The Elizabeth line could gain an additional station near Twyford in Berkshire, if a large housing development next to the railway gets approval to be built. The station, and the housing development, could be known as Twyford Gardens, and is a development of around 2,500 new homes being planned by Berkeley Group to the east of the town, in an area that’s currently mostly fields.

Concept image (c) Berkeley Homes

The new train station, assuming it’s built, would sit to the south of the new housing estate and would be designed for both the Elizabeth line and GWR services, and would include an interchange for local buses.

Berkeley says that it has undertaken feasibility work with rail experts, SLC Rail and Systra to show that a four-platform station could be built next to a widened road bridge that already runs over the railway.

They also say that there’s a “positive business case” for the new station based on the increased population in the area using the station.

However, as residents in East London have learned recently, with the Beam Park station, it will be vital to secure an agreement from the Department for Transport before anything is built to ensure the station will get approval to open.

The other difficulty is that the new station, Twyford Gardens would be less than 2 minutes from the existing station at Twyford, which is not ideal for a rail service outside of a major town or city, and splits the fares revenue between two stations with two sets of running costs.

An alternative option, which has presumably been looked at and dismissed, would be to build a new station, but halfway between old and new station, as there is land available for both station and car park, if local roads can cope with the traffic. Even if possible, it would however also be a more expensive option, as the existing Twyford town centre station includes a junction for a rail spur up to Henley-on-Thames, so that track may need extending to the new station to avoid conflicting with other services.

The other difficulty facing the developer is that the land they want to build on is currently designated as London Metropolitan Green Belt, which makes it harder, but not impossible, to develop for housing. The area was also omitted from the Wokingham Borough’s recent local development plans, although there is an update being planned which could see that change.

Even if it’s approved, it’ll still be many years before a new station at Twyford Gardens opens.

Development area (c) Berkeley Homes

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7 comments
  1. Dob Russell says:

    The trouble with building new stations on the GWR line between Didcot and London is the format of the 4 running lines. Unlike the London-Basingstoke 4 lines where the slow/stopping lines are on the outer lines and the fast lines are in the middle (with platforms on the outside and, therefore, easier to build) the GWR’s slow lines are the left-hand pair of lines (looking towards London) with the fast lines being the right hand pair. To bulid a station at Twyford Gardens would require a major track realignment to accommodate an island platform, so will probably never happen. A similar proposal for a commuter station between Twyford and Reading (near Sonning) never happened for the same reason.

  2. Melvyn says:

    If one looks at stations on the east side of Crossrail/ Elizabeth Line one can see how close some stations like Stratford and Maryland are to each other.

    In fact when one looks at a map it’s noticeable how the GWR has far fewer stations than on the eastern side but this is historically because the GWR preferred long distance travel compared to local commuter travel that other railways encouraged with closely spaced stations. Together with Beeching cuts I suppose.

    Surely, given the closeness of these stations only platforms to serve Elizabeth Line services are required with GWR skipping this station .

    • David Goddard says:

      Stratford and Maryland are in a densely built up part of Greater London, Twyford is not…..

  3. ChrisC says:

    Doesn’t every extra stop increase the end to end journey time by a minute and requires a whole new train set to maintain service levels?

    I recall that been one of the reasons why a stop at LCY wasn’t popular.

  4. Tom says:

    This is merely another case of a property developer promising would-be buyers the world, and driving up interest, when knowing full well it’s not ever going to happen.

    Twyford is already the quietest station on the entire Elizabeth line. At another huge development nearby of 3,500 new homes in Aborfield on the old army garrison, they were promised a shop, and they haven’t even managed that.

    I doubt 2,500 new homes would justify a new station and causing huge disruption on a major transport link into the capital, especially when they park up and just get the train at, I don’t know… Twyford?!

  5. Alastair Fraser says:

    As someone’s already mentioned above, there was a proposal to build a station at nearby Thames Valley Park on the edge of Reading and Woodley that would have been next to a P and R, a huge business park, large town mostly unserved by rail (Woodley) and a congested road into Reading.
    Unfortunately, there’s no capacity on the GWML lines into Reading for extra stations.

    They could extend the Henley branch as a tram train through Twyford centre to the new development, but that would be much more expensive than a station, so will probably be unfeasible.

    If they managed to find some magic extra capacity, a station further up the long gap between Twyford and Maidenhead off Cannon Lane in Woodlands Park, next to White Waltham Airfield is more feasible, due to the abundance of space along the railway corridor for platform loops in order to preserve line capacity in the area. It’s close to a junction on the A404 (M), not far from the M4 for use as a Park and Ride (which there is land for) and serves a currently unserved large residential area on the edge of Maidenhead. There is an existing railway access point with large area of hardstanding at the proposed station site. Bus stops for 3 different routes within a 5 min walk.

  6. Tom Hawtin says:

    At the risk of crayons, if the Henley services alternately terminated at Maidenhead and Reading (or Reading Green Park) then Crossrail services wouldn’t need to stop at Twyford. Beam Park and Thames Valley Park are ideal for local services.

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