West Byfleet platform layout

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adc82140

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I've always wondered this (and Google isn't helping me)- why does West Byfleet have such an unusual platform layout- there are platform faces on the down slow and down fast but in the up direction there's only a platform on the slow, not on the fast- and unlike say Esher or Walton on Thames, it looks like there's never been one on the up fast. Can anyone explain?
 
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AlterEgo

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Wondered this too - this station is now my local and the only explanation I can think of is that there's been a track realignment at some point.
 

swt_passenger

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West Byfleet opened in 1887 as a two platform station either side of a three track through railway. The additional line that became the down slow as we know it today was originally a short stub siding alongside the London end of the island - there were also additional goods sidings on the south side of the station.

When it came to four tracking further out towards Woking (I think later on around the turn of the 19th/20th centuries) it may just be that the simplest solution at this particular station was to carry on the down slow round the island that was already there. AIUI from various books the changes from the original two track to four track went through various transitional stages over quite a number of years, although I wasn't too familiar with the idea of three track sections, they are clearly drawn that way in old OS maps of the 1890s period if you look them up...
 
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jopsuk

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Hatfield has three platforms on a four track railway, with no Up Fast. The down platforms are an island, to the north of the Up Slow platform and station building. Quite a curious arrangement
 

adc82140

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West Byfleet opened in 1887 as a two platform station either side of a three track through railway. The additional line that became the down slow as we know it today was originally a short stub siding alongside the London end of the island - there were also additional goods sidings on the south side of the station.

Thanks for this. It's evolved in quite an unusual way. How about Surbiton and its up fast platform, but no platform on the down fast?
 

Phil.

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Hatfield has three platforms on a four track railway, with no Up Fast. The down platforms are an island, to the north of the Up Slow platform and station building. Quite a curious arrangement

That's because the original down platforms were demolished when the curve was eased during electrification and in preparation for high(er) speed running.
 

swt_passenger

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Thanks for this. It's evolved in quite an unusual way. How about Surbiton and its up fast platform, but no platform on the down fast?

Can't easily work out the exact reasons for that, I'm afraid. Surbiton was rebuilt completely in 1936 during electrification, resulting in the present layout.

The earlier layout was completely different, with platforms on four through lines with a central island and two side platforms, and a down bay which I'd assume allowed for branch services to Hampton Court, (similar to when they run a shuttle nowadays). But they would have been built for a railway that was still operated as paired by use, i.e. up main, down main, up local, down local.

So perhaps the overriding requirement was to provide the dedicated branch platform in the down direction leading to the fifth track to Hampton Court flyover, and there just wasn't room for a down fast platform face as well?
 

steamybrian

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Battersea Park- also has no up fast platform ( platforms on down/up slow and down fast).
 

Deepgreen

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Earlsfield similarly has no up fast platform, but that is due to demolition of the platform in days of yore. Surbiton is an oddity, but does have two up and two down platforms and therefore is less 'unbalanced' than some, such as West Byfleet. In reality, most of these stations only require up and down slow platforms and any additional ones from previous changes are superfluous today.
 

adc82140

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Do they still do the "first stop West Byfleet" evening peak hour trains out of Waterloo? Used to be very popular IIRC, despite for obvious reasons not being able to balance that in the mornings in the other direction.
 

swt_passenger

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It's also clear that the stretch between Waterloo and Woking was never really in a steady state over a period of about 60 years of incremental additions, quadrupling, then changing from paired by use to paired by direction, grade separation etc. Work was ongoing for the whole period between the line opening and the 1930s.

Picture for example "Raynes Park Junction" for the Epsom line being a flat junction on the present down side from 1859, with the station possibly not being built for another 20 years or so.

So there was probably never a standard pattern solution for station rebuilds, it must have all seemed a bit random for the rail enthusiasts of the time. I wonder if they complained about lack of progress?
 

greaterwest

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Do they still do the "first stop West Byfleet" evening peak hour trains out of Waterloo? Used to be very popular IIRC, despite for obvious reasons not being able to balance that in the mornings in the other direction.

2P59 the 1846 to Portsmouth Hbr via Guildford is 1st stop West Byfleet, but it appears to be the only one that is.
 
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