Click here for other railways.

Woking to London

Woking Station

Opened as Woking Common in 1838 as a terminus, by the London and Southampton Railway (L&SR) which connected London to Southampton, and renamed as Woking in 1843 by what was then the L&SR renamed as the London and South Western Railway (LSWR).

Woking became a junction with the opening of the Guildford Junction Railway (GJR) in 1845.

During the 1830's and 40's there was little incentive to build upon the heath land closer to London, owing to the costs involved in enclosing undeveloped land. It was the development of another part of the heath - by the London Necropolis and National Mausoleum Company in the 1850's - that really brought about the 'new' town of Woking. The remaining heath land was sold for development from 1855 onwards.

Funeral trains from London to Woking Cemetery first ran in 1849 before the opening of Brookwood Cemetery and branch line.

For photos of Woking visit David Hey's Collection Page 35.

Woking Common Station map mid 1800s.

Woking Station map late 1800s.

Woking Station map 1940s.

Woking Junction map late 1800s.

Woking Junction map late 1940s.

Woking Station around 1900.

Woking Station (Junction?) around 1900.

Woking Station 1930s.

West Byfleet Station

Opened in 1887 as Byfleet and Woodham, and renamed as West Byfleet.

Byfleet and Woodham 1920s.

West Byfleet 1940s.

West Byfleet Station 1962.

Byfleet and New Haw

Opened in 1927 as "West Weybridge" and changed to its present name in 1962.

Byfleet and New Haw 1940s.

Weybridge Station

Opened in 1838.

Weybridge Station, Brooklands, Weybridge Junction and the Byfleet Curve in 1920s.

Brooklands: was a motor racing circuit and aerodrome. It opened in 1907 and was the world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit as well as one of Britain's first airfields, which also became Britain's largest aircraft manufacturing centre by 1918. The last race was in 1939 and today part of it forms the Brooklands Museum. Watch Youtube Videos of Brooklands car racing.

Brooklands advert for the first day.

Walton-on-Thames Station

Opened in 1838 as Walton and Hersham Station.

Walton-on-Thames Station 1930s.

Hersham Station

Opened in 1936.

Hersham Station map 1950s.

Esher Station

Opened in 1838 as "Ditton Marsh", renamed "Esher and Hampton Court" around 1840, and again as " Esher and Claremont" in 1844, and finally "Esher" in 1913. The station gives access to Sandown Park Racecourse.

Sandown Park Racecourse: was one of the first courses to charge all for attending. It opened in 1875 and everyone had to pay at least half a crown.

Esher Station map early 1900s showing edge of racecourse.

Esher Station 1940's when it was signed as "Esher for Sandown Park".

Esher Station 1960's.

Hampton Court Junction map early 1900s showing Hampton Court Branch (built in 1849) to the north and the Guildford Line (opened in 1885) to the south.

Surbiton Station

The London and Southampton Railway intended its line to go via Kingston but Kingston Corporation objected, fearing a deleterious impact on their coaching trade, and the railway passed about 1.5 mi (2.4 km) south of the town with the first "Kingston" station opening in 1838 on the east side of King Charles Road. In 1840 it was resited 0.5 miles west to Surbiton, then little more than a farm.

Successive renamings of the station were "Kingston Junction" in 1852, "Surbiton and Kingston" in 1863 when the present Kingston railway station opened on the branch line, and "Surbiton" in 1867. The station was completely rebuilt in 1937 designed by J Robb Scott in an art deco style.

The station had a moderately sized goods yard which was situated on the eastern side of the station platforms. Two additional sidings were located on the western 'up' side of the station and were served by a short loading platform. In addition to local goods facilities, the main yard was also used as the loading point for the short lived Surbiton - Okehampton car carrier service that ran between 1960 and 1964. The main goods yard finally closed in 1971.

Surbiton and Kingston Station map late 1800s.

Surbiton Station map early 1900s.

Surbiton Station 1850.

Surbiton Station Art Deco.

Berrylands Station

Opened in 1933. Berrylands is one of the few stations around the London area still constructed with wooden platforms.

