This weekend, a cargo railway in West London saw humans transported instead of waste as the local heritage railway laid on shuttles using a restored steam rail-motor engine.

A rare chance for train geeks to ride along a bit of track, but one that could see a lot more traffic if plans by the local council are approved.


The railway line itself was opened in 1859 and ran from Southall down towards the Thames in Brentford. Although built mainly for freight, it still included two passenger stations and ran a regular passenger service.

In addition to the two railways stations, it also features an exceptional three-stage bridge where the railway runs underneath both the Grand Union Canal, which in turn runs under the local Windmill Road.

Of the two stations on the line, the most curious was Trumpers Crossing Halte, which was built basically in the middle of nowhere, and even today with the spread of London sprawl, would still be pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

Trumpers Crossing Halte was named after a local wood, which was in turn named after the local landowner who had objected to the railway in the first place, so to have a station indirectly named after him must have been especially galling. He had his revenge though, as the station next to nothing had next to no customers, and eventually closed in February 1926.

The other station, at the southern end of the line was Brentford GWR, which was right on the main high street, but still suffered from a lack of passengers and closed in 1942.

The railway building still remains, and you can see where the bridge would have run over the road.

Part of the reason why the line failed to gather passenger numbers was that the connection at Southall only faced westwards — there was no through connection to Paddington.

However, plans by the council would see a new station built in Brentford, although this time next to the A4 Great West Road and passenger services restored to Southall. The key difference this time being that Southall will also be a Crossrail station, so they hope to tap into that, as well as boosting plans to regenerate the area along the A4 in Brentford.

The line also passes right underneath the Picadilly line, but too far from the nearby Boston Manor station to make a connection there viable.

We wont see Trumper’s Crossing Halte restored though, which is a pity as it has a delightful name.


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One comment
  1. Kevin McCormack says:

    Yes, there’s not much chance of Trumpers Crossing Halte being resurrected because to reach it directly from the Hanwell side (from Green Lane) means walking across the canal lock gates! On the other side of the crossing is a large field.

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