|This page arose from a discussion on
uk.railways about the line between South Ruislip and
Paddington via Greenford. There is usually one
train each day in each direction which is run mainly
to maintain route knowledge among Chiltern's
drivers. This discussion taxed the memories of
My own memories go back to 1969 when the route from Paddington was still in quite intensive use by trains for Birmingham and Birkenhead. Between South and West Ruislip the GW route was the centre two tracks without any access to platforms. The two outer tracks were used by Marylebone trains.
As an aside, the waste handling depot at Northolt did not exist so there were no binliner trains from there or elsewhere as far as I remember. There were freight trains, including coal to Chinnor.
So first a historical picture, probably from about 2010 .
Taken from bing.com/maps. It is not possible to date the photo but it is long before the recent changes at South Ruislip.
The train of bins is coming off the Greenford line, not the depot at Northolt. It is going on to the erstwhile Up Paddington line which was presumably bi-directionally signalled.
Not far off this picture to the left there was trailing crossover. The binliners from Northolt would have had to follow the same route.
Three photos taken yesterday 24 October 2016 .
This view tells the whole story. It is taken from South Ruislip Down platform. Approaching is a 165 from Marylebone, heading for High Wycombe which took us to Gerrards Cross. There is no connection from the main Marylebone Down line to this platform. That Down line crosses the road bridge between two steel structures, a space that was formerly occupied by both Up and Down Paddington lines. This is the only access to the Paddington line.
More detail of the routes to and from the east. On the right the line from Marylebone, centre the line to and from Paddington with the siding to the left to the Northolt rubbish handling centre. The single line Paddington route at this point uses the old Up formation, hence the rather exaggerated curve.
To reach the rubbish depot or the Paddington line, trains from the west use a facing crossover east of West Ruislip station and then branch right to take this road. At West Ruislip, these trains can either use the through Up line or the platform line which extends perhaps half a mile eastward before rejoining the through line. Yesterday we saw a train of hoppers waiting in this line, certainly going to use the Paddington line and probably the Greenford branch.
Finally, a quick look at two trains on the Marylebone route The Northhold rubbish handling building is in the background. 172103 Down train is just coming off the entirely new formation, the Up train in the distance is on the original formation having been through a fast curve rather than a slow junction in the foreground.
I hope this might settle a few arguments - it was, of course, an interesting journey.
There is some other material on this site about this railway, including quite a lot about the work that resulted in the much faster line. It was a surprise to be reminded that it was as long ago as 2011! That probably means that the first photo on this page is older than I thought - perhaps 2008.
To have a look at the work, click here, to see the first day of use, click here.
A late addition to the page after firstname.lastname@example.org corrected my assumptions shows the widened Up platform and the spaces between the metal frames of the road bridge. An additional confirmation of the Up platform widening is clear from the positions, top right, of the buildings on both platforms which are over the staircases. Thanks email@example.com
Guy Gorton 25/10/2016