[Source: Dave Marden]

Date opened: 29.7.1847
Location: Immediately east of a footbridge that stands east of Southampton Station. North side of Western Esplanade.
Company on opening: London & South Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 1st November 1895
Date closed completely: Unknown
Company on closing: London & South Western Railway
Present state: Demolished
County: Hampshire
OS Grid Ref: SU414122
Date of visit: Not visited

Notes: The Southampton & Dorchester Railway (otherwise known as Castleman’s Corkscrew, due to is meandering course) was opened to traffic on 1st. June 1847. It was connected to the original L&SWR main line (from Southampton Terminus) at Northam and travelled westwards by way of a tunnel under the centre of the town.

Provision of a station to the west of the tunnel was a condition of building the line but nothing had been done until just before opening as a station here was opposed  by the LSWR. The local council threatened legal action to stop the line opening so in the week prior to the opening ceremony taking place the company hastily put up a temporary terminus at
Bletchynden Terrace. In reality the council had helped them as construction problems with the new tunnel had caused its closure for remedial works and the LSWR had to transport is locomotives by road to Bletchynden and engines and carriages for the makeshift opening day service were horse-drawn through the tunnel as it was considered too dangerous to use steam power.

The temporary station included an existing premises known as Ivy House, Bletchynden Terrace, belonging to a Mr. Purkis, who leased the building to the railway, who had proposed that only a few trains would stop there.

The first passengers were carried through the tunnel on what was essentially a test train on 29th July 1847 and regular passenger use began with the  night mail train of 5/6th August 1847.

This arrangement lasted until 1850 when structures originally destined for Cosham were erected at the site. The improved station was still very simple but from 2nd August 1858 it became officially known as Southampton West End.  It was subsequently enlarged by the addition of a booking office, and two waiting rooms on each of the up and down platforms, the
works being completed by the end of 1860. The station was often referred to as Southampton West as on the tickets above.

By the late 1880s the station was woefully inadequate for the amount of traffic and the railway purchased land to the west of Bletchynden, where a much larger Southampton West (Central since 1935) was built and opened on 1st of November 1895.

The old West End station (ex Bletchynden) was then relegated to handling goods traffic, the up platform eventually being cut back to accommodate a siding while the buildings on the down side were removed to make way for additional tracks into the improved Central Station in 1934. What was left slowly fell out of use and almost all traces had disappeared by the 1960s.

Tickets from Michael Stewart

Looking east at Southampton West End Station from above the tunnel before 1895

1897 Ordnance Survey map showing the new Southampton West station with the original station to the east of the Blechynden Street foorbridge

1903 plan showing layout Southampton West station with its predecessor to the right

N15 Class 743 passes through the disused Southampton West End station with a 'down' train of GWR coaches in the late 1920's

Looking east towards the disused Southampton West End station in August 1933. Viewed from the footbridge which still exists to the east of Southampton Station.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Looking east from Southampton Central 'down' platform towards the disused Southampton West End Station in 1934. The main station building which was used as a goods office at this date can be seen under thru footbridge on the left although the platform has been cut back to accommodate a siding. The down platform was demolished earlier in the year to make way for additional tracks into Central Station.

66550 on 6O49 sand empties from Neasden to Wool passing through the site of Southampton West End Station on 3rd August 2006. from a similar viewpoint to the 1933 picture above.
Photo by Rob Daly


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[Source: Dave Marden]

Last updated: Friday, 26-May-2017 10:59:15 CEST
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