Southall Elizabeth line
Punjabi: ਸਾਊਥਾਲ
Station entrance seen in May 2022
Southall is located in Greater London
Location of Southall in Greater London
Local authorityLondon Borough of Ealing
Managed byElizabeth line[1]
OwnerNetwork Rail
Station code(s)STL
DfT categoryD
Number of platforms5
Fare zone4
National Rail annual entry and exit
2018–19Increase 3.122 million[2]
2019–20Increase 3.475 million[2]
2020–21Decrease 1.267 million[2]
2021–22Increase 2.756 million[2]
2022–23Increase 4.428 million[2]
Key dates
1 May 1839Opened
Other information
External links
Coordinates51°30′22″N 0°22′42″W / 51.506°N 0.3783°W / 51.506; -0.3783
London transport portal
Southall    ਸਾਊਥਾਲ
 This station has step-free access.
  • 1 & 2: National Rail to Wales & the West of England
  • 3 & 4: Elizabeth line to Heathrow and Reading
  • Relief: to Southall Down Yard
South Road
Old & new
ticket halls

Southall is a railway station on the Great Western Main Line in Southall, London, England. It is in Travelcard Zone 4 and passenger services are provided by the Elizabeth line from London Paddington. It is 9 miles 6 chains (14.6 km) down the line from Paddington and is situated between Hanwell to the east and Hayes & Harlington to the west.

The station is managed by the Elizabeth line, and was rebuilt with step-free access as part of the Crossrail project.


Up freight passing Southall Station in 1961
Goods train coming off the Brentford Dock branch in 1961

The Great Western Railway opened Southall railway station on 1 May 1839, nearly one year after it opened its first railway line on 4 June 1838, between London Paddington and Maidenhead Riverside (the latter now known as Taplow).[4] The Brentford Branch Line to Brentford Dock was opened for freight in 1859;[5] a passenger service ran on the branch from 1 May 1860 until 4 May 1942, using the unnumbered platform at the south of the station (the line serving this platform is now only used as a relief line). From 1 March 1883 to 30 September 1885 (when the service was discontinued as uneconomic) the District Railway ran trains between Mansion House and Windsor which called at the station.[6][7] The goods platforms opened as part of the original station were closed and dismantled in 1967.[8] The Great Western Main Line was electrified through Southall in the early 1990s as part of the Heathrow Express project.[9]


Southall was first proposed to be part of the Crossrail project in the 1990s.[10] In 2004, public consultation into the project proposed a new station building with step free access, as well as platform extensions to serve longer trains. The number of seats available into Central London would treble, due to longer and more frequent trains.[11]

In March 2010, the Crossrail Specialist Scrutiny Panel recommended that Crossrail should give consideration to the proposed regeneration developments in the area, including the Southall Gas Works development and the landscaping of unused work sites.[12]

In May 2011, Network Rail announced that it would deliver improvements and alterations to prepare the station for Crossrail services.[13] The work would include platform extensions, a new ticket hall designed by Bennetts Associates[14] with level access from South Road, and step-free access to all platforms.[10] Outside the station, public realm improvements funded by Transport for London and Ealing Borough Council would include widened pavements, street trees and cycle parking.[15][16]

In 2015, Ealing Council approved the proposed work at Southall, allowing initial construction work to commence.[17] In 2017, it was announced that completion of the station was delayed until 2019.[18] In 2019, contracts for the new station building was awarded, allowing construction of the new station building.[19] Following delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic,[20] the refurbished station opened on 26 August 2021, providing step free access to all platforms.[21][22]

Accidents and incidents

Main article: Southall rail crash

On 19 September 1997, a Great Western Trains passenger train from Swansea to London Paddington failed to stop at a red signal and collided with a freight train, killing 7 people and injuring 139 others.[23] The train driver, Larry Harrison, was charged with manslaughter, but the case against him was dropped. Great Western Trains was fined £1.5 million for the crash. Following this accident and the more serious Ladbroke Grove Rail Crash some miles east, First Great Western requires all its trains to have their ATP switched on at all times. If the equipment is faulty, the train is stored out of use.

Bilingual signage

Southall station roundel, with ਸਾਊਥਹਾਲ in Gurmukhī

Southall station has bilingual station signage, owing to the large Punjabi community in the local area. Station signs on the platforms bear "Southall" and also "ਸਾਊਥਹਾਲ" in Gurmukhī, a script commonly used for the Punjabi language. In 2007, following issues raised by other ethnic groups in the area, First Great Western announced it would review the signage.[24] The bilingual signs were kept, and were still displayed at the station.[25] In 2021, the new station building and platform roundel maintained the use of bilingual signage. It is one of the relatively few stations in England to have bilingual signage, others being Whitechapel (Bengali), Wallsend (Latin), Hereford (Welsh), Moreton-in-Marsh (Japanese) and St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International (all French).

