Furze Platt railway station
The Wycombe Railway (WR), part of which now forms the greater portion of the Marlow branch line, opened between Maidenhead and High Wycombe in 1854, and the first station out of Maidenhead was Cookham.
The Great Western Railway absorbed the Wycombe Railway in 1867 and opened "Furze Platt Halt" on 5 July 1937 to serve the area's growing population. British Rail renamed the station "Furze Platt" on 5 May 1969.
The station is served by local services operated by First Great Western between Maidenhead and Marlow. Train services in each direction are hourly during the day, and roughly half-hourly at peak times.
The single platform station has basic facilities including an open-sided shelter, seating, and a ticket office, which is open during the morning peak period. The station is next to a level crossing on Harrow Lane, Maidenhead.
Unfortunately the crossing outside the station holds the record of the most miss-used level crossing on the Western route. However Network Rail and British Transport Police are working hard together to ensure that this is no longer the case.
History of the line
In July 1846, The Wycombe Railway Company was incorporated by an Act of Parliament. The act authorised the construction of a single line from the original Great Western Railway (GWR) station at Maidenhead, to High Wycombe. Construction began in 1852, and the completed line to High Wycombe, was finally opened on 1 August 1854. The line left the GWR main line at the site of the present Maidenhead station, the first stop of which was Maidenhead (Wycombe Junction), renamed in the 1860s, Boyne Hill. This station was closed on 1 November 1871 upon the opening of the present Maidenhead station. The Wycombe Railway Company was taken over by GWR on 1 February 1867.
In August 1867 the business men of Great Marlow met to discuss a connection with the GWR Wycombe Branch line, at the station then called Marlow Road. The Great Marlow Railway Act was given Royal Assent on 13 July 1868 with an authorized capital of £18,000. Only about one third of this was raised locally and the GWR supplied the remainder. The 2.75 miles (4.43 km) line opened on 27 June 1873, and Marlow Road was renamed Bourne End in 1874 to avoid confusion. The Marlow company maintained the line and supplied the station staff, whilst the GWR supplied and operated the rolling stock. The no. 522, GWR 517 Class 0-4-2 saddle tank locomotive (built at Wolverhampton in 1868), was affectionately known as the Marlow Donkey. No. 522 was rebuilt at Swindon Works in 1884 and similar Metro 2-4-0 class locomotives remained in service until 1935 when autotrains were introduced.
The GWR acquired the remainder of the capital and owned the line from 1897.
Part of the original reason for the line, connecting High Wycombe to London, was removed by the opening in 1906 of the Great Western and Great Central Joint Railway which provided direct connections from High Wycombe to London Paddington and London Marylebone. In July 1962 the steam locomotive was replaced with a Diesel multiple unit. The service was gradually cut back through to 1969, by which time Marlow station had been demolished and replaced by a smaller one on the site of the former goods yard. Loudwater and Wooburn Green lost their ticket offices, Loudwater had been reduced to a single track halt and Cookham lost its passing loop. Finally, on 2 May 1970 the stretch of line from Bourne End to High Wycombe was closed to passengers after the Minister of Transport at the time refused to grant the British Railways Board £60,000 to keep the line open from Bourne End to High Wycombe