Weymouth railway station

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Weymouth National Rail
Weymouth
Location
Place Weymouth
Local authority Weymouth and Portland, Dorset
Coordinates 50°36′58″N 2°27′18″W / 50.616°N 2.455°W / 50.616; -2.455Coordinates: 50°36′58″N 2°27′18″W / 50.616°N 2.455°W / 50.616; -2.455
Grid reference SY679797
Operations
Station code WEY
Managed by South West Trains
Number of platforms 3
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2002/03   0.588 million
2004/05   0.588 million
2005/06 Increase 0.595 million
2006/07 Increase 0.623 million
2007/08 Increase 0.662 million
2008/09 Increase 0.714 million
2009/10 Increase 0.747 million
2010/11 Increase 0.798 million
2011/12 Increase 0.799 million
2012/13 Increase 0.817 million
History
Original company Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway
Pre-grouping Great Western Railway
Post-grouping Great Western Railway
20 January 1857 (1857-01-20) Opened
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Weymouth from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal
Express to Waterloo in 1960

Weymouth railway station is the main railway station serving the town of Weymouth, Dorset, England (the other station being Upwey railway station which is located north of the town centre). The station is the terminus of both the South Western Main Line from London Waterloo and the Heart of Wessex Line from Bristol Temple Meads and Gloucester.

History[edit]

The Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway, which was authorised in 1845, was built in stages (during which the company was absorbed in 1850 by the Great Western Railway).[1][2] Two of the last sections, from Yeovil Pen Mill to Weymouth and a connecting curve from that line to the Dorchester station of the London and South Western Railway (LSWR), were opened on 20 January 1857.[3] The LSWR was granted running powers from Dorchester to Weymouth,[4] where some of the platforms were dedicated for LSWR use; these powers were exercised from the opening day.[3][5] The station was named Weymouth, although some timetables showed it as Weymouth Town.[6] Branches to Portland and Weymouth Quay (both opened in 1865) ran from Weymouth Junction, just north of the station.[citation needed]

The original station buildings were designed by TH Bertram and constructed in timber with a glazed overall roof across the tracks; this was removed after WW2. By the turn of the century the station area comprised five platforms, a large goods yard, and a small LSWR engine shed; the GWR had a larger shed situated north of the station. Nearby, Melcombe Regis served Portland passenger trains until 1952 and provided an overflow platform for excursion trains on busy summer weekends until 1959.

After the Second World War, the station saw rapid growth in holiday and Channel Islands traffic. As a result the station underwent a major expansion in the late 1950s, gaining two lengthy excursion platforms (which now serve today's station), additional sidings adjacent to Jubilee Gardens, and a new signal box to replace two older boxes. However traffic soon declined and the station was progressively rationalised after the end of steam-hauled operations in 1967 with the goods yard closing in 1972 and the signal box and most of the remaining sidings being taken out of use in 1987. Although the current station is a mere shadow of its former self, the extension of third-rail electrification from Bournemouth in 1988 has given the station much improved services to London.

The current station is a relatively modern structure, having been rebuilt in 1986; in its final years, the old Weymouth station was far too big for the traffic it was handling.

Services[edit]

A train to London waits for departure

South West Trains operate half - hourly services to/from London Waterloo via Basingstoke, Southampton Central, Bournemouth and Poole. Services were operated by Wessex Electrics electric multiple units, until early 2007. These trains had been introduced when electrification was extended to Weymouth in 1988. The route is now almost exclusively operated by Class 444 Express Desiro units; although there are occasional services operated by the Class 450 Suburban Desiro units, and rare services by a Class 455 Metro Unit. Of the two trains per hour, one calls at many stations all the way to Southampton to pick up stations served by the former Wareham - Brockenhurst and Poole - Waterloo services. The other service calls at few stations to Southampton, and then Winchester, then Woking then fast to London Waterloo.

First Great Western operate services to/from Bristol via Bath Spa, Westbury and Yeovil. One early morning service originates from Westbury, but the others all operate through (eight each way Mon-Sat, three on Sundays all year plus two additional trains in the summer). Many Bristol services now continue on to Gloucester, Worcester or Great Malvern. Services are operated by Class 150, Class 153 or Class 158 diesel multiple units. In the past few years on summer Saturdays, Class 31 locomotives and Mk.2 coaching stock had been hired from FM Rail to cater for extra passengers and holiday makers, but the demise of the charter company has seen this practice cease.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Upwey   South West Trains
London to Weymouth
  Terminus
Upwey   First Great Western
Bristol to Weymouth
  Terminus
Disused railways
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Weymouth Harbour Tramway
  Weymouth Quay
Terminus   GWR and LSWR
Portland Branch Railway
  Melcombe Regis
Historical railways
Radipole
Line Open, Station Closed
  Great Western Railway
Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway
  Terminus

Weymouth Quay[edit]

Weymouth Quay railway station is a disused terminus in the town. Its passenger station was used solely for trains connecting with cross-channel ferries, which have not run since 1987, though the line remains part of the network and the station, in theory, still open. Its use had been suggested as part of the transport infrastructure for the 2012 Olympic sailing events to take place on the Isle of Portland, though since it is accessed via the Weymouth Harbour Branch, which runs along public streets, this posed difficulties. Previously, the branch saw both freight and passenger traffic, most recently fuel-oil trains.[citation needed]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ James 1983, p. 55.
  2. ^ MacDermot 1927, pp. 278, 280, 285–7, 395.
  3. ^ a b MacDermot 1927, p. 413.
  4. ^ MacDermot 1927, p. 396.
  5. ^ Williams 1968, p. 65.
  6. ^ Butt 1995, p. 247.

References[edit]

  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  • James, Leslie (November 1983). A Chronology of the Construction of Britain's Railways 1778-1855. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1277-6. BE/1183. 
  • MacDermot, E.T. (1927). History of the Great Western Railway, vol. I: 1833-1863. Paddington: Great Western Railway. 
  • Williams, R.A. (1968). The London & South Western Railway, volume 1: The Formative Years. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-4188-X. 
This station offers access to the South West Coast Path
Distance to path ¼ mile (500 metres)
Next station anticlockwise Swanage 48 miles (77 km)
Next station clockwise Exmouth 76 miles (122 km)