Staines to Windsor Line

Staines to Windsor Line
Type Suburban rail, Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Berkshire
South East England
Opened 1848/9
Owner Network Rail
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 750 V DC Third rail

Staines to Windsor Line

Windsor & Eton Riverside
Black Potts Bridge
over River Thames
Black Potts Viaduct
over Jubilee River
Mays Level Crossing
Datchet Level Crossing

Staines and West Drayton Railway
World War II Link (1940–1947)
Reversing point for oil trains
Oil Terminal Link (1981–1991)
Oil Terminal
Staines West(1885–1965)
Staines High Street(1884–1916)

Waterloo to Reading Line
to Reading
Waterloo to Reading Line
to London Waterloo

The Staines to Windsor Line is a National Rail suburban railway line in England operated by South West Trains. It branches from the Waterloo to Reading Line at Staines-upon-Thames in Surrey and runs to Windsor in Berkshire.


The line from Richmond through Staines to Datchet was opened on 22 August 1848 by the Windsor, Staines and South Western Railway under the auspices of the London and South Western Railway(L&SWR) and reached Windsor on 1 December 1849. The line was electrified in 1930 at 660 V DC (since raised to 750 V) on the third rail system by the Southern Railway.

Connections to Staines West Branch

The L&SWR opposed connection with the Staines West Branch but three separate connections have existed. The earliest was through the sidings of the Staines Linoleum Company and would have required use of turntables or reversals to pass wagons between the lines. In World War II a single track spur was laid from just south of Yeoveney Halt facing up on the Staines to Windsor Line as a diversionary route should cross-London routes be blocked by bombing, this link existed from 23 June 1940 to 16 December 1947 but was little used. The last, laid in 1981 when the Staines West Branch was severed by the M25 motorway, was to an oil terminal built in the former goods yard of Staines West station and lasted until 1991.


The service frequency is two trains per hour in each direction every day except early on Sunday mornings when it is one per hour. From Windsor to London Waterloo takes about 55 minutes, some 20 minutes longer than the quickest journeys to London Paddington from the other station at Windsor, Windsor & Eton Central, although according to Network Rail timetables, the journey time to many central London locations is similar from both stations.

The Sunday service is roughly the same, but limited services pass through Wraysbury and Sunnymeads without stopping on this day.

Services on the line run beyond Staines to London Waterloo, running a fast service which calls at these stations:

Train and Platform lengths

Trains run in eight- or ten-car lengths, although shorter four- and five-car trains may be used at times.

The platforms at Sunnymeads and Datchet are too short for the long trains. At these stations selective door opening is used to prevent passengers alighting from the rearmost coaches.

Proposed enhancements

A 2008 proposal was for the AirTrack scheme to provide a new link to Heathrow, including a station near the site of the former Staines High Street railway station.[1] Although Airtrack was dropped by BAA, it has not died altogether as in 2011 Wandsworth Council proposed 'AirTrack Lite' and in September 2013, the Airports Commission wrote to the Department for Transport saying:

'We think there is a case to look again at rail access to Heathrow from the south. This may involve revisiting the AirTrack proposal or developing fresh ideas.
Sir Howard Davies, Surface Access Letter, Airports Commission

The Windsor Link Railway also proposes a solution for southern rail access to Heathrow as well as linking to Slough via a tunnel in Windsor.


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  1. Heathrow Airtrack. Consultation Brochure 2. October 2008, p7.
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