Berrylands map 1930s.

Berrylands Station 1960s.

New Malden Station

Opened in 1846 as "Malden", renamed "New Malden and Coombe" in 1859, and "Coombe and Malden" in 1862, and "Malden for Coombe" in1912, and "Malden" in 1955, and finally "New Malden" in 1957.

New Malden map 1930s showing Kingston Branch line.

New Malden early 1900s.

Raynes Park Station

Opened in 1871.

Raynes Park map 1920s showing Wimbledon and Epsom Branch line.

Raynes Park Station early 1900s.

Wimbledon Station

Originally opened in 1838 situated to the south of the current station on the opposite side of the Wimbledon Bridge.

In 1855, the Wimbledon and Croydon Railway (W&CR) opened the West Croydon to Wimbledon Line. In 1868 the Tooting, Merton and Wimbledon Railway (TM&WR) opened a line to Tooting Junction.

In 1889 the station was rebuilt on its current site for the opening of the District Railway (DR, now London Underground's District line). In the late 1920s the station was rebuilt again with its current Portland stone entrance building.

Wimbledon map late 1800s showing Engineering Works and Branch lines.

Wimbledon Bridge 1875.

Wimbledon Station.

Wimbledon Station early 1900s.

Wimbledon Station early 1900s.

Wimbledon Station early 1900s.

Wimbledon steam engine early 1900s.

Wimbledon West Yard looking south in 1927.

Earlsfield Station

Opened in 1884. Shown on maps as "Earlsfield and Summers Town".

Earlsfield Station map late 1800s.

Earlsfield Station early 1900s.

Wandsworth Station

Opened in 1838 and closed around 1858. Renamed "Clapham Common" in 1846. Built by the London and Southampton Railway as their first station out of London (Nine Elms), it was built on the side of what is now Battersea Rise as the line had curved to avoid the high ground at Clapham Common.

New Wandsworth Station was opened in 1858 by the West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway. It was on the south side of Battersea Rise opposite Clapham Common Station and closed in 1869.

Wandsworth map 1840s showing realtion to Nine Elms.

New Wandsworth station map 1870s - station no longer on the London and South Western Line.

Clapham Junction Station

Clapham Junction (in spite of being in Battersea) opened in 1863, a joint venture of the L&SWR, the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) and the West London Extension Railway (WLER) as an interchange station for their lines. Additional station buildings were erected in 1874 and 1876. Each company had its own platforms and booking office.

The line to Waterloo was opened in 1848 and the line to Victoria in 1860.

Clapham Junction Station map 1940s.

Early view of Clapham Junction Station looking north from Wandsworth Road bridge. The double track of the LSWR main line is seen on the left with three LBSCR tracks in the centre with the dual gauge tracks of the West London Extension Railway on the right.

Early view of Clapham Junction Station looking to the north.

Clapham Junction station 1889.

Clapham Junction Station staff early 1900s.

Clapham Junction Station entrance on St John’s Hill 1906.

Clapham Junction A signal box built 1907.

Clapham Junction today.

Clapham Junction route map 1912.

Queenstown Road Station

Opened in 1877 as "Queen's Road (Battersea)", and renamed "Queenstown Road (Battersea)" in 1980. By common use it is now called "Queenstown Road".

Queenstown Road Station map late 1800s.

Queenstown Road Station showing original name of Queen's Road.

Queenstown Road Station 1980s.

Queenstown Road Station platforms.

Longhedge Junction bridge over Queenstown Road Station showing evidence of GWR broad gauge line to Victoria.

Vauxhall Station

Opened as "Vauxhall Bridge Station" in 1848 when the main line was extended from Nine Elms to Waterloo.

Milk trains: Vauxhall was located next to a major creamery and milk bottling plant for United Dairies. The regular daily milk train was from Torrington, but milk trains from all over the West Country would stop at Clapham Junction in the evening, and reduce their length by half so that they did not block Vauxhall station while unloading. They would then proceed to Vauxhall, and pull into the "down" side platform, where a discharge pipe was provided to the creamery on the other side of the road. There was also pedestrian access from below the station, under the road to the depot, in the tunnel where the pipeline ran. Unloaded trains would then proceed to Waterloo, where they would reverse and return to Clapham Junction to pick up the other half of the train. The procedure was then repeated, so that the entire milk train was unloaded between the end of evening peak traffic and the start of the following morning.