Layout and facilities

Southall railway station has five platforms, one of which is unnumbered and used only for freight and special events.[26] In normal circumstances, platforms 1 and 2, on the fast lines, and the unnumbered platform are not used by passengers; platforms 3 and 4 are used by all trains serving the station. The new station building has a ticket office and automatic ticket barriers. A footbridge gives access to platforms 3 and 4 via steps and lifts, while gates prevents access to the other three, under normal circumstances.

Oyster "pay as you go" has been available since October 2008 for journeys to or from Southall.[27]


Trains at Southall are operated by the Elizabeth line.


As of the May 2023 timetable, the typical Monday to Friday off-peak Elizabeth line service is:[28]

Service table

Preceding station Elizabeth line Following station
Hayes & Harlington Elizabeth line Hanwell
towards Abbey Wood
Hayes & Harlington
towards Maidenhead or Reading
Ealing Broadway
towards Abbey Wood
Historical services
Preceding station London Underground Following station
Hayes & Harlington
Line and station open
towards Windsor
District line Hanwell
Line and station open
Disused railways
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Brentford Branch Line
  Trumpers Crossing Halte
Line and station closed


London Buses routes 105, 120, 195, 427, 482, E5 and H32 serve the station.[29]

See also


  1. ^ Station facilities for Southall
  2. ^ a b c d e "Estimates of station usage". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  3. ^ Brown, Joe (2009). London Railway Atlas (2nd ed.). Ian Allan Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7110-3397-9.
  4. ^ "Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society". 11. Bishopsgate Institute. 1953: 113. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ MacDermot, E T (1927). History of the Great Western Railway. Vol. 1 (1833–1863) (1 ed.). London: Great Western Railway.
  6. ^ Rose, Douglas (December 2007) [1980]. The London Underground: A Diagrammatic History (8th ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. ISBN 978-1-85414-315-0.
  7. ^ Day, John R.; Reed, John (2008) [1963]. The Story of London's Underground (10th ed.). Harrow: Capital Transport. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-85414-316-7.
  8. ^ Brown, Joe (2009). London Railway Atlas (2nd ed.). Ian Allan Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7110-3397-9.
  9. ^ "Heathrow Express". Railway Technology. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Crossrail – from its early beginnings". Crossrail. Archived from the original on 21 June 2021. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Round 2 Consultation Information Panels" (PDF). Crossrail. August 2004. pp. 36–38. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2021. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  12. ^ Unwin, Kevin, "Crossrail Specialist Scrutiny Panel 2009/2010" (PDF), Draft Final Report, London Borough of Ealing, pp. 36–40, retrieved 23 June 2010
  13. ^ "Crossrail Station Design Contract Awarded". Crossrail. 17 May 2011. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  14. ^ "Crossrail Surface Stations • Projects • Bennetts Associates". Bennetts Associates. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  15. ^ "Places and Spaces - Urban Realm on the Crossrail route" (PDF). Crossrail. March 2014. pp. 16–17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2021.
  16. ^ McDougall, Hamish (3 June 2014). "Crossrail exhibits design proposals for areas around stations". Crossrail. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  17. ^ "Ealing Council approves Southall Station development as part of Crossrail". UK Construction Online. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  18. ^ "Crossrail stations in west London delayed until 2019". BBC News. 30 June 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  19. ^ O’Connor, Rob (8 May 2019). "Network Rail announces new contracts for Crossrail project". Infrastructure Intelligence. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  20. ^ Horgan, Rob (22 October 2020). "'Substantial progress' made at late running Crossrail stations". New Civil Engineer. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  21. ^ White, Chloe (1 September 2021). "Major redevelopment at Southall station provides more space and step free access to all platforms". RailAdvent. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  22. ^ Ambrose, Tom (26 August 2021). "New Southall station opens ahead of Elizabeth Line starting". Evening Standard. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  23. ^ Wolmar, Christian (20 September 1997). "Southall, 1.15pm, Friday 19 September 1997. It's happened again". The Independent. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  24. ^ "Language row over station signs". British Broadcasting Corporation. 11 September 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  25. ^ "Southall Station". The Trainline. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  26. ^ Catford, Nick (26 May 2017). "Southall". Disused Stations. Archived from the original on 23 April 2022. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  27. ^ "Oyster PAYG on National Rail" (PDF). National Rail Enquiries. 20 October 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2009.
  28. ^ "Elizabeth line timetable: 21 May to 9 December 2023" (PDF). Transport for London. 21 May 2023. Retrieved 23 May 2023.
  29. ^ "Buses from Southall Broadway and station" (PDF). TfL. 15 July 2023. Retrieved 14 July 2023.
  • Baker, T.F.T., Cockburn, J.S. and Pugh, R.B. (Eds) (1971) "Norwood, including Southall: Introduction", A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4: Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood with Southall, Hillingdon with Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow with Pinner, Victoria County History online, p. 40-43, accessed 20 October 2007
  • Mitchell V. and Smith, K. (2000) "2. Brentford Branch, Southall", In: Branch Lines of West London, Midhurst : Middleton Press, ISBN 1-901706-50-8, p. 16-23