Just under 150 years ago, a new railway line opened linking Shepperton to Twickenham. As with so many grand railway schemes, grand plans to expand it further came to nothing, but 150 years later, that little bit of railway is still there, and still very much in use.
Next month, slightly ahead of the anniversary date, they plan to hold a birthday party.
Originally known as The Thames Valley Railway, the Shepperton Branch Line was opened on the 1st Nov 1864 linking Twickenham to Shepperton. A triangular junction was added 30 years letting trains run both north to Twickenham, or south towards Teddington.
To celebrate, a whole host of goodies is being laid on by the railway and local community groups.
On display will be an 1885 London & South Western Railway steam loco and coach built in 1910 from The Bluebell Railway as well as a collection of vintage London buses.
There will also free bus tours on classic London buses.
An exhibition about the role of London’s buses and crews in World War 1 is being staged at the local Scouts hut.
A 48 page Souvenir Programme is being produced giving full details of the events and including a 24 page section on the history of Hampton Station, and a section on the role of London’s buses and crews in WWI. That will cost a fiver.
The whole lot takes place on 7th September, and run from 10am to 5pm.
Back in 1864, the very first train to run along the line left Waterloo at 7:35am, but sadly in 2014, there isn’t an exact match on the timetable.
The cost of the trip was 3 shillings in first class, down to 1 shilling and 7 pence for 3rd class. It may cost a bit more today.
For those of you of a particularly nerdish nature though, the railway line will still be running on the day, but trains will be diverted to/from London via Richmond rather than Wimbledon as it would normally run — so a bit of an unusual track movement to look out for.