Berkshire’s Quietest Station and What You’ll Find There

Berkshire’s Quietest Station and What You’ll Find There

We’ve taken a look around

Level crossing at Midgham Train Station
Berkshire’s quietest station and what you’ll find there (Image: Google Maps)

It’s not a secret that there are parts of Berkshire where you can feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

But it’s hard to imagine just how quiet the least busy station in the county really is.

Despite being named after a nearby West Berkshire village, Midgham station is actually in neighbouring village Woolhampton.

Pretty homes and cottages line the single-lane Station Road leading to the railway tracks, which run parallel to the A4 in West Berkshire.

At one end of Station Road is The Angel pub and a corner shop.  Take a short walk in the opposite direction and you’ll find The Rowbarge – a delightful riverside pub you can only access after crossing the narrow bridge across the River Kennet.

Berkshire’s quietest stations

The five quietest stations in Berkshire according to Office of Rail and Road.

  • Midgham Station: 30,556 entries and exits in 2018/2019 – 10.9 per cent fewer than 2017/2018
  • Sunnymeads: 48,040 entries and exits in 2018/2019 – 13.3 per cent fewer than 2017/2018
  • Aldermaston: 73,942 entries and exits in 2018/2019 – 11.1 per cent fewer than 2017/2018
  • Kintbury: 82,290 entries and exits in 2018/2019 – 3.7 per cent fewer than 2017/2018
  • Wargrave: 87,760 entries and exits in 2018/2019 – 2.6 per cent fewer than 2017/2018

Beyond the village, you’ll quickly find yourself on narrow country lanes, surrounded by fields and woodlands for miles to see.

Below, we have a look around Berkshire’s quietest station and what you can find there.

Where is Midgham Station

Level crossing at Midgham Train Station
Midgham station is in the village of Woolhampton

Midgham station is in Station Road, Woolhampton, Berkshire,RG7 5SE

Is there parking at Midgham Station?

Yes, there is a car park. There are 12 spaces in the car park, which can be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Parking is free.

There are also two loops you can lock your bike onto.

How accessible is Midgham station?

Layout of Midgham Station
Midgham station is not as accessible as you might like

In short, it isn’t. Great Western Railway (GWR), which manages the station, specified there is no induction loop available, no ramp for train access, and the station is unstaffed. If you need help, you’ll have to call the GWR helpline.

The good news is, however, that getting to the platform from the car park is ok for wheelchair users since the ground is level onto both platforms.  But how you’d get from there onto the train itself is anyone’s guess.

It very clearly states the station does not offer:

  • Accessible Booking Office Counter
  • Accessible Public Telephones
  • Accessible Taxis
  • Accessible Ticket Machines
  • Impaired Mobility Set Down

There is, however, a pay phone available.

Tickets at Midgham Station

Satellite image of Midgham Station
Midgham station is surrounded by fields and woodland

You can’t get them. According to GWR, there isn’t even a self-service ticket machine on the station, let alone an office counter.

If you get on at Midgham, the first thing you’ll have to do is find the guard and buy a ticket onboard.

The good news is, it will cost less than £6 to get to Newbury or Reading – the only two destinations you can go direct regularly from Midgham.

Are there toilets at Midgam Station?

Nope. But there are pubs nearby, and what appears to be a dearth of leafy foliage if you’re caught too short to wait for your train!

Where does Midgham go to?

The A4 near Midgham station
The A4 near Midgham station

Midgham station is on a GWR line – but there are only two destinations you can generally end up at: Reading (from platform 1) or Newbury (from platform 2).

That’s unless you catch one of the only two outbound and return trains to London Paddington.

The 7.02am train is the only direct train from Midgham to London (and you’ll arrive 52 minutes later at 7.54am) aside from the 11.01pm.

The only direct train returning from London is the 10.20pm from London Paddington to Bedwyn.

The good news is if you are headed to Newbury or Reading, the trains are fairly regular – there is at least one, more often two trains each hour towards Reading on the Newbury to Reading line, which calls at all stations including:

  • Newbury
  • Newbury Racescourse
  • Thatcham
  • Midgham
  • Aldermaston
  • Theale
  • Reading West
  • Reading

The return is the exact reverse.

The journey between Midgham and Reading takes 20 minutes. From Midgham to Newbury takes just about 12 minutes.

When is the first and last train out of Midgham to Reading?

Level crossing at Midgham Train Station
There are really only two places you can go from Midgham

On a weekday, the first train you can escape Midgham on leaves for Reading at 5.39am. The last is at 11.47pm.

On a Saturday, it’s 6.35am, and the last is 11.52pm. On Sundays, you can leave on the first train at 8.57am. The last to leave the village on a Sunday is 12.07am.

When is the first and last train out of Midgham to Newbury?

On a weekday, the first train from Midgham leaves for Newbury at 5.32am. The last is at 11.20pm.

On a Saturday, it’s 5.25am, and the last is 11.25pm. On Sundays, you can leave at 8.26am. The last train to leave the village on a Sunday is 10.58pm.

Britain’s quietest stations

The quietest stations in Britain last year were Denton in Tameside and Stanlow & Thornton in Cheshire West and Chester, both with just 46 entries and exits in 2018/19.

That was down from 70 and 92 respectively in 2017/18.

The previous year’s least used station, Redcar British Steel, saw a ninefold increase in use last year – up from 40 entries and exits to 360.

The Office of Rail and Road, which publishes the figures, suggested being the least used station in 2017/18 may have helped it attract visitors (potentially good news for this year’s quietest stations).

However, services to Redcar British Steel ended in December, as the British Steel site it served is no longer publicly accessible.

News from Berkshire Live

Written by Editor

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