The line from Barnes to Isleworth (then called “Smallbury Green”) came into use on 22nd August 1849, and from the latter to Hounslow and Feltham Junction on 1st February 1850. Scheduled electric services commenced over the Hounslow Loop on 12th March 1916, but a station at Syon Lane, in-between Isleworth and Brentford, did not come into being for another fifteen years. In the Richmond Herald on 28th February 1931, the following was reported:
Isleworth, whose population is rapidly increasing, is to have another Southern Railway station in Syon-lane. The work will be commenced this spring.
Syon Lane station, which took its name from the road that passed over the rails at that point, opened on Sunday, 5th July 1931 (ref: The West Middlesex Gazette, 4th July 1931). Two prefabricated concrete platforms came into use either side of the double-track, immediately southwest of the road bridge that carried the station’s namesake across the rails. The Barnes-bound platform was host to a brick-built ticket office, adjacent to which was a canopy constructed to a standard Southern Railway design, comprising a W-shaped cross section and plain timber valance. Of the latter, the same design of canopy is still in evidence at the likes of Swanley and Canterbury West. The Feltham-bound platform was host to a clapboard waiting shelter, and both sides were linked by the adjacent road bridge, from which descended staircases. No signal box nor sidings came into use at the station.
In August 1989, a rebuilding of the station was completed at a cost of £100,000 (ref: Middlesex Chronicle, 10th August 1989). This involved razing all existing structures upon both platforms; small, sideless shelters with curved glazed roofs were brought into use and new staircases from the road bridge installed. This was part of a £1,000,000 facelift of the Hounslow Loop by British Rail (ref: Middlesex Chronicle, 8th June 1989), which involved rationalisation at a series of stations along the route.
In about 2011, based on photographic observations, the waiting shelters of 1989 origin were modified; the curved glazed roofs were taken down and replaced by pitched roof opaque types. In December 2020, a new footbridge was brought into use between the platforms (ref: South Western Railway, 16th December 2020), built by contractor “Osborne”. This was positioned midway between the road bridge (to which it was directly linked) and waiting shelters. A lift shaft encased in red brick was provided on the Feltham-bound platform only, and step-free access to the Barnes-bound platform was achieved by a footpath linking to an adjacent road.
4th August 1976
A north eastward view in the Barnes direction shows a station that, at the time, remained faithful to its SR appearance, bar lampposts and signage. On the left can be seen the standard SR W-shaped canopy mentioned in the main text, with the clapboard shelter just evident on the opposite side. The road bridge in the background carries the station’s namesake over the rails and from which staircases to both platforms descended. Two Bulleid-designed 4 EPBs are seen pairing on a Waterloo circular via the Hounslow Loop.
© David Glasspool Collection