Bournemouth railway station

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National Rail
Bournemouth Central-8309.jpg
LocationBournemouth, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
United Kingdom
Grid referenceSZ096919
Managed bySouth Western Railway
Other information
Station codeBMH
ClassificationDfT category C1
Pre-groupingLondon and South Western Railway
Post-groupingSouthern Railway
Key dates
20 July 1885Opened (Bournemouth East)
1 May 1899Renamed (Bournemouth Central)
10 July 1967Renamed (Bournemouth)
2014/15Increase 2.625 million[1]
 Interchange Increase 74,731
2015/16Increase 2.688 million[1]
 Interchange Decrease 74,435
2016/17Increase 2.756 million[1]
 Interchange Decrease 69,627
2017/18Decrease 2.722 million[1]
 Interchange Decrease 68,830
2018/19Increase 2.752 million[1]
 Interchange Decrease 48,752

Bournemouth railway station is the main railway station serving the beach-side town of Bournemouth, Dorset, England. It was previously known as Bournemouth East (1885 to 1899) and then Bournemouth Central (1899 to 1967). It has long been treated as an obligatory stop (major stop) on the South Western Main Line from London Waterloo to Weymouth. It is 108 miles 2 chains (173.8 km) down the main line from Waterloo[note 1] and is situated between Pokesdown and Branksome.

A previous incarnation of Bournemouth East station was on another site. Ticket barriers were installed in 2008 and British Transport Police have a Bournemouth office at the station which acts as a regional hub.[2]


Looking eastward in 1963

The station was designed by William Jacob, chief engineer of the London and South Western Railway, and opened on 20 July 1885 as Bournemouth East replacing the original station of the same name on the other side of Holdenhurst Road from 1870 to 1885, see Bournemouth East railway station (Ringwood, Christchurch and Bournemouth Railway).[3] The station was over 1–km from the town centre on the insistence of town authorities of the time. It was renamed Bournemouth Central on 1 May 1899 and became Bournemouth on 10 July 1967 following the closure of Bournemouth West. By 1967 third rail electrification had reached Bournemouth and continued beyond to Branksome and Bournemouth Train & Rolling Stock Maintenance Depot but no further. From the end of steam most trains were formed of 4REP EMUs coupled up with one or more unpowered 4TC units. The 4TC units would be uncoupled at Bournemouth and attached to a Class 33/1 diesel locomotive for the onward journey to Weymouth. This continued until the electrification of the line from Branksome to Weymouth and the introduction of Class 442 units in 1988. The end of steam also saw the removal of the station's centre tracks which ran between the up and down lines serving platforms 2 and 3 respectively and the demolition of the locomotive sheds to the west; the station car park took over their site.

The station roof was severely damaged by the Great Storm of 1987 that hit the South of England. It was extensively refurbished in 2000 by Railtrack after many years of disrepair and being surrounded by scaffolding to protect people from falling debris.

Ticket barriers were installed in 2008.

Bournemouth railway station was once served by services and goods deliveries across five railways, the South Western Main Line, Southampton and Dorchester Railway, Ringwood, Christchurch and Bournemouth Railway, Salisbury and Dorset Junction Railway and Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 2 September 1961, a train was derailed by trap points at the end of the down platform (towards the west).[4]


The station has four platforms:

  • Platform 1 – east facing bay platform capable of accommodating trains of up to four 20-metre coaches. As of 2012 there are no scheduled services from this platform.[5]
  • Platform 2 – for through services to the east towards Southampton & London Waterloo
  • Platforms 3 and 4 – for terminating services from London and through services to Weymouth, platform 4 is rarely used by trains in passenger service.

Platforms 3 and 4 are continuous, and both can accommodate full-length trains. This means Bournemouth has one of the longest platforms in the country. Other stations with this arrangement include Gloucester, Cambridge and Edinburgh Waverley.

Motive power depot[edit]

BR Standard 5MT 4-6-0 No. 73110 approaching the station 10 May 1958. The Locomotive Depot is visible behind the locomotive.

A small locomotive depot was opened at Bournemouth East in 1870, but closed in 1883.[6] This was replaced by a larger shed, adjacent to Bournemouth Central station, in 1883. This in turn was supplemented by another shed nearby in 1888. In 1921, the 1883 shed was closed and the 1888 one was extended to increase capacity, and between 1936 and 1938 this was rebuilt and enlarged. The new shed included a 65 ft (20 m) turntable and a 50 LT (51 t) hoist. However the facilities remained cramped and awkwardly sited; there were proposals to move the depot to Branksome which were never implemented. This site therefore remained in use until June 1967 when the site was cleared.[7]


A CrossCountry service


The station is primarily served by South Western Railway, who operate fast and semi-fast trains from London Waterloo to Weymouth, and stopping services from London Waterloo to Poole.[8]

CrossCountry operate services from Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly via Birmingham New Street.[8] There is one CrossCountry service Monday to Saturday only from Nottingham but no return working.[9] All CrossCountry services at Bournemouth use Voyagers. Before the CrossCountry service was standardised in 2007 there were for many years CrossCountry services to many other destinations, including the Dorset Scot, Pines Express and Wessex Scot and other trains to Scotland via both the West Coast Main Line and East Coast Main Line, along with trains to Leeds and to Liverpool Lime Street.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Brockenhurst   CrossCountry
Southampton Central
  South Western Railway
London–Weymouth express services
  Branksome or Terminus
for Boscombe
  South Western Railway
London–Weymouth semi-fast services
for Boscombe
  South Western Railway
London-Poole stopping services
  Historical railways  
Line open, station closed
  London and South Western Railway
Southampton and Dorchester Railway
  Meyrick Park Halt
Line open, station closed

In May 1994, Network SouthEast extended its service London Victoria to Southampton service to terminate at Bournemouth.[10] It was truncated back to Southampton in the 2000s by Southern. The service was one of the few regular services to use platform 1.


Bournemouth railway station also serves as a hub for local bus services. On the down side of the station is Bournemouth Travel Interchange which is served by Wilts & Dorset and Yellow Buses, both companies operate frequent services to the town centre. A regular bus service to Bournemouth Airport, the Bournemouth Airport Shuttle, is operated by Yellow Buses. It is also a stop on National Express coach routes which serve the town.


  1. ^ Railways in the United Kingdom historically are measured in miles and chains. There are 80 chains to one mile.


  1. ^ a b c d e Annual estimated intercity rail passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at this station from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Bournemouth Central - History"
  4. ^ Trevena, Arthur (1981). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 2. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 42. ISBN 0-906899 03 6.
  5. ^ Mortimer, Simon (2007). Baywatch (4th edition). Kentrail Enthusiasts Group.
  6. ^ Griffiths, Roger; Paul Smith (1999). The directory of British engine sheds. 1. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. p. 50. ISBN 0 86093 542 6.
  7. ^ Hawkins, Chris; George Reeve (1979). An historical survey of Southern sheds. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. p. 15. ISBN 0 86093 020 3.
  8. ^ a b Services calling at Bournemouth on 4 February 2020 Real Time Trains
  9. ^ Table 51 & 158 National Rail timetable, May 2017
  10. ^ Network SouthCentral goes west Rail issue 230 6 July 1994 page 19

Coordinates: 50°43′41″N 1°51′50″W / 50.728°N 1.864°W / 50.728; -1.864