The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On Hounslow Station

These are my thoughts in no particular order.

Step-Free Access

There are only eight railway stations in the London Borough of Hounslow and only Chiswick and Hounslow stations are not step-free and no plans have been published about creating fully-accessible stations.

This is the rather old-fashioned footbridge at Hounslow station.

Current Train Service

The main current Off Peak train service is four trains per hour (tph) using the Hounslow Loop Line, which conveniently pass each other in the station.

There are also two tph between Waterloo and Weybridge, which means the station has a six tph service.

There are also a couple of extra services in the Peak.

Hounslow Track Layout

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the track layout at Hounslow station.

The crossovers on either side of the station probably allow trains to be turned back at the station.

A train arriving from London, which is to the North East would do the following.

  • Stop in the Southern Platform 2.
  • Wait whilst the driver changes ends.
  • Return to London using the North Eastern crossover to change to the correct track.

It would probably take between three and four minutes.

West London Orbital

Hounslow station has been proposed to be one of the terminals of the new West London Orbital Railway.

It will have four tph from West Hampstead Thameslink via the Dudding Hill Line.

How will these trains be trains be turned?

Use The Existing Track Layout

There appears to be almost fifteen minutes gaps between trains through the station, so would it be possible to use the existing North-East crossover and the Southern Platform 2 to turn the trains?

When you consider, that London Overground generally allow between five and twelve minutes to turn a train, timing could be tight. Especially, if the driver needed to take a toilet break!

And what would happen, if a train failed or there were several passengers of limited mobility to unload from or load on the train?

I feel, that this current method would only be used as a little-used fallback.

A Turnback Siding

This Google Map shows the station and the track to the South West.

Note that there is probably enough space to put a turnback siding to the South West of the station, with some realignment of the tracks.

This method was used at West Croydon station by services on the East London Line, but recently, the service has started to use the bay platform at the station.

  • The train would stop in Platform 2 and unload the passengers.
  • It would move to the turnback.
  • At the appropriate time it would move into Platform 1 and load passengers.

It would then be ready to start the service to West Hamstead Thameslink.

A Bay Platform

This Google Map shows the North-Eastern (London) end of the station.

There is a road called Whitton Road alongside the station, where a London-facing bay platform would be built. The crossover would need to be rebuilt to allow trains from London to cross into the bay platform.

But operationally, it would be easier.

  • Returning trains to West Hampstead Thameslink would not block the Hounslow Loop Line.
  • Passengers using the West London Orbital would only cross the line, if they were continuing their journey from Platform 2..
  • I doubt many passengers arriving in Platform 2 would want to use the West London Orbital.
  • Passengers with reduced mobility changing between the West London Orbital and bus, car or taxi at Hounslow station would have a step-free route between street and train.
  • Drivers would have time for a comfort break.

I will be very surprised if a bay platform is not built to handle the West London Orbital.

A Rebuilt Station

If the West London Orbital is built, which I feel would be highly sensible, the station will probably need to be remodelled to incorporate a bay platform to turn trains.

The footbridge at the station will also need to be replaced with a fully-accessible one.

So Hounslow station will probably need to go through a thorough refurbishing, if not a full rebuild.

September 9, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Just a little correction but both platforms at Chiswick station are step-free. The London-bound platform has a flat entrance to Station Parade and the E3 bus stops and the Hounslow-bound platform has a ramp to a path to Grove Park Road and the 272 bus stops. Just pointing this out as a local!

    Comment by F | September 13, 2019 | Reply

    • Thanks! That means Hounslow is the only one that isn’t step free!

      Comment by AnonW | September 13, 2019 | Reply


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