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
||Prior to D-Day a train carrying
Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, members of his war cabinet
and leaders from overseas governments arrived at Droxford
on the 2nd June 1944. They visited troops in the area and
held last minute talks with the Overlord commanders including
Eisenhower and De Gaulle. When Churchill met De Gaulle to
tell him that the liberation of France was about to begin,
he had the train stop in a nearby cutting rather so that De
Gaulle had to walk from the station and along the track to
It's said that Droxford was chosen because of the nearby tunnel,
if an air raid occurred the train and its passengers would be
driven into the tunnel for safety.
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
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.