Station Name: WEST MOORS

[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 1.8.1867
Location: On the east side of Station Road (B3072)
Company on opening: London & South Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 4.5.1964
Date closed completely: 20.9.1965
Company on closing: British Railways (Southern Region)
Present state: Demolished - New Road runs through the site of the station
County: Dorset
OS Grid Ref: SU080030
Date of visit: January 1976
Notes: The South Western's first major push westwards occurred after collaboration with Charles Castleman, a Wimborne solicitor, and the opening of 'Castleman's Snake' from Northam to Dorchester during June and July 1847. From Lymington Junction, Brockenhurst, the line swept through Holmsley (known as Christchurch Road until 1888), Ringwood, West
Moors, Wimborne and Broadstone before continuing southwestward to Wareham and Dorchester. Meanwhile, another independent line under the title of the Salisbury & Dorset Junction Company was promoted to link Salisbury with Wimborne: opened on 20 December 1866, the 19 miles of single track from Alderbury Junction (between Salisbury and Dean) to West Moors was also worked by the London & South Western Railway and absorbed in 1883. It served stations at Downton, Breamore, Fordingbridge, Daggons Road and Verwood and for much of its length followed the River Avon along the western edge of the New Forest. As with local trains over the adjoining line from Brockenhurst, the usual destination was Bournemouth West.

When the 'Branksome avoiding line' and the 'Holes Bay curve' were opened on 1st June 1893 they removed the need for reversals at Bournemouth West and Broadstone respectively for the Southampton - Dorchester- Weymouth service and the line from Lymington Junction through Ringwood to Hamworthy Junction lost all main line traffic except for Weymouth
extras avoiding Bournemouth.

On summer Saturdays in Southern days both lines served as useful alternatives for some of the many holiday trains run at peak periods. A few through trains from Waterloo ran to Swanage, while the Fordingbridge line offered similar facilities for holidaymakers from South Wales heading for the coast. Traffic on the line was always light and closure had

been proposed before the line was eventually axed under Beeching from 4 May 1964, although goods traffic continued to use the line to Ringwood from Broadstone Junction until 7th August 1967, after which it was cut back to West Moors where occasional military trains served a fuel depot until 1974. After that, a local twice-weekly goods service to Wimborne together with the presence there of an exhibition train company base, kept the western stub of the line in use until 1977.

Sources: A regional history of the Railways of Great Britain - Volume 2 Southern England
David & Charles 1961
Rail Routes in Hampshire & East Dorset by David Fereday Glenn - Ian Allen 1983

Web sites: Rural Rides describes the entire route today with many photographs and West Moors Dorset . Tickets from Michael Stewart

To see the other stations on the former Salisbury & Dorset Junction Railway click on the station name: Downton, Breamore, Fordingbridge, Daggons Road, Holmsley, Ringwood, Ashley Heath, West Moors & Wimborne

West Moors Station in April 1964
hoto received from Neil Lambourne

West Moors Station in 1975
hoto by Ian Corps

West Moors Station in looking east in January 1976
hoto by Nick Catford

Site of West Moors station and level crossing looking east along the alignment
of the up platform in June 2010
hoto by Martin James

Click on thumbnail to enlarge




[Source: Nick Catford]

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