Vauxhall Station map late 1800s after the building of Vauxhall Park (1890) and the destruction and development of Vauxhall Gardens (1859).

Vauxhall Station early 1900s.

Vauxhall Station milk platform.

Vauxhall 1850s.

Vauxhall Gardens 1850s (detail). Showing Vauxhall Gardens, entrance to Old Vauxhall Bridge and Nine Elms Station.

Vauxhall Gardens: Vauxhall Gardens (or Vaux Hall Gardens) was re-launched in 1732 as the first and most significant of the true Pleasure Gardens of Georgian London. It was first opened for public use soon after 1660, as a rural tavern and place of assignation called the New Spring Garden. One of the great enduring attractions of Vauxhall Gardens was the artificial illumination, activated after sunset. Before the lights were lit, Vauxhall was a respectable wooded park where families with children could safely enjoy a rural promenade; after dark, the walks, now inhabited by courting couples, sexual predators and pickpockets, became more threatening, despite the presence of London's first professional police force.

The gardens closed in 1859, after almost two centuries as a hugely successful business. During that time, it underwent many changes in its architecture, its attractions and its audience, but its life can meaningfully be broken down into just three main periods of about seventy years each – the first (or 'New Spring Garden' period) from 1661 until 1728, the second ('Tyers Years'), from 1729 until 1792 when it was owned and managed by two generations of one family, and the third from 1793 until 1859 (the 'Capitalistic Mass Entertainment'), when it was transformed from the elegant and fashionable rendezvous it had become into a more populist commercial venue for balloon flights, fireworks, circus performers, massed bands and other spectacular entertainments.

The 'New Spring Garden' 1661-1728: Diarists John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys were regular visitors enjoying the perennial delights of a visit, in particular the boat-trip across the Thames, the song of the resident nightingales, and the seductive women who made Vauxhall one of their favoured places of work. The New Spring Garden entered the literature and drama of the period as an archetypal setting for romance, intrigue and adventure.

Scattered among the trees were numerous roofed wooden arbours with pub-like names as well as old coach bodies adapted as makeshift arbours for visitors who wanted to be private; disused boats were hung from the branches as a retreat for men who wished to smoke. Smoking was later banned as antisocial, and pet dogs were excluded for a similar reason. Informal entertainments were available in the form of strolling musicians, buskers, and acrobats. Alcoholic beverages, cold meats, and tobacco or snuff were all available to buy at exorbitant cost and questionable quality in the tavern. It is likely that admission was free at that time.

The Tyers Years, 1729-1792: In 1729, 'Vauxhall Spring-Gardens', as it was known, was sub-let to Jonathan Tyers (1702-1767). He was also keen that his pleasure garden should be capable of imparting a moral message to his visitors, he determined to clear out the prostitutes and the immoral behaviour and to replace them with an 'innocent and elegant' entertainment where respectable Londoners of all classes, with their families, could enjoy a civilised, enjoyable and even educational evening out; this was something that was not otherwise available to ordinary Londoners.

Early eighteenth-century London was a noisy, dangerous, smelly and violent place; it was also riven with hypocrisy, corruption and wickedness of all sorts. In taking on and sanitising the New Spring Gardens, Tyers intended to provide an escape from this, but also an example that the rest of London could follow. His pleasure garden would kick-start the civilisation of Georgian London, turning it into a worthy capital city for the newly-united Great Britain. He would exclude nobody from his gardens simply because of their class or status, but anybody who did choose to visit would gain, while there, a subliminal polite education, and would leave a better person.

