As per stations at Berrylands and Byfleet & New Haw (formerly “West Weybridge”), between Waterloo and Woking, a set of platforms came into use at Hersham in response to local housing development. Four tracks had persisted between Surbiton and Woking since 1904; the outer tracks were the “slow” local lines; the middle pair were for “fast” trains. Two platforms came into use at Hersham, serving the local lines only, these being situated 15-miles, 73-chains from Waterloo. In the November 1936 edition of The Railway Magazine, it was stated that the station at Hersham opened on 28th September of that year — cheap day tickets to London were issued, in addition to season and workmen’s tickets. Trial electric working between Surbiton and Woking commenced on 1st November 1936, and full public electric services between Waterloo, Alton, and Portsmouth Harbour via Guildford, started on 4th July the following year (ref: Southern Electric, 1909-1979, G. T. Moody).
The platforms were of timber construction, 550-feet-long, perched atop the sides of the railway embankment. Each platform was host to a timber booking office, situated at their western ends and linked to the below road by an enclosed staircase. Platform canopies were also in evidence on each side, these being about 125-feet in length and sporting a plain timber valance. Electric lighting supported upon concrete lampposts was in evidence along both platforms, complete with hexagonal lampshades. The station cost £9,900 (£715,600 at 2021 prices) to build, of which the SR received a contribution towards this of £5,000 from local developers (ref: The Dynamics of Urban Property Development, J. Rose, 2013).
In connection with the 1964-approved Bournemouth electrification, both platforms were lengthened at their eastern ends using prefabricated concrete. This brought the platforms to a length of 800-feet, enabling them to accommodate ten-carriage trains. Another change since Hersham’s opening has been the commissioning of a ticket office at ground level, adjacent to the “up” side staircase. Based on the architecture — a 30-foot-long roof upon metal columns, beneath which is a prefabricated box — this structure appears to be a "Network SouthEast" creation from the early 1990s.
15th August 1966
“Warship” diesel No. D870 “Zulu” is seen in a classic scene during the twilight years of Southern Region steam, hauling an Exeter to Waterloo service through Hersham, Bulleid-designed coaching stock in tow. These diesel-hydraulics replaced steam locomotives on express trains between Waterloo and Exeter in September 1964, the lines west of Salisbury having been transferred to Western Region control in January of the previous year. The timber-planked platforms are obvious in this Woking-bound view, which also includes the “up” side buildings and concrete lampposts.
© David Glasspool Collection