[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 1.6.1865
Location: South side of Bury Road
Company on opening: Stokes Bay Railway & Pier Company
Date closed to passengers: 1.11.1915
Date closed completely: 1.11.1915
Company on closing: LSWR
Present state: Demolished - the site is occupied by a road, housing & part of a telephone exchange.
County: Hampshire
OS Grid Ref: SZ607995
Date of visit: July 1995 & 11.3.2006

Notes: The station was originally named Stoke Road but was renamed Gosport Road on 8.11.1866 and renamed for a third time to Gosport Road and Alverstoke in 10.1893. The station was opened to allow passengers bound for Gosport to use Stoke trains as the station was still relatively close to Gosport town centre.

The station had two low platforms each with a brick waiting shelter, in addition there was a wooden booking office on the up platform. The station had no goods facilities.

The station was never well used, only attracting local passengers travelling to the Isle of Wight from Stokes Bay. The station was largely rebuilt in 1885 with platforms of standard height.

In 1922, after the station had closed, the up side buildings were converted into living accommodation for a local guard who was unable to find a house elsewhere.

The first abortive scheme for a branch to Stokes Bay from the Fareham - Gosport line (opened in 1841) was promoted in 1846 as the Gosport Pier and Branch Railway in order to cash in on the popularity of the Isle of Wight as a holiday destination.

The proposal was resurrected in 1854 when the Stokes Bay and Isle of Wight Railway and Pier Company promoted the construction of 1 1/2 miles of line from a junction just west of Gosport station to a new pier at Stokes Bay where trains would run directly onto the pier where there would be transfer facilities for a ferry service to a new pier at Ryde.

The LSWR refused to support the scheme and there were considerable opposition from existing ferry operators but this was dropped when the new company agreed to let other operators use their pier. The Stokes Bay Railway and Pier Act were passed by parliament on 14th August 1855.

Problems finding a suitable contractor and investors delayed the start of construction for several years and the short branch eventually opened on 6th April 1863. At first a reversal at Gosport was required as the Stokes Bay branch was only accessible from a trailing connection into the main line but a new east curve was eventually opened on 1st June 1865 giving direct
access from Fareham; from the same date an intermediate station was opened at Gosport Road. Initially there were five trains each way on weekdays and two on Sundays operated by the LSWR.

Although the ferry crossing was quicker than from Portsmouth, there were no direct trains from London so the new service was not popular as it offered little advantage over the existing route via Portsmouth and the LSWR resisted pressure to improve the service to avoid conflict with the LB & SCR.

The Stokes Bay Company eventually sold out to the LSWR in 1875. Once ownership had been transferred the LSWR were keen to improve the service as it provided the shortest and most convenient route to the Isle of Wight. Despite their enthusiasm, the route was never a great success. Passenger traffic was only brisk during the summer and in 1902 the ferry service from Strokes Bay was suspended during winter months. The opening a new route between Waterloo and Stokes Bay along the recently opened Meon Valley Line in 1902 did not bring the expected increase in passenger numbers and the new service was withdrawn in 1914.

The steamer service to the Isle of Wight was suspended at the start of WW1 and was never reinstated. Despite the loss of the ferry, the passenger service was still running in the summer of 1915 but it was little used and both Stokes Bay and Gosport road were then closed for the duration of the war taking effect from 1st November 1915.

The pier was then taken over by the Admiralty for the transportation of munitions and fuel. After the war the LSWR did not reopen the line to passengers and in 1922 sold the pier and the line south of Gosport Road station to the Admiralty who converted the pier into a torpedo station but had no use for the railway which was replaced by a narrow gauge line.

The track was lifted in stages and by 1930 all that remained was the old down line as far as the Admiralty boundary south of Gosport Road Station. This stub line was used for stock storage. Shortly after that date the sub was cut back when Gosport Road station was sold to the council.

Today much of the Stokes Bay branch is a public footpath although Gosport Road Station site is now occupied by a telephone exchange and extension to the White Hart pub car park. 'Little Anglesey Viaduct' still bridges an inlet from Portsmouth Harbour. Stokes Bay pier has gone with just a slipway at the end of Military Road to indicate its former position. Ticket: Michael Stewart

Further reading: The Railways of Gosport by Kevin Robertson - Kingfisher 1986
ISBN 0 946184 25 9 (out of print)
Branch Lines around Gosport by Vic. Mitchell & Keith. Smith - Middleton Press 1991
ISBN 0 906520 36 3

See also Stokes Bay

Gosport Road Station c.1868 looking south; note the original low platforms.

Gosport Road & Alverstoke Station looking north before July 1908
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Gosport Road & Alverstoke Station in c.1930

The site of Gosport Road Station in March 2006 taken from a similar viewpoint to the picture above.
hoto by Nick Catford




[Source: Nick Catford]

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