Station Name: DROXFORD

[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 1.7.1903
Location: On the west side of Station Road
Company on opening: London & South Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 7.2.1955
Date closed completely: 30.4.1962
Company on closing: British Railways (Southern Region)
Present state: Platforms and station building and canopy are extant. The station building is now in private occupation.
County: Hampshire
OS Grid Ref: SU613185
Date of visit: April 1968, July 1975 and February 1983

Notes: The Meon Valley Railway closed to passengers in 1955 but goods traffic remained on two severed sections of the line. At the north end traffic continued to Farringdon and at the south to Droxford. The track in-between was lifted. The goods service to Droxford finished in 1962 while that to Farringdon continued until 1968.

For many years this picture was believed to show a meeting of the Overlord commanders at Droxford and it even hung on the wall in the station. The location has now been positively identified as Ascot.

On the 2nd June 1944, Winston Churchill, members of his war cabinet and the Overlord commanders including US President Eisenhower and the French leader Charles de Gaulle, the Canadian President William Lyon McKenzie King and the South African leader Jan Smuts, all met on the Royal train, in the siding at Droxford. Tens of thousands of troops were already camped throughout the area, preparing for the invasion of France. The leaders went on a morale boosting visit to the troops and then returned to the train to hold last minute talks about the invasion plans.

Droxford station was chosen as the meeting

point because of its proximity to the troops, its secluded siding and proximity to a deep cutting. It was thought that in the event of an attack, the train could be pushed into the cutting, where it would be hard to see. Imagine what could have happened if news of this meeting had fallen into German hands. 

After closure of the southern section by BR the line was taken over by Charles Ashby who was developing the 'Pacerailer' railbus. In 1965 The Southern Locomotive Preservation Company moved some of their stock onto the site in the hope that the remaining section of track could be reopened as a preserved line. In January 1969 this was looking unlikely following continued vandalism at the station which caused considerable damage to the Pacerailer.

When BR decided to close Knowle Junction the Preservation Company moved their stock to the Bluebell Railway with the last railed vehicle running on the line in April 1973. By 1975 the track had been lifted and Droxford Station is now in private occupation.

11 miles of the Meon Valley Railway is now a public footpath and cycle track between Knowle Junction and West Meon. For details see Rural Rides web site. There is a public car park at Droxford Station. The path runs either side of Droxford Station but the station building and platforms are surrounded by a high hedge for privacy.

For further reading see The Meon Valley Railway by R. A. Stone - Kingfisher Railway Publications 1983 - ISBN 0 946184 04 6.

Tickets from Michael Stewart

See also Wickham & Knowle Halt

Droxford station looking south in the 1950's
Photo from Lens of Sutton

1910 1:2,500 OS map. Droxford station building is seen on the down side. On the up side the wide platform acts as both the up passenger platform and a cattle dock. There was a fence separating the two which isn't shown on the map. The signal box is shown near the south end of the up platform. There are two sidings, that to the left is for coal while that to the right passes the west side of
the small goods shed.

1963 1:2,500 OS map. By this date the station had closed to both passenger and goods traffic. The goods shed and signal box (an LSWR Type 4) have been demolished. The 5-ton capacity
yard crane is shown.

Droxford Station in early 1955 around the time the station closed to passenger traffic.
Photo by S C Townroe

Sadler Rail Coach at Droxford station in April 1968
Photo by Nick Catford

Droxford Station in April 1968 with stock belonging to the Southern Locomotive Preservation Company.
Ex Southall Gas Works diesel shunter 'Spitfire' is in the bay platform in front of the coach. What appears to be an unusually wide platform is the up platform and cattle dock. The fence line separating them can be seen.
hoto by Nick Catford

Droxford station building in July 1975.
Photo by Nick Catford

Droxford station looking north from the up platform in January 1983.
hoto by Nick Catford

Droxford Station in 2003, now restored as a private residence.
Photo by David Packman from Hampshire Cam web site

For more photographs of Droxford Station click here

[Source: Nick Catford]

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