Sandhurst Halt

The sections of line from Reading to Farnborough, and from Redhill to Dorking, opened on 4th July 1849, having been built under the auspices of the "Reading, Guildford & Reigate Railway". The same company also commissioned stretches to regular traffic from Farnborough to Guildford, and from Dorking to Shalford, on 20th of the following month. The gap in-between Guildford and Shalford was built by the London & South Western Railway and opened on 15th October of the same year (ref: The Railway Magazine, April 1937). The line was leased and worked by the South Eastern Railway (SER) from the outset (tolls were paid to the LSWR for running over the Shalford to Guildford section), but Sandhurst Halt is of a much later origin, not being opened until Sunday, 1st August 1909 (ref: The Reading Standard, 4th August 1909). Situated in-between Blackwater & Camberley and Wellington College (latterly "Crowthorne") stations, it was reported at the time that local residents had been waiting many years for the SER to provide platforms at this location, the nearest stop being one-and-a-half to two miles away.

Two platforms were provided at Sandhurst Halt from the outset (The Reading Standard, 4th August 1909), situated directly opposite each other either side of the double track. The platforms were of timber construction, upon an embankment, and each was host to a waiting shelter fabricated from the same material. In addition to the shelters, a wooden ticket booth was also present on each platform, the latter of which were equipped with gas lamps.

In the April 1937 edition of The Railway Magazine, mention is made of an earlier, temporary station that existed at the site of the Sandhurst Halt of 1909. This publication remarked that this station appeared in Bradshaw’s Manual of 1852, but had gone by the 1854 edition.

The original timber platforms that were opened in 1909 are long gone, and today’s surfaces are of prefabricated concrete construction. It is difficult to precisely date the station’s rebuilding, but based on your author’s observation of period photographs and the style of railings, the platforms are likely of late Southern Railway (SR) origin. The SR did install Swan Neck lamps at the halt, although based on period photographs once again, these appear to have existed when the platforms were still timber-built. Timber shelters were initially retained after concrete platforms were provided.

In the 1st May 1953 edition of The Railway Gazette, it was reported that Sandhurst Halt had won an award for being the tidiest station on British Railways’ Southern Region. The station became plain "Sandhurst" from 5th May 1969, on the introduction of the summer timetable; the suffix "Halt" was dropped across the entire British Rail network at that time (ref: RCTS The Railway Observer, June 1969).

There have been four generations of waiting shelter at this station, but dating them is a difficult task. The first type has already been mentioned; that of timber fabrication dating from the station’s earliest days. The timber shelters were replaced by the rectangular type shown in the picture below, which your author estimates as being of 1970s origin. During the 1990s, "bus shelter" style structures with curved glazed roofs were installed; these were still standing in summer 2012, but had gone by the end of the following year, having been replaced by "Paragon Anti-Vandal" shelters.

February 1990

A north westward view towards Reading shows the prefabricated concrete platforms that your author suspects are of Southern Railway origin. Access to each platform is by means of an inclined walkway from street level, located at the opposite end of the station to which this photograph was taken. Since this view, two different waiting shelter variants have appeared here. © David Glasspool Collection