The Anonymous Widower

Walking The Proposed Route Of The Windsor Link Railway

There is a proposal called the Windsor Link Railway to link the two railway lines running into Windsor end-to-end and put a new station in the Goswells area of the town. This is the schematic of the route through Windsor clipped from Wikipedia.

Windsor LinkRailway

Windsor LinkRailway


Wikipedia also says this about Phase 1 of the project.

Phase 1 of the scheme would run from Slough to Staines, via Chalvey, Windsor, Datchet, Wraysbury and Sunnymeads.

A new all-in-one station in the Windsor Goswells (Windsor Royal) would replace the existing two nearby stations (Riverside and Central).

I took a train to Windsor & Eton Riverside station and then walked across the town vaguely following the route of the proposed cut-and-cover tunnel to Windsor & Eton Central station, where I got a train to Slough to change for London.

These pictures document the walk.

This is a Google Map of the area.

Windsor Stations

Windsor Stations

You can pick out the two stations, the coach and car parks and the tennis courts, with the Windsor and Slough Rail Line curving away to the North.

If you follow the proposed route from the Riverside station, it would be in a cut-and-cover tunnel passing in front of the Bel And The Dragon and probably through the car park and gardens to cross Goswell Road and then go through the coach and car park.

The building of the tunnel, looks like it would not require the demolition of any buildings, although it is likely that the gardens, the tennis courts and the bowling green would probably have to be relaid. The degree of difficulty of such a construction would probably be similar to that for the new tram/train tunnel being constructed in Karlsruhe, that I wrote about in this post.  One of the important Crossrail projects, the Acton Dive Under would probably have used similar skills to those needed to construct the proposed tunnel under the streets of Windsor. Except that the Acton Dive Under is being built in a the middle of a busy four track railway and the Windsor Tunnel will be built in a busy town-centre road.

In everything written about the Windsor Link Railway, I can’t find any statement as whether the tunnel will be single or double track. When you bear in mind that the Windsor and Slough Rail Line is single track, I would not be surprised if the tunnel was also designed the same way, with perhaps a station with two platforms. The reason it’s not been stated, could be they’re keeping their options open.

I think that as the Windsor Tunnel will probably be not much more than five hundred metres in length and as it will only be used by electric trains, that it could be a simple design with a built in walkway like the Docklands Light Railway tunnels or the Canal Tunnels at Kings Cross. This would mean that large ventilation and evacuation shafts probably will not be needed. This would of course cut the cost of building the Windsor Tunnel.

Once at the viaduct, the track or tracks would have to climb onto the viaduct. The viaduct is surprisingly wide and is surrounded on both sides by car and coach parks, as is shown in this Google Map.

Windsor Viaduct And Car Parks

Windsor Viaduct And Car Parks

,I think that modifying the viaduct to connect the two lines would probably not be as difficult as the creation of the Bermondsey Dive Under, where space was at a premium and they wanted to thread a double up-and-down, between three other lines.

If you look at the schematic map of this line through Windsor, at the top of this page, you’ll see they have put a station called Windsor Royal in the middle of the Windsor Tunnel. And by it in the diagram is a big blue P, which probably signifies parking.

So will the proposed Windsor Royal station be either in on under the car and coach parks by the side of the viaduct?

As to its final design, that depends on the type and number of tracks and the skill of the architect and engineers.

One of the early things that must be decided, as it effects the design of Windsor Tunnel, Windsor Royal station and the line to Slough, is whether the line will be electrified to 25 kVAC overhead or 750VDC third rail, as Slough will soon be electrified to the former standard and Windsor and Eton Riverside is electrified to the latter. If the trains are going to go past Slough, perhaps to Reading or Oxford, and still run into Waterloo, the trains will have to be capable of handling both voltages, so something like the new Class 700 trains, that are being purchased for Thameslink, or something similar would fit the bill.

As the tunnel size required for a train using third-rail electrification is smaller, as you don’t have to accommodate the overhead wires, I would suspect that like on Thameslink, where the voltage changeover is at Farringdon station, that the pantograph will go up and down at Windsor Royal station.

As only one track is needed on the viaduct and it would obviously be easier and more affordable to only have one track leading to the viaduct, the line from Windsor Royal station to the viaduct will probably be single track, perhaps splitting just to the North of the station to allow a two platform station in between the tracks. After the Windsor Royal station, the tracks might combine again to allow a simple single-track tunnel to connect to the line for Datchet and beyond.

Wikipedia says that the two existing stations will be replaced by the new Windsor Royal, but the schematic at the top of this page, shows short spurs into the two existing stations. Is this a clue as to how the line will be built, whilst maintaining a train service that is essential to the lifeblood of Windsor and its residents, businesses and visitors?

I believe with good project management that virtually a full train service could be provided nearly all of the time, until a full connection is made through the Windsor Tunnel, at which point the existing stations can be closed.

I don’t know what those that are behind this project are thinking, but it has the air of a project that like all good projects has been designed in the garden or bar of a pub, whilst copious amounts of beer and other legal substances have been consumed.




June 8, 2015 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , ,


  1. […] The two current stations of Windsor & Eton Riverside and Windsor & Eton Central, would be closed and I doubt there would be any problems finding profitable uses for the sites. Since I wrote the original version of this post, I’ve been to Windsor and walked the route of the Windsor Link Railway through the town. […]

    Pingback by A Circular Tour Round Richmond, Twickenham And Vauxhall « The Anonymous Widower | June 8, 2015 | Reply

  2. […] I wrote Walking The Proposed Route Of The Windsor Link Railway, I was unsure about how they woud arrange the power supplies on the […]

    Pingback by Could IPEMUs Be Used On The Windsor Link Railway? « The Anonymous Widower | December 28, 2015 | Reply

  3. […] June last year I wrote Walking The Proposed Route Of The Windsor Link Railway. I felt afterwards that a single-track tunnel between the area of the Riverside station and a new […]

    Pingback by Is This One Of The Most Valuable Sites For New Development In The UK? « The Anonymous Widower | February 25, 2016 | Reply

  4. […] I detailed the route in Walking The Proposed Route Of The Windsor Link Railway. […]

    Pingback by Windsor Link Railway Becomes Serious « The Anonymous Widower | August 1, 2018 | Reply

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