REALLY SideTracked - Slough Estates Railway Traditional Geocache
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Cache is now a magnetic nano, initials only. No date required.
This cache is placed close to the former Platform area of the Slough Trading Estates railway which ran between Slough Railway station and the Trading estate. (now all removed and redeveloped)
Photo by and with permission from Gordon Edgar
Click here to go to the more photos by Gordan Edgar.
The line was built in 1917, running from the main line into the newly built WW1 depot which serviced and maintained vehicles damaged from war in Europe. It was known locally as the Slough Dump as this was where broken vehicles were dumped, either to be repaired or cannibalised. By 1919 there were over 5300 contractors working at the Slough Dump and the biggest complaint was the difficulty of getting to and from work. The railway carried the freight and the broken vehicles into the depot but no passengers. The closest Station for the workers was Burnham Beeches. (Now known as Burnham) Workers had a long walk to the depot entrance, through the main security gates, which were closed and locked at 8am! Once closed Workers had a longer walk to another set of gates to gain access into the Depot.
The situation became so bad the GWR built a terminus station within the depot for Passenger trains from Slough and Paddington, with only platform status.
It provided two 1,000ft island platforms illuminated by electric lights and a wooden overbridge (Which was seldom used and quickly removed), leaving passengers to cross the tracks at designated points.
Passengers arriving to work at Slough Depot
At first trains ran into both platforms but by 1924 services were reduced and only the Southern platform was in general use. The Northern platform never saw passengers again and the tracks were used wholly as sidings.
In 1947 there was a service of two trains into the depot station from Paddington and one from Slough, with four outgoing to Paddington though this was reduced to two in 1948. Trains Terminating at Slough went into a bay platform – at the west end of the station, between Platforms 3 and 4 (Now filled in). Examination of the platform canopies at Slough will reveal a gap where the canopies do not meet. This was where the bay platform track was, and the gap was to allow steam from the engines to escape.
The service to Slough was classed by GWR as a 'Workmens service' as deemed by the Cheap Trains Act of 1883 to give regular travellers to work a reduced fare, although the defination of who was or was not a 'worker' was always in question.
There was no ticket collections at the depot station although there was a small ticket office a short distance from the station at the corner of Liverpool Road and Buckingham Avenue.
The service continued until shortly after nationalisation of the railways, soon after Slough Estates were faced with the prospect of maintaining the station, an expense previously borne by GWR. By now many workers were living in Slough and very few used the service and it was closed in 1956.
[Not the buffers that they had in mind.]
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