Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Southern - Weybridge review 1

Weybridge railway station


10/6/08 Weybridge to Virginia Water

Cost of ticket £4.60 (cheap day return Boundary Zone 6 to Chertsey)

Dept Weybridge 10.33:   Arrive Virginia Water: 10.45

Journey time: 12 minutes

Distance:   miles  Weather:  cloudy

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

Railway company: South West Trains

Frequency of trains - one every half hour

Weybridge station has three platforms, but is quite busy with several express trains hurtling through the fast lanes on their way to Portsmouth, Southampton and Salisbury. The train I get is very empty - just a handful of passengers are waiting to get on as it opens its doors on platform 1 of Weybridge station. It will go right through to Waterloo via Virginia Water and Hounslow. The train is full of discarded copies of the Metro newspaper left by this morning's commuters. Presumably they will be left on the train until it reaches Waterloo, when someone will actually come on board and clear them up. The train leaves bang on time, passing the station car park on the right and then it leaves the South West mainline altogether. We slowly enter a cutting and then emerge onto an embankment, with a sewage works on the left, where the line from Woking joins ours. It's not really countryside here - more houses and the odd factory on both sides of the track. We pull into Addlestone station, which has two platforms and the original station building. At the far end of the platform it looks like some weeding needs doing. We enter another low cutting, where lots of foliage is growing and then emerge with views over a golf course on the left and new housing on the right. We don't go much further before we stop at Chertsey, which retains its two original yellow brick station buildings, one of which has a station buffet. Several office buildings, as well as flats, surround the station. We leave to pass fields on our left and then glance the M25 motorway in the distance. On the right are houses, which eventually give way to open countryside. We go over the M25 and then enter a cutting, before we slow for a red signal. We then cross over the M3 motorway, which is very busy, entering woodland briefly, before more houses appear, as well as a decorative church tower on our right. We then pull into Virginia Water station, which has four platforms, two of which are on the Reading line and two of which are on the Weybridge line. The platform we stop at - platform 3 is quite short, so some passengers have to walk through the last two carriages before they can get off. Our train has to wait for a total of nine minutes as it lets a fast train pass in front of us going from Reading to Waterloo. Several passengers decide to get off here and get on the fast one. I get off, take some photos and then get back on, staying on the train as it continues to Waterloo via Hounslow.

Summary: A short branch line, which is used by plenty of affluent commuters, so will be safe for many years to come.    MC