John Speller's Web Pages Staines Branch
John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Narrow Gauge
Staines Branch
In 1863 the GWR promoted the West Drayton, Staines & Woking Junction Railway, but its Bill was defeated as a result of opposition from the London & South Western Railway, who saw it as an unwelcome intrusion into their territory. The GWR tried again ten years later with a less ambitious plan and this time were more successful, as an Act authorizing the 5-mile Staines & West Drayton Railway received the Royal Assent on 7 July 1873. Progress was slow and it was necessary to reauthorize the line under an Act of 17 June 1878. The Great Western Railway had originally hoped to use the L&SWR station at Staines, but that company proved uncooperative. The GWR therefore obtained a Georgian house in Staines and converted it to station use, in which guise it became Staines West. A further extension of time and permission for the deviation at the Staines end of the line was obtained by an Act of 11 August 1881. The line opened from West Drayton to Colnbrook on 9 August 1884 and from Colnbrook to Staines on 2 November 1885. Colnbrook was originally the only intermediate station, but additional stations were later added at Yeoveney Halt (1887), Poyle (1927), Poyle Estate Halt (1954) and Colnbrook Estate Halt (1961). A connection was made with the L&SWR line at Staines during World War II in 1940, but this was lifted in 1959. The line closed to passenger traffic under the Beeching Axe on 20 March 1965, and to goods traffic south of Colnbrook in 1981, although the line north of Colnbrook is still open to goods traffic.
The elegant Georgian house used by the GWR as Staines West station shown here happily preserved as an office building in 2010. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Great Western 0-6-0 "Metropolitan Tank" No. 642, built in 1872. This type of locomotive was allocated to working the Staines Branch between 1900 and 1910
Mao of the Great Western Railway's Staines Branch and connections
West Drayton station in 2008. This was a standard Great Western station design during the last two decades of the nineteenth century. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
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