Station Name:AVON LODGE

 

[Source: Nick Catford]



Date opened: 3.11.1862
Location: On the west side of Avon Castle Drive
Company on opening: Ringwood, Christchurch & Bournemouth Railway
Date closed to passengers: 30.9.1935
Date closed completely: 30.9.1935
Company on closing: Southern Railway
Present state: Unknown
County: Hampshire
OS Grid Ref: SU137036
Date of visit: Not visited

Notes: Avon Lodge was a private untimetabled station built for the Earl of Egremont's estate.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE RINGWOOD, CHRISTCHURCH & BOURNEMOUTH RAILWAY

In its early days, Bournemouth was reached by bus from Poole, at the end of a short branch from the Southampton & Dorchester Railway and Christchurch was served by bus from Christchurch Road (later renamed Holmsley), eight miles away. By the late 1850's, the attention of railway promoters had been attracted to development in the district.

In 1859 the Ringwood, Christchurch & Bournemouth Railway Company was incorporated and given powers to build a 7¾ mile single track line along the Avon from Ringwood to Christchurch; this was opened on 13th November 1862 with two intermediate station at Hearne Bridge (later renamed Hearne then Hurn) and at Avon Lodge. At once Christchurch became the railhead for Bournemouth,

In 1863 an act was obtained for a 3½ mile extension to Bournemouth. This was opened on 14th March 1870 to a terminus which later became Bournemouth East. Two intermediate stations were later added at Boscambe (later renamed Pokesdown) in 1886 and Boscambe in 1897.

The line from Ringwood was worked by the London & South Western and amalgamated with it on 1st January 1874. Despite severe grades and curves which were subject to a speed limit of 25 mph, this was now the main line to Bournemouth and served by through coaches detached from the Southampton & Dorchester's Weymouth trains at Ringwood where a covered bay platform was evidence of its former importance.

As the resort continued to grow so did the rail connections. A new double track was built from Lymington Junction, a mile west of Brockenhurst on the Southampton & Dorchester line to a point just west of Christchurch Station where a new station was built. The line between Christchurch and Bournemouth was doubled and a new line (The Bournemouth Junction Railway) was built linking the East and West stations. A new through station was provided on this link was opened on 20th June 1885 replacing Bournemouth East which was only ¼ mile to the east.

The opening of the new route in to Bournemouth reduced the distance from Waterloo from 116 miles to 107½ miles and also allowed higher speeds and increased traffic capacity.

The Weymouth and Bournemouth portion of through trains were now divided and joined at Brockenhurst relegating the Ringwood - Christchurch line to a local branch operated by railmotors. With the resulting loss in passenger and freight revenue the line closed completely on 30th September 1935.

Sources: A regional history of the Railways of Great Britain - Volume 2 Southern England
David & Charles 1961

To see the other stations on the Ringwood, Christchurch & Bournemouth Railway click on the station name: Ringwood & Hurn

 

Avon Lodge Station
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection




 

 

 

:[Source: Nick Catford]


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