The egalitarian and 'polite' nature of Tyers's vision, both entirely novel concepts to London, would be the cornerstones of his new pleasure garden for the rest of the century, and an underlying key to their longevity. To start with, however, they almost derailed the project in its first year. For the 1732 re-launch party, which he called a Ridotto al Fresco, Tyers created a centrepiece display of five tableaux showing the evil consequences of self-indulgence and intemperance. Unsurprisingly his self-indulgent and pleasure-seeking audience were not best pleased. Had Tyers not subsequently sought the advice of his friend the artist William Hogarth, his new venture could have sunk without trace. Hogarth was himself about to launch his series of 'modern moral' paintings and engravings, having realised that a moral message is best received when it is disguised with humour and enjoyment. Tyers's master-stroke was to convert his on-site house's ball-room into a raised pavilion with a private dining room and an open loggia for the use of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, Vauxhall's ground-landlord. Prince Frederick was the most popular member of the royal family, and his youthful energy gave him broad appeal. Wherever Frederick went, fashionable society was sure to follow.

With the change of use of the Gardens formal music events were staged including those by the composer George Frideric Handel. Tyers instituted an admission charge of one shilling which remained unchanged for almost sixty years however it was always raised for special events, sometimes to double or triple the normal rate. Whether by accident or by design, Tyers's Vauxhall became a feast for all the senses. The sweet country air, the excellent music, and the smartly-dressed visitors made a refreshing contrast to London's noisome streets, and daily problems and worries could be easily forgotten. The delicious sensory experience of being enveloped in a dream-world of perfumed flowers, charming music, fine design and beautiful works of art, especially at night, as well as eating and drinking good fare, and literally rubbing shoulders with elegant society, was a vivid, unforgettable and addictive experience which encouraged visitors to return again and again.

After his death in 1767, Jonathan Tyers's pleasure garden was passed to his second son, also called Jonathan (1728/9-1792). Despite the apparently seamless continuity, the 25 years of the younger Jonathan's management are marked by a singular lack of innovation or entrepreneurship, and only a handful of noteworthy events. Although he maintained what his father had created, he added very little to it, and was consequently responsible for a drop in the quality both of the entertainments and of the 'company' themselves.

Capitalistic Mass Entertainment 1792 - 1859: When Bryant Barrett (1743-1809) took over the management following the death of Jonathan Tyers the younger (his father-in-law) in 1792, he had to dream up new ways of attracting visitors. Income receipts would have continued to dwindle had it not been for the introduction of the one activity guaranteed to exert a powerful draw on even the most jaded Londoner – ballooning. Without the income generated by spectators and participants in balloon flights, it is likely that Vauxhall Gardens would have closed considerably earlier than it did. The first regular Vauxhall flights took place in 1802.

Bryant Barrett's two sons, Revd Jonathan Tyers Barrett (1784-1851) and George Rogers Barrett (1787-1860) (great-grandsons of Jonathan Tyers the elder), took on the ownership of the gardens on the death of their father in 1809. It is not known who was responsible for Vauxhall's radical change of direction in 1816, but it was that year that saw the first appearance at the Gardens of the sensational French tight-rope walker and rope-dancer, Madame Saqui. Her spectacular performances became a regular and hugely popular part of Vauxhall's entertainments for the next four years; after which other acrobats and tightrope walkers took over and developed Saqui's role. Madame Saqui's tight-rope act opened the doors to a plethora of circus acts.

In the 1820s, Jonathan Tyers's family finally gave up Vauxhall Gardens altogether. In 1821 they leased the Gardens to a business partnership made up of Thomas Bish, Frederick Gye and Richard Hughes. The partners approached King George IV to request a license to use 'Royal' in the title of the Gardens, and the king agreed.

Thomas Bish resigned from the management partnership in 1825, leaving Frederick Gye and Richard Hughes to manage Vauxhall on their own. In this, they were remarkably successful for a while, seeing record attendances in several seasons, and huge profits. However, they appear to have over-invested recklessly both in the Gardens and in their other businesses, and in 1840 they were declared bankrupt. This left the property in the hands of trustees for the next eighteen years, during which several lessees came and went, with varying degrees of success. It was increasingly hard to reverse the inevitable desertion of customers, attracted away in ever larger numbers by the newer and more sophisticated entertainments offered by music-halls and seaside piers. It was also becoming ever harder to attract effective managers, and to resist the tide of development of an expanding London, which was itself inflating property values exponentially, finally making Vauxhall more profitable as building land than as a visitor attraction.

