Dilton Marsh railway station

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Dilton Marsh National Rail
Dilton Marsh new platform and shelter.jpg
PlaceDilton Marsh
Local authorityWiltshire
Coordinates51°14′56″N 2°12′28″W / 51.2490°N 2.2079°W / 51.2490; -2.2079Coordinates: 51°14′56″N 2°12′28″W / 51.2490°N 2.2079°W / 51.2490; -2.2079
Grid referenceST855500
Station codeDMH
Managed byGreat Western Railway
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryF2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Decrease 19,514
2015/16Decrease 16,494
2016/17Increase 18,132
2017/18Increase 20,302
2018/19Decrease 17,004
Original companyGreat Western Railway
National RailUK railway stations
  • Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Dilton Marsh from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Dilton Marsh railway station is a railway station serving the village of Dilton Marsh in Wiltshire, England.

The station is located on the Wessex Main Line between Bristol Temple Meads and Southampton Central railway station 23 miles (37 km) north of Salisbury. Great Western Railway operate local services between Bristol and the South Coast which call at Dilton Marsh, the station is also operated by them.


Earlier wooden shelter and fencing

The Great Western Railway opened "Dilton Marsh Halt" on 1 June 1937. The wooden platforms were 300 feet (91 m) long and were provided with small wooden shelters; the construction cost £1,134. Being a "halt" there were no staff to sell tickets, but a sign directed would-be passengers to the "7th house up the hill" where Mrs H. Roberts sold tickets from her home. She had sold tickets on a commission basis since 1947.[1]

The platforms are staggered either side of the road underbridge and are about 100m apart, approached by ramps from either side of the rail bridge.

In 1969 the station was renamed as just "Dilton Marsh." Platforms were reduced to the length of one coach. British Rail tried to shut the station but was met by strong local opposition. The remaining platforms were in very poor condition and so were rebuilt in concrete. The station reopened after an eight-week closure on 1 May 1994.[2]

In 2018 the wooden shelters and fencing on both platforms were replaced by standard Network Rail bus shelter style in glass and metal with galvanised fencing.

Dilton Marsh Halt poem[edit]

The station was the subject of a well-loved poem "Dilton Marsh Halt" by the late British poet John Betjeman:[3]

Was it worth keeping the Halt open,
We thought as we looked at the sky
Red through the spread of the cedar-tree,
With the evening train gone by?
Yes, we said, for in summer the anglers use it,
Two and sometimes three
Will bring their catches of rods and poles and perches
To Westbury, home for tea. '''
There isn't a porter. The platform is made of sleepers.
The guard of the last train puts out the light
And high over lorries and cattle the Halt unwinking
Waits through the Wiltshire night.
O housewife safe in the comprehensive churning
Of the Warminster launderette!
O husband down at the depot with car in car-park!
The Halt is waiting yet.
And when all the horrible roads are finally done for,
And there's no more petrol left in the world to burn,
Here to the Halt from Salisbury and from Bristol
Steam trains will return.


Although it is a request stop, the station is quite well served. In the current timetable eight trains per day call on weekdays southbound (with an additional service on Saturdays) and eleven northbound.[4] The base frequency is every two hours each way, increasing to hourly at peak times. Destinations include Warminster, Southampton, Brighton, Bristol Temple Meads, Bath Spa and Gloucester.

On Sundays eight trains call in each direction - these are all through services on the Cardiff and Bristol to Portsmouth/Brighton route.

South Western Railway services between London Waterloo and Bristol Temple Meads pass through the station, but do not stop.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Westbury   Great Western Railway
Wessex Main Line

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tickets "Up the Hill"". Railway Magazine. 115 (821): 517. September 1969.
  2. ^ Oakley, Mike (2004). Wiltshire Railway Stations. Wimborne: The Dovecote Press. ISBN 1-904349-33-1.
  3. ^ "Then and Now - Dilton Marsh station"Wiltshire Times; Retrieved 7 October 2016
  4. ^ GB Rail Timetable May 2016 Edition, Table 123

External links[edit]