Railway Staff Halt
Durnsford Road, Wimbledon
In the April 1956 edition of the RCTS’ The Railway Observer magazine, it was reported that a small halt had been completed adjacent to the Southern Region’s “Up” Main Through line between Wimbledon and Earlsfield. The halt was made from standard prefabricated concrete components — undoubtedly sourced from Exmouth Junction Works — had lamp standards, and a name board proclaiming Railway Staff Halt. The publication remarked that the halt was, apparently, intended to serve the electric car sheds at Durnsford Road, about ¾-mile from Wimbledon station in the Waterloo direction, but it was not known what trains actually stopped there.
The cleaning, inspection, and repair sheds at Durnsford Road dated from the London & South Western Railway’s (LSWR) suburban electrification scheme of the 1915 to 1916 period. Public electric trains between Waterloo and Wimbledon via East Putney had commenced on 25th October 1915; those on Kingston and Shepperton lines followed on 30th January 1916; electric trains along the Hounslow Loop (Barnes to Hounslow via Kew Bridge) started on 12th March 1916; finally, the Hampton Court branch went over to electric working on 18th June of the same year. The original LSWR electric shed buildings located north of the bridge carrying Durnsford Road over the running lines were replaced in April 1976 by a then new depot layout constructed on the former site of Durnsford Road Power House. The latter was brought into use as part of the 1915 to 1916 electrification scheme; the power house was decommissioned in 1955 when the railway’s electricity supply was switched to the National Grid. The existing sidings and carriage sheds south of the road bridge were not replaced during these works.
The original 1956-built concrete platform of Railway Staff Halt remains today, and a diminutive glazed shelter is now part of the ensemble.
A southward view from Durnsford Road bridge in about 1961 shows BR Standard 5 Class 4-6-0 No. 73117 "Vivien" passing the short concrete platform of Railway Staff Halt, fronting a service from Southampton Terminus to Waterloo. 2-HAP electric stock is in the background, behind which is one of the electric car sheds. Of the latter, the majority of these were located north of the bridge carrying Durnsford Road. Sidings on the southern side of the road bridge, minus the sheds, predated electrification.
© David Glasspool Collection