Sunday, May 06, 2007

Branching out

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am currently embroiled in the process of selling my home, and buying another. The location of the new abode will be either Eton or Windsor, which leads me into a new transport situation.
Windsor and Eton Central station is linked by a branch line into Slough, from where I can catch the fast service into London Paddington. I'm expecting a whole new world of fun and games, as of course, the branch line is also run by FGW, oh joy!
Wikipedia tells me it's believed the branch was built for Queen Victoria's convenience, travelling between Windsor Castle and London. I bet she wouldn't have put up with any nonsense about the wrong sort of leaves on the line.
Windsor Station opened in 1849, on the completion of the branch line from Slough, but only after considerable opposition from the powers at Eton College, who were convinced that the proximity of a railway would lead the Eton boys astray. I wonder if it did.
And that's the problem with all the toffee-nosed locations in the Thames Valley. Residents didn't welcome the new railway, and didn't want stations nearby, as it was feared that letting all sorts of riff-raff in was undesirable. Unfortunately, these days it means that those of us who want to live in posh areas like Henley and Windsor have to deal with the branch line scenario. Much more sensible options would be Reading, Maidenhead or Slough. Serves me right for being a snob I suppose. Once I'm firmly esconsed in the new home, I'll let you know how it goes. Does anyone have any fun branch line stories to impart?


Anonymous said...

FGW/DafT think the Portsmouth - Cardiff route is a branch line.

Anonymous said...

I think it might be a little unwise to move from Pangbourne to Windsor if your primary reason for moving is the poor train service. FGW services from Windsor - Slough/Slough - Paddington are similarly diabolical. I speak from experience as one who commutes every day from Burnham or Slough into London and has done so for the past 5 years.

Depending on where in London you work, you might find it better to take the SWT train services to Waterloo despite the fact that they're slow. At least you would get a seat (and you could sit in first class without a first class ticket as the morning peak services are 'declassified').

Dan said...

I go on the marlow branch line (maidenhead-Furzeplatt-Cookham-Bourne End- Marlow)

I would hardly call it a great line as all we get is a 165 2 car dmu and a 29 minute jjourney to just go beepping 8 miles.

I get on at Furze platt which is a small platform with a small shelter and no one there at all. there is no sign to show a station is there and whenever i walk down the platform it smells like rotton eggs.

1 thing i do like about it is once in a while we get a carpetted air conditoned 166 for half the journey LOL.