click here for a map of Southern Counties Railway Society geographical area of interest.
click here for a short summary of the railway history of the area
click on these buttons below to access the station tables.
NB: Pre-1971 county boundaries used.
Stations List – Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight
In this context a station is deemed to be any facility with a platform used by passengers to join or alight from trains.
At one time or another there were 173 stations in Hampshire, of which a surprising 73 are still open. Comparable figures for Dorset are 71 and 24 respectively. The pre-1971 local government boundaries are used in the listings: using the current boundaries “transfers” 9 stations to Dorset, of which 4 are still open. The Isle of Wight boasts 11 open stations, down from a maximum of 41.
The earliest Hampshire stations to open were Shapley Heath (later Winchfield) and Farnborough (Main) on 24th September 1838, both still open and therefore the longest-lived in the county. The shortest-lived station was Denvilles Halt, just north of Havant on the Portsmouth Direct. This served as a temporary terminus for the LSWR in 1859 during the “Battle of Havant”, when the LBSCR objected to the former company’s trains accessing its tracks between Havant and Portcreek Junctions. The last to open in Hampshire was Hedge End on 9th May 1990.
The earliest Dorset stations were seven stations of the Southampton & Dorchester Railway opened on 1st June 1847 – Wimborne, Poole Junction, Poole, Wareham, Wool, Moreton and Dorchester South. The last four named at the longest-lived in Dorset. The most recent is Norden on the Swanage Railway, opened on 12th August 1995.
Most stations were traditionally named after the town, village or locale which they “served”. Andover Road, subsequently renamed Micheldever, was possibly stretching the point, and it is said that from none of the intermediate stations on the Basingstoke & Alton Light Railway could the relevant village be seen.
A surprisingly large number have been renamed over the years: highlights include New Poole Junction which eventually became Broadstone, via five intermediate names (not to be confused with Poole Junction which became Hamworthy Junction, now Hamworthy, or either of the two stations called Poole, one of which was at Hamworthy!). Southampton Terminus had five different names during its 126 year existence (a feat equalled by the current Southampton Central), and also had the distinction of being the only main line station in Great Britain to be named with that suffix. The extent to which these changes confused or helped passengers is unknown. Station re-namings made to avoid confusion included Brockhurst on the Gosport branch, changed to Fort Brockhurst in 1893, the confusion being with Brockenhurst which had been open since 1847, and Privett Halt on the same line which became Fort Gomer when Privett on the Meon Valley opened. Curiously, the former served a village called Privett, while the latter initially served no such place as the village grew up around the station!
Unlike those on the mainland, IoW stations clung tenaciously to their original names, with only 4 adopting new ones at one time or another, and even these were only variations of the originals – presumably no one ever turned up at Newport expecting to find themselves in Monmouthshire or Shropshire, nor at Mill Hill anticipating the delights of north London or Lancashire. It would also have been difficult to confuse the two Lakes, given that the mainland version closed around 1920 while that on the Island opened on 11th May 1987.
The prize for the longest name goes to the former Atlantic Park Hostel Halt, which upon re-opening became “Southampton Parkway for Southampton (Eastleigh) Airport” between 1986 and 1994. The shortest name Hurn (once it had been renamed from Herne), Sway, Hook, Liss, Wool and Dean. The latter five are the original names. Dean shares the distinction with Tidworth of being bisected by a county boundary: Dean station buildings are in Wiltshire, but most of both platforms are in Hampshire, while at Tidworth (closed on 19th September 1955) the booking clerk in Wiltshire sold tickets to passengers standing in Hampshire.
A surprisingly large number of “private” stations existed at one time, even excluding those on the Woolmer Military Instructional Railway (Longmoor) and the Marchwood Military Railways. The Longmoor stations were not always “private” – certainly during WW2 civilians were conveyed provided they held a ticket, promising conveyance at the holders’ risk. The three stations within the Marchwood Military Port have always been “private”, except for use on rare open days. Beaulieu Road started as a station for the exclusive benefit of Lord Montagu. Not to be outdone, Lord Malmesbury had two – Herne (later Hurn) for his family’s use and Avon Lodge performing a similar function for his tenants and servants. Most exclusive was Royal Clarence Yard in Gosport, built for and used almost exclusively by Queen Victoria and visiting Heads of State arriving or departing Portsmouth by Royal yacht or battleship! After her death it was seldom if ever used. Portsmouth Dockyard South Jetty was slightly less exclusive, being used principally for military personnel. Ampress Works Halt, Lake (or The Lake according to some accounts, the one near Poole rather than the current one), and Holton Heath were all built to serve specific factories, with only the last named becoming a public station, in 1924. Charlton Marshall Halt was used for 5 years after closure to the public for special trains for nearby Clayesmore Preparatory School at the start and end of each term, through carriages running from and to Waterloo.
Other curiosities included the facilities provided for passengers travelling to Knowle Hospital who, prior to the construction of Knowle Asylum Halt (served only by Meon Valley line trains), were set down at the lineside in the Down direction only. One can only assume that the number of inmates was swollen accordingly, as no arrangements were in place to pick up returning visitors!
Also deserving special mention are the four stations within Southampton Docks (excluding Royal Pier), namely those at the Outer Dock (by the present Ocean Village) served until the end by the first Up train of the day to Waterloo, at 38/39 Berth (the QE II Terminal), at 43/44 Berth (the Ocean Terminal, demolished in 1980), and 106 Berth. To label the latter as a station is perhaps a little generous as the single platform originally provided was only approximately 4ft long.
A few questions remain. Given that records of military facilities can sometimes be obscure were stations ever provided at Avington Park, Winnal Down and Morn Hill on the branch off the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton Railway just north of Chesil Tunnel? Was Poole (the first station, at Hamworthy Quay, opened in 1847) renamed when the second Poole station opened in 1872, given that the former didn’t close until 1896? And finally, were passengers (including casualties) ever conveyed to Park Prewitt Hospital (Basingstoke) by rail?
More information can be found in Track Topics issue 762