The Great Western and Brentford railway act of 1855 paved the way for the construction of a three and a half mile branch line from Southall on the GWR main line to Brentford Docks to allow the transportation of coal. Four years later in 1859 the line opened for freight with passenger services commencing one year later. By February 1872 the GWR had taken control of the line with a new station added at Trumps Crossing but this facility had a chequered history being closed during the First World War, re_opened in 1920 only for it to be closed again in 1926. Passenger services to Brentford Station ceased altogether on May 4th 1942 and the section to the docks closed for traffic from the 31st December 1964. Remaining goods traffic to the town being was withdrawn in 1970. Today the track beyond Brentford’s West London Waste Terminal has been removed but the remainder of the line between Southall and this area is still in place albeit for freight traffic only. Further on there are still many visible remnants of the line to be seen despite the massive redevelopment of the Brentford Dock area.
One of the oddest features of the line is Three Bridges, an unusual configuration where at one point the road goes over the canal which in turn goes over the railway. In reality this is only two bridges (unless you count the pedestrian walkway alongside the canal which sits in its own trough) and was the last project Isambard Kingdom Brunel realised in his lifetime.
The line from Southall is now used solely for freight and appears well maintained.
Three Bridges (Southall). Standing on the road bridge over the canal bridge – both of which go over the Southall to Brentford, GWR West London branch line.
These wagons near the end of the line have been in place for years and are regularly covered in graffiti
Arches that once carried the line end abruptly on the London Road near the junction with Commerce Road
A few hundred yards on the path the railway took can be clearly seen once again.
Further railway arches appear in nearby road The Ham
The old railway bridge crosses Brent Way
At road level this bridge clearly displays evidence of its previous use.
Shortly after this another railway bridge now used for road traffic crosses a waterway leading to the Thames