Station Name: MARCHWOOD

 

[Source: Nick Catford]



Date opened: 20.7.1925
Location: On the south side of Hythe Road
Company on opening: Southern Railway
Date closed to passengers: 14.2.1966
Date closed completely: 14.2.1966
Company on closing: British Railways (Southern Region)
Present state: There have been few changes in the station since closure. The station building is now a private residence.
County: Hampshire
OS Grid Ref: SU384101
Date of visit: December 1975 & 21.1.2006

Notes: The first plans for a railway in the area dated from 1860 but it was to take more than 60 years before Fawley finally saw a train service. In the 19th century there were elaborate plans for a railway line to Stone Point (to the south of Fawley) to connect with a Solent tunnel to link the mainland with the Isle of Wight. In the early years of the 20th century it seemed that a railway-operated bus service might negate the need for a railway at all.

At the beginning of the war the Fawley district was still essentially rural in character and apart from farming and fishing there were few industries. The construction of the oil refinery in 1920/21 by Anglo Gulf West Indies Petroleum Corporation Limited was to change the Fawley area forever. Opening of the railway finally came in 1925, a Light Railway Order having been sought as long ago as 1903, a single track branch from Totton to Fawley was constructed and opened on 20 July 1925. There were intermediate stations at Marchwood and Hythe, but the line was mostly noted for its numerous ungated crossings. Even thought Fawley and Hythe were close to the seaplane bases on Southampton Water, passenger traffic was never heavy.

Branch train's commenced from either Southampton Terminus or Central stations, being little changed from inception until the 1950s. The railway's salvation was the dramatic buildup of oil traffic from the refinery at Fawley.

As only tank locomotives were permitted because of lack of turning facilities and the ungated level crossings, loaded wagons soon proved to be beyond the resources of one, or even two, small engines. Robert Urie's hefty Pacific tanks, the 'H16' class built in 1921, were tried out early in 1960 and soon became a familiar sight on the oil trains - even they needed assistance up from Fawley. A loop was put in at Marchwood to allow trains to pass on the 9-mile branch. With the withdrawal of the `H 16' tanks during 1962, they were replaced by the freight-only Class W 2-6-4T locomotives dispatched from London; again, double-heading proved necessary with loaded trains. In 1964, diesel locomotives took over and were allowed to travel through to Fawley.

Steam was displaced on the passenger services by Hampshire DEMU's in 1960, but this proved only a temporary arrangement as closure took place from 14 February 1966.

The lone still remains open serving the oil refinery at Fawley and all crossings now have gates, half-barriers or flashing lights. At Marchwood the Army maintains a small standard-gauge system at the Marchwood Military Port, with access to Fawley branch at the southern extremity of the station. During the 1950's reservists were carried by through trains from Waterloo to Marchwood Military Siding.

Further reading: The Totton, Hythe & Fawley Light Railway by J. A. Fairman: Oakwood Press 2002 ISBN 0853615845

To see the other stations on the Totton, Hythe & Fawley Light Railway click on the station name: Hythe & Fawley

 

Marchwood Station in December 1975
P
hoto by Nick Catford



Hampshire DEMU at Marchwood in February 1966
Photo by David Fereday Glenn

LCGB 'New Forester' railtour at Marchwood in March 1966
Photo by Graham T V Stacey (from 30937 Photographic Group web site)


Marchwood Station in 2004

Click on thumbnail to enlarge


 

 

 

:[Source: Nick Catford]


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