Station Name: READING SOUTHERN

 

[Source: Nick Catford]



Date opened: 4.7.1849
Location: On the east side of Station Approach at its junction with Station Hill
Company on opening: Reading, Guildford & Reigate Railway
Date closed to passengers: 6.9.1965
Date closed completely: 6.9.1965
Company on closing: British Railways (Southern Region)
Present state: Demolished - the site has been redeveloped
County: Berkshire
OS Grid Ref: SU715737
Date of visit: October 1967

Notes: The station was opened as Reading; it was renamed Reading South on 26.9.1949 with another name change to Reading Southern on 11.9.1961.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE READING - REDHILL LINE
The Reading, Guildford & Reigate Company had been incorporated in 1846 to build 45 3/4 miles of line between Reading and Reigate (Redhill) on the London-Brighton line. On the grounds of its utility as a through link between the Great Western and the Channel ports, the South Eastern willingly supported the scheme. In 1852 the independent Company was purchased by the South Eastern Railway.

The Reading terminus adjoined the GWR's station; from Reading the line ran south-east to Farnborough and on to Ash junction, where it joined the South Western's Alton branch. Running powers were exercised from there over the 51 miles into Guildford and on over the Godalming extension for two miles through the narrow Wey Gap through the North Downs to Shalford Junction. Here the cross-country concern regained its own metals.

The Redhill-Dorking and the Reading-Farnborough sections were opened simultaneously on 4 July 1849. The extensions of these two sections to Shalford junction and to Ash junction came into use on 20th August, enabling the South Eastern to run from Reading to Guildford. Through running between Reading and Redhill began on 15 October 1849. On 30th August 1855 the station at Reading was resited 300 yards to the west, closer to the Great Western station.

At first the Redhill, Guildford & Reigate was useless as a through route, for there was no 'narrow gauge' continuation beyond Reading until 1858. As a route from London it competed unfavorably at every important point west of Reigate. But though it could offer nothing in the way of speed, the South Eastern undercut fares, and hired vans to collect goods for dispatch from as far afield as Farnham and Newbury. But it got no profit from this and a tariff agreement was reached with the Great Western and the South Western in 1858. Subsequently the line became even more wayward than the general run of South Eastern branches until improvements by the Managing Committee and, in its turn, by the Southern, gave it a local service which was quite respectable. From 1897 through services were established between the Midlands and the Kent and Sussex resorts.

Goods services were withdrawn from Reading South on 1.10.1947. The passenger service was threatened by the Beeching Plan, but in the end an interval service of diesel-electric trains was introduced and the line remains open.

From 6.9.1965 services were diverted into new platforms at Reading General and Reading Southern was closed.

 

Reading Southern Station in the 1960's
P
hoto by J. L. Smith



Reading Southern Station in May 1966
Photo by Robert W Bridger (from 30937 Photographic Group web site)

The site of Reading Southern Station in October 1967
P
hoto by Nick Catford

Click on thumbnail to enlarge


 

 

 

:[Source: Nick Catford]


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