Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Southern - Hampton Court review 1

20/11/08  Surbiton to Hampton Court

Cost of ticket £18.00 (London area travel card)

Dept Surbiton: 11.00    Arrive Hampton Court: 11.12

Journey time: 12 minutes

Distance: 3 miles  Weather:  raining

Train type: Class 455 8-car EMU (double track all the way)

Railway company: South West Trains

Frequency of trains - one every half hour

Surbiton is a double island station, painted white, of four platforms and is busy with both stopping trains to Guildford, Woking, Epsom and London; and express trains passing through on their way to Salisbury, Portsmouth and Southampton. We leave the station and go onto a high embankment for about a mile with semi-detached houses on either side. Then the track rise up and we curve to the right crossing the mainline below us, crossing it on a single-tracked cantilever bridge. We join up with the up track and continue on an embankment with suburban housing below us. We arrive at Thames Ditton station, which has its original yellow brick station building on the east platform. The platforms are very long to cope with the 8-car trains that stop here and someone has made an effort with flowers planted in wheelbarrows, painted Southern Railway green. The station lights still have red poles of Network south East though! We pass plenty of detached houses with long gardens below us. We don't speed up too much as we go over a level crossing and change tracks as we come into Hampton Court station. It has three platforms, though platform three doesn't have any track to it. The old station building has seen better days as it looks out onto an island platform, the far end of which goes over a small river, which drains into the Thames. The train stays for just over ten minutes before turning back on its journey to Waterloo.

Summary: A short branch line, which is popular all year round with both commuters and tourists visiting Hampton Court Palace.   MC