After several false alarms, Vauxhall Gardens did finally close for ever after the evening of 25 July 1859. Anticipating its end, the developers had already moved in and acquired the site earlier that month turning it into prime freehold building land capable of accommodating three hundred new houses.

Vauxhall Gardens today: All trace of Vauxhall Gardens itself, whether above or below ground, was obliterated during the demolition of 1859, and the subsequent re-development of the land.

In the 1970s, the houses that had covered the site of the gardens for a century, cheaply built, badly war-damaged, and suffering from long neglect, were demolished in the slum-clearances. The Government was encouraging the creation of inner-city parks, so the dozen acres that had been Vauxhall Gardens were once more cleared and grassed over by the new owner, the London Borough of Lambeth, in an act of enlightened altruism. The resulting park, first opened to the public on 9 October 1976, was originally called Spring Garden, but in 2012, after a campaign by the Friends of Vauxhall Spring Gardens, was re-named Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.

Images of Vauxhall Gardens.

Nine Elms

Nine Elms Railway Station was opened in 1838 as the London terminus of the London & Southampton Railway which on the same day became the London and South Western Railway. The building in the neo-classical style was designed by Sir William Tite. The station was inconveniently situated for travel to central London, with the necessity to complete the journey by road or by steam boat. Originally, in the 1834 plans, engines would not cross Nine Elms Lane; horses would draw the wagons to the river wharf.

A scond line from Nine Elms was opened in 1846, this went initially to Richmond and was later extended to Windsor.

The station was closed to passengers from 11 July 1848 when the L&SWR opened its metropolitan extension from Nine Elms to Waterloo (then called Waterloo Bridge Station), and the area adjacent to the station housed the L&SWR's carriage and wagon works until their relocation to Eastleigh in 1909. In 1941 the building was damaged by German bombs and it was demolished in the 1960s. The site became the flower section of the New Covent Garden Market in 1974.

Nine Elms 1830.

Nine Elms Station 1838.

Nine Elms Station map mid 1800s with new line to Waterloo on right.

Nine Elms map 1840s showing the Richmond Line.

Nine Elms work sheds 1896.

Nine Elms complex early 1900s.

Nine Elms complex mid 1900s.

Nine Elms Shed 1902.

Nine Elms Shed 1902.

Decorated Engine Nine Elms 1907.

Nine Elms sheds 1916.

Videos of Nine Elms.

Youtube Videos

Waterloo Station

The London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) opened the station in 1848 as "Waterloo Bridge Station" (changed in 1886 to "Waterloo Station") when its main line was extended from Nine Elms, the original London terminus.

The L&SWR's aim throughout much of the 19th century was to extend its main line eastward beyond Waterloo into the City of London. Given this, it was reluctant to construct a dedicated grand terminus at Waterloo. However traffic and passenger usage continued to grow and the company expanded the station at regular intervals, with additions being made in 1854, 1860, 1869, 1875, 1878 and 1885. In each case the long-term plan was that the expansion was 'temporary' until Waterloo became a through-station, and therefore these additions were simply added alongside and around the existing structure rather than as part of an overall architectural plan.

This resulted in the station becoming increasingly ramshackle. The original 1848 station became known as the 'Central Station' as other platforms were added. The new platform sets were known by nicknames – the two platforms added for suburban services in 1878 were the 'Cyprus Station', whilst the six built in 1885 for use by trains on the Windsor line became the 'Khartoum Station'. Each of these stations-within-a-station had its own booking office, taxi stand and public entrances from the street, as well as often poorly marked and confusing access to the rest of the station.

By 1899 Waterloo had 16 platform roads but only 10 platform numbers due to platforms in different sections of the station or on different levels sometimes duplicating the number of a platform elsewhere. A little-used railway line even crossed the main concourse on the level and passed through an archway in the station building to connect to the South Eastern Railway's smaller station, now Waterloo East, whose tracks lie almost perpendicular to those of Waterloo. Passengers were, not surprisingly, confused by the layout and by the two adjacent stations called 'Waterloo'.

