These services are summarised in the following table:

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History

The first Twyford station opened on 1st July 1839 and was the terminus of the Great Western Railway (GWR) until 30th 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 week day. Just to the west was a temporary engine shed, relocated 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 can still be seen at Culham railway station.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 the Broad Gauge in 1892 gave the opportunity for the Great Western 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. 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 abolished in favour of British Railways' Western Region on 1 January 1948, but apart from signage this had little effect at Twyford until the 1960s. In 1961 the trackwork was simplified and the two signal boxes were abolished and replaced by a single one in the vee between the up relief and branch lines. This only lasted until 1972, when all signalling was passed 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 125mph 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 during this process, but they remain on the island platform building. The GWR "pagoda" cycle shed was removed from platform 4 at this time, but relocated to the garden of the former Stationmaster's house, where it can still be seen.

Media

Twyford Railway station has been a very popular station for the Media and is used frequently in Midsummer Murders and in the new BBC comedy series Mutual Friends where it is the scene of a suicide.

Future Re-Building

In 2007 First Great Western applied for planning permission to replace the old foot bridge with a new bridge featuring three lifts, one to each platform. The new bridge will be slightly higher than the old one, to accommodate possible future electrification. This will be part of a renovation of the station in 2008/2009 introducing ticket gates. A rumour suggests that they will be extending the platforms to cope with the 8-carriage High Speed Trains instead of just Adelante trains, which are being phased out. This will all be part of a plan to make Twyford station a main station on the Paddington Line as the flagship station for the Henley Regatta line. However, the current plan to terminate Crossrail at Maidenhead will leave Twyford in limbo between Reading and Maidenhead; it is not clear how the present level of service can be maintained once Crossrail opens.

See also

* Henley Branch Line
* Sonning Cutting

Source

Pearse, Marion and John (1985). "Twyford's Railway Heritage". Twyford and Ruscombe Local History Society. ISBN 0-948245-00-X.

External links



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