The station is on the original line of the Great Western Railway, which opened as far as Reading in 1840. The original Maidenhead Station lay east of the Thames, not far from the present Taplow station. This was the line's first terminus, pending the completion of the Sounding Arch (Maidenhead Railway Bridge) bridge over the river. In 1854, the Wycombe Railway Company built a line from Maidenhead to High Wycombe, with a station on Castle Hill, at first called "Maidenhead (Wycombe Branch)", later renamed "Maidenhead Boyne Hill". However, there was no station on the present site until 1871, when local contractor William Woodbridge built it. Originally, it was called "Maidenhead Junction", but eventually it came to replace the Boyn Hill station as well as the original station on the Maidenhead Riverside.
History of the Line
The original station at Maidenhead was built a mile from the town centre close to Dumb Bell bridge over the Bath Road (close to the present Taplow station GC4E2BY).
The purpose of this location was so that the railway could take passengers from the busy coach traffic that travelled between London and the West Country. Built using two platforms and wooden buildings, it was very successful at 'tapping' into this market.
Another consideration was that although Brunel's Maidenhead Railway Bridge was completed in 1838, it was not brought into use until 1st July 1839. It is thought that the Great Western board directors did not believe that the bridge - due its flat design - would not hold the weight of the trains, and ordered Brunel to leave the wooden frame work used to construct the arches in place. However, Brunel simply lowered the framework slightly so that it had no structural effect, but appeared to be in place. Later, when the framework was washed away in floods, but the bridge remained, the strength of the arches was accepted.
Realising their error in serving the town though, the Great Western directors planned a move nearer to the centre of Maidenhead, but this did not take place until 1871. Meanwhile, in 1854, a station was built on the Wycombe branch line to serve the town called Maidenhead Boyne Hill. situated on Castle Hill close to the point where the line passes under the Bath Road the present day A4. (GC4EGJH).