In 1898, the company opened the Waterloo & City line, a 'tube' underground railway that ran directly between Waterloo and the City.

A total rebuild started in 1904 and was completed in 1922.

The station was the London terminus for Eurostar international trains from 1994 until 2007, when they were transferred to St Pancras International.

Waterloo Station map late 1800s with line across to Waterloo East.

Waterloo Station 1848.

Waterloo Station layout 1888 showing line across Waterloo Road.

Track across Waterloo Station.

Waterloo Signals 1892.

Waterloo Station 1900.

Waterloo Station early 1900s.

Waterloo Station 1910.

Waterloo Station Indicator Board 1898.


Waterloo Goods Depot 1902.

Boat Train leaving Waterloo for Southampton 1902.

Waterloo Station modern frontage.

Videos of Waterloo Station.

Youtube Videos
Terminus (1961)

Waterloo Necropolis Company Station

In the wake of public concerns following the cholera epidemics of the 1840s new burials were prohibited in what were then the built-up areas of London. Two large new cemeteries just outside the boundaries of the Metropolitan Burial District were planned while the promoters of the Necropolis scheme planned a single large cemetery far enough from the city so as never to be affected by urban growth, to be reached by railway.

A single very large tract of land was bought in Brookwood near Woking to be called Brookwood Cemetery or the London Necropolis. At this distance, the land would be far beyond the maximum anticipated size of the city's growth, greatly reducing any potential hazards. In 1854 the new cemetery opened and the first scheduled London Necropolis Railway train left the new London Necropolis railway station for the cemetery.

The first Necropolis Company Station at 121 Westminster Bridge Road, opened in 1854 and closed in 1902 due to the pressing need of more space at Waterloo Station. It was adjacent to the new Waterloo station and built by architect William Tite and engineer William Cubitt. The LNC had contemplated, but decided against, taking over the LSWR's former terminus at Nine Elms railway station. The ground floor contained a grand entrance hall and staircase for mourners attending first class funerals, a smaller entrance hall and staircase was for those attending lower classes of funeral.

The second Necropolis Company Station, opened in 1902 and closed in 1941 having been bombed in WW2, was situated south of the existing station and on the opposite side of Westminster Bridge Road, its main entrance was at 188 Westminster Bridge Road. After the war it was deemed not economically worth operating a special service to Brookwood.

Entrance to First Necropolis Station 1890's.

Platform of First Necropolis Station.

Platform of Second Necropolis Station.

Entrance to Second Necropolis Station building today.

Second Necropolis Station bomb damage.

Video of Brookwood/Waterloo.

Youtube Videos


Wikipedia - Woking Railway Station
Wikipedia - Nine Elms Railway Station
Wikipedia - Waterloo Railway Station
Wikipedia - London Necropolis Railway Station
Wikipedia - West Byfleet Railway Station
Wikipedia - Byfleet and New Haw Railway Station
Wikipedia - Weybridge Railway Station
Wikipedia - Brooklands
Wikipedia - Walton-on-Thames Railway Station
Wikipedia - Hersham Railway Station
Wikipedia - Esher Railway Station
Wikipedia - Surbiton Railway Station
Wikipedia - New Malden Railway Station
Wikipedia - Berrylands Railway Station
Wikipedia - Raynes Park Railway Station
Wikipedia - Wimbledon Railway Station
Wikipedia - Earlsfield Railway Station
Wikipedia - Clapham Junction Railway Station
Wikipedia - Queenstown Road Railway Station
Wikipedia - Vauxhall Railway Station
Wikipedia - Vauxhall Railway Station
Wikipedia - Vauxhall Gardens
The Vauxhall Society
Vauxhall Gardens
Brookwood Cemetery Society
Historic England
John Speller's Web Pages
Disused Stations
David Heys Collection
Southern Railway E-mail Group (SREmG)
The Andrews Pages
National Railway Museum
David Turner Railway History
SVS Film
The Industrial Railway Society
Black Cab London
Old Maps Online