Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Southern - Shepperton review 1


20/11/07  Teddington to Shepperton

Cost of ticket £3.00 (Cheap Day return - Boundary Zone 6 to Shepperton)

Dept Teddington: 10.15  Arrive: 10.35

Journey time: 20 minutes

Distance: 7 miles     Weather: raining

Train type: Class 450 Desiro 8-car EMU (double track all the way)

Railway company: South West Trains

Frequency of trains - one every half hour


Teddington Station has two platforms and is on the New Malden to Twickenham line. We pass graffiti covered businesses and houses, leaving the Twickenham line, as we go past Strawberry Hill Train Care Depot on our right. It is in the middle of a triangle and the line from Strawberry Hill station joins us, a little further on. We come to a stop at a red light and our guard announces that there has been localised flooding ahead. As we wait a steady stream of aeroplanes pass above us on their way into Heathrow. The driver blows his horn and we are on our way again. We pass a graveyard on the left and a golf course on our right. We are still moving slowly as we enter a cutting and then stop at Fulwell station. It has the basic shelters on its two platforms, with the main station building at the top of the stairs. We are now about five minutes late as we leave and enter a small tunnel, actually reaching about 30 mph! The cutting continues for a little while, before giving way to the sight of detached houses and bungalows on either side of the track. We come to a stop at Hampton station, which has more character than Fulwell station. There are yellow brick station buildings on both sides, complete with canopies. We go over a level crossing and speed up to about 50 mph as the track bends to the right. We pass a mixture of houses, factories and allotments, before coming out into open countryside, where some reservoirs can be seen. There is a factory pumping out smoke on our right and then we stop at Kempton Park station, which is right next to the racecourse on our left. The station has a large canopy over the north platform, (presumably to protect race goers waiting for trains if it's raining), whilst the south platform is open to the elements.  We don't go too far before we arrive at Sunbury station, which is a modern looking station, complete with graffiti on the platforms and footbridge. There are some tower blocks on the right and the M3 is next to us as we travel the short distance to Upper Halliford. It is partly covered by the motorway flyover and this adds to the noise on the station. It has a small modern ticket office and a shelter on the opposite platform. We then leave the motorway and the houses behind us as we go out into open countryside again. It's mainly scrubland, before golf course appear on either side, followed by houses as we reach Shepperton. We arrive about five minutes behind schedule, and instead of leaving at 10.41, finally leave at 10.47. There is a brand new office block right next to the platform, so you can see a man at his desk, on the phone, as you sit on the train waiting to leave! The ticket office is fairly modern and the single platform station is clean.

Summary: A busy commuter line, which will no doubt continue to carry plenty of passengers for many years to come.  MC