Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Western - Windsor review 1


13/11/07 Slough to Windsor & Eton Central

Cost of ticket £1.80 (single)

Dept Slough: 13.20    Arrive Windsor & Eton Central: 13.26

Journey time: 6 minutes

Distance: 3 miles  Weather: cloudy

Train type: Class 165 2-car Network Turbo DMU  (single track all the way)

Railway company: First Great Western

Frequency of trains - one every half hour

Slough station is a large Victorian station with six platforms and two different entrances. A few Paddington expresses do stop here in addition to the half hourly service to Windsor just a few miles away. My train leaves from platform 1 and moves southwestwards away from the Great Western mainline. We go into a small cutting with two tracks, but the other track merges with ours. We then go on an embankment high above the terraced houses on either side of us. The scenery changes to industrial units, before we go under the M4 motorway and emerge into open countryside. Much of it is lakes and former gravel pits as we see Windsor Castle in the distance on the left. We are now on a viaduct slightly above the fields, with main roads to our right. We get a great view of the castle briefly and then cross over the River Thames and into the town of Windsor. We are still on the embankment as a plane coming into Heathrow flies above us. We look down on car parks and shopping areas as we come to a stop at Windsor and Eton station, which sadly just has the one platform now. As you come into the station proper you get a sense of how big it used to be. There's a steam locomotive on display among all the coffee shops and the designer outlets that now fill up the old station hall.

Summary: A very short branch line, which will no doubt continue for a long time yet.   MC