The train leaves London Waterloo’s curving platforms, then runs parallel to the River Thames to Clapham Junction. From the elevated route there are glimpses of the Houses of Parliament, Lambeth Palace, the Tate Gallery, the London Eye and the river, and the train then passes Vauxhall station and the new Covent Garden market at Nine Elms.
As the train approaches Queenstown Road (Battersea), the skyline to the right is dominated by the 337ft, 1930s chimneys of the former Battersea Power Station (designed by Gilbert Scott), and then the train runs into Clapham Junction. A cutting carries the line past Wandsworth Common, and then the route is elevated once again as it crosses the River Wandle on its way to Wimbledon, where the station is shared with London Underground’s District Line tube trains.
Wimbledon is also home to the world famous Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the home of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. At Raynes Park, the Dorking line swings away to the left, while just after New Malden trains for the Shepperton branch swing away to the right.
The train crosses the River Hogsmill and then enters the long cutting that leads to Surbiton. The River Thames and the ferry to Hampton Court Park are only a short walk away from this magnificent 1937 built station designed by J.R. Scott. Surbiton’s Art Deco clock tower and modernist façade make it unique in Britain.