Ruislip's "Ghost Train"
Have a look at a London Underground map showing National Rail services and you will see that to get from South Ruislip to Paddington you either have to change trains at Greenford on to the “Pull and Push” and change again at West Ealing OR get the Underground to Notting Hill Gate and change there to the Circle line or Hammersmith and City line. There is no direct line doing that route.
Well I can tell you that today, 10th March 2014, at 10.57 I got a Chiltern Line train out of South Ruislip on a non-stop direct route to Paddington, paying using my Oyster Card.
The trip did not get off to the best of starts as I waited at the London bound Chiltern Line platform only to discover that it actually leaves from platform three at South Ruislip, a platform normally serving trains going OUT of London, so a hasty change had to be made…..
The train route runs alongside the Central line as far as North Acton and then joins the main line from the west in to Paddington just beyond Acton Main Line station.
Unsurprisingly apart from me and my wife the only other people on it were the driver and his mate.
This train is one of a handful of “Ghost” or “Parliamentary” trains that run up and down the country which have to operate to stop the actual line being closed permanently and the fact the line is used at all means Network Rail have to maintain it.
So, if you are going up town on a Monday to Friday from South Ruislip at around 11 am, next time, get a train all to yourself from South Ruislip. It is possible that the return leg, that was the 11.36 back the other way from Paddington no longer runs, either way do check online before you plan to ride on this service, or that going up to Paddington.