Taplow railway station

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Taplow National Rail
2016 at Taplow station - from the south.JPG
Location
Place Taplow
Local authority District of South Bucks
Grid reference SU915813
Operations
Station code TAP
Managed by TfL Rail
Number of platforms 4
DfT category E
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2012/13 Increase 0.239 million
2013/14 Increase 0.247 million
2014/15 Steady 0.247 million
2015/16 Increase 0.264 million
2016/17 Increase 0.274 million
History
Key dates Opened 1 September 1872 (1 September 1872)
Original company Great Western Railway
Pre-grouping GWR
Post-grouping GWR
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Taplow from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Taplow railway station is in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, England. It is 22 miles 39 chains (36.2 km) down the line from London Paddington and is situated between Burnham to the east and Maidenhead to the west.

The station is served by local services operated by the modern day Great Western Railway with services to Reading, Didcot and Oxford, and will be served by Elizabeth line services from December 2019 with services to Abbey Wood via Central London.

History

There have been two stations named Taplow.

Original station

The entrance to the original station (in 2016)

The first station was opened on 4 June 1838 as Maidenhead[1][2] (referred to as Maidenhead Riverside in some publications).[3] The station was the terminus of the Great Western Railway for just over a year until the opening of Maidenhead Railway Bridge and the line to Twyford on 1 July 1839.[4] The station was renamed Maidenhead and Taplow in August 1854.[2] It was constructed of wood, and situated west of the skew bridge that carries the railway over the Bath Road (the modern A4),[5] near grid reference SU909812.

With the opening of the present Maidenhead station ​1 12 miles to the west on 1 November 1871,[6] Maidenhead and Taplow station was renamed Taplow;[2] it was closed less than a year later on 1 September 1872,[7] when a new Taplow station was opened at its current location ​ 14 mile to the east.[8] As with Burnham station, the actual station is a significant distance south of the village that it takes its name from.

Current station

The current station was opened on 1 September 1872.[7] It was probably designed by GWR architect J. E. Danks, and largely dates from the quadrupling of the line, with dual gauge main line tracks. It is unusually large and grand in appearance, despite the fact it only serves a relatively small number of passengers during the day. The first reason for this was because several major GWR shareholders lived nearby and therefore used the station in Victorian times. The second being that it was always intended to be part of a high quality network of stations for commuters using the GWR.

During World War II Taplow station played an important part of transporting tanks stored at "the dump" which is now at the site of Slough Trading Estate. The concrete and steel reinforced road that was laid to take the weight of the tanks can still be found in the station's south car park. Just to the north of the station on a rail siding was a large Barbed wire dump. The siding has long since been removed, the remaining noticeable incline being partially occupied by the nearby SGT car dealership buildings.

The remaining buildings of the station are outwardly little changed since their original construction. The station has been used in a scene from the film Highly Dangerous and in the album cover of the 1973 album Back to the future by Man. The south car park and platform 1 buildings were used in filming as Cambridge Station for Chariots of Fire but the sequence does not seem to have been used in the released cut of the film. The station and the south car park also featured in the 1981 series Shillingbury Tales. In 2003, the station was used in a scene in the BBC TV comedy series Catterick, starring Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. Renamed with signs, it played the part of Northallerton station for its bit part in the show. The station is mentioned in the book The Secret Places of the Heart by H. G. Wells.

2006 refurbishment

In 2006, the 1884 built station footbridge underwent a major refurbishment costing £250,000.[9] The footbridge was in a very poor state of repair before the work began. This project also included a repaint of the station buildings, partial resurfacing of the island platforms and renewal of the flower beds. The refurbishment was completed in time for the 2006 World Rowing Championships at Dorney Lake, which used a shuttle bus service to transport spectators to and from the event. During the duration of the event, the station briefly had a Sunday service. The station was heavily used during the London 2012 Olympics, because of the rowing and canoeing events at Dorney Lake.

Services

A British Rail Class 165 at Taplow, next to the ticket office

All services at the station are operated by Great Western Railway. The station is served by two trains per hour from Monday to Saturday, with no service on Sunday. All eastbound services terminate at London Paddington, while westbound services normally terminate at Reading with some extended to Didcot Parkway or Oxford.[10] Since January 2018, the majority of services at the station have been operated by Class 387 'Electrostar' electric multiple units.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Maidenhead   Great Western Railway
Great Western Main Line
  Burnham
  Future Development  
Preceding station   Elizabeth line roundel.svg National Rail logo.svg Crossrail   Following station
towards Reading
Crossrail
Elizabeth line
towards Abbey Wood

Future development

Elizabeth line services will serve the station from December 2019.

There are plans for Taplow to be served by the Elizabeth line from December 2019[11]. Trains calling at the station will terminate at Reading in the west, and either Shenfield or Abbey Wood via Central London in the east. Various improvement works are been made at the station, with the refresh of many station facilities and the installation of lifts at the station for step free access. This is in addition to the work carried out as part of the modernisation of the Great Western main line, which includes the modernisation of signalling systems and the electrification of the line between London Paddington and Cardiff.

From December 2019, there will be four trains per hour serving the station in each directions, calling at most stations on the Western branch of the Elizabeth line. Short platforms mean that selective door opening will be used at the station, which can only support 6 car trains and platform lengthening has been deemed unfeasible.

Facilities

The station seen from the northern approach road

The station retains the Victorian era ticket office, with a footbridge linking the platforms. The station is equipped with ticket vending machines (TVM) and modern customer information screens, and has a CCTV monitored car park[12]. The station is currently been modernised in preparation for Elizabeth line services from December 2019, which includes the installation of Oyster pads for contactless payment and step free access from street to the train. The station was previously refurbished by First Great Western, who installed a bike shelter at the station and refurbished the toilets. The station has received 'Secure Station' accreditation from the British Transport Police.

The station is a popular location for railway photographers and enthusiasts owing to the secluded location, long views of track alignments and the low number of station users at off-peak times. When a special train is due, the footbridge and platforms will usually have a large number of photographers and enthusiasts along them. The original footbridge dating from 1884 has now finally been removed in totality and replaced by a second temporary structure. The refurbishment of the lattice footbridge (damaged by railway contractors) appears to have been cancelled and plans seem to be afoot to build one at the London end of the station with lifts.


Notes

  1. ^ MacDermot 1927, p. 55.
  2. ^ a b c Butt 1995, p. 152.
  3. ^ Over 2001, para. 4.
  4. ^ MacDermot 1927, p. 92.
  5. ^ MacDermot 1927, p. 54.
  6. ^ MacDermot 1927, p. 89.
  7. ^ a b Butt 1995, p. 227.
  8. ^ MacDermot 1927, p. 57.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 3 November 2006. 
  10. ^ "Great Western Railway - January 2018 timetable (T10)" (PDF). 2018-01-03. 
  11. ^ "Taplow station". Crossrail. Retrieved 2017-12-13. 
  12. ^ "National Rail Enquiries - Station facilities for Taplow". www.nationalrail.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-03. 

References

  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  • MacDermot, E.T. (1927). History of the Great Western Railway, vol. I: 1833-1863. Paddington: Great Western Railway. 
  • Over, Luke (September 2001). Delaney, Peter, ed. "The Railway Comes to Maidenhead". Wargrave Local History Society. Archived from the original on 25 March 2005. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 

Coordinates: 51°31′26″N 0°40′52″W / 51.524°N 0.681°W / 51.524; -0.681

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