Gillingham railway station (Dorset)

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Gillingham National Rail
Gillingham station 2009.jpg
Place Gillingham
Local authority North Dorset
Coordinates 51°02′02″N 2°16′23″W / 51.034°N 2.273°W / 51.034; -2.273Coordinates: 51°02′02″N 2°16′23″W / 51.034°N 2.273°W / 51.034; -2.273
Grid reference ST809261
Station code GIL
Managed by South Western Railway
Number of platforms 2
DfT category D
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2012/13 Decrease 0.408 million
2013/14 Increase 0.416 million
2014/15 Increase 0.423 million
2015/16 Increase 0.426 million
2016/17 Increase 0.434 million
Original company Salisbury and Yeovil Railway
Pre-grouping London and South Western Railway
Post-grouping Southern Railway
1859 Line opened from Salisbury
1860 Line extended westwards
1967 Line singled
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Gillingham from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Gillingham railway station is in Gillingham, Dorset, England. It opened in 1859 on the West of England Main Line, 105 miles 23 chains (169.4 km) down the line from London Waterloo. Today it is managed by South Western Railway.

It is commonly suffixed as Gillingham (Dorset) to distinguish it from the station of the same name in Kent.


A plaque on the main platform commemorates the Salisbury and Yeovil Railway

On 3 April 1856 Miss Seymour, sister of the company’s chairman, dug the first ceremonial sod for the Salisbury and Yeovil Railway (S&YR) at Gillingham. Three years later, on 2 May 1859, the railway from Salisbury opened to Gillingham, and was completed to Hendford station at Yeovil on 1 June 1860. The station was close to the town centre. The main offices and goods shed were on the north side of the line, further sidings to serve a brickworks were added on the other side of the line, and a signal box opened in 1875. Trains were provided for the S&YR by the London and South Western Railway (LSWR), which bought out the smaller company in 1878. In the twentieth century the LSWR operated motor bus services from Gillingham station to Mere, Zeals and Shaftesbury.[1]

In 1923 the LSWR became part of the Southern Railway, which in turn was nationalised in 1948 to become the Southern Region of British Railways. A new signal box was opened on 28 April 1957, but on 5 April 1965 public goods services were withdrawn. Three years later a fertiliser distribution depot was opened in the old goods yard (it closed in 1993). The line had been transferred to the Western Region in 1963, and through trains beyond Exeter St Davids were soon diverted along other routes. The line was reduced to just a single track on 1 April 1967 with a passing loop retained at Gillingham.[1] Initially the single-track sections were 7-mile (11 km) westwards to Templecombe and 19-mile (31 km) eastwards to Wilton, but the latter was shortened to 9-mile (14 km)[2] in 1986.[1]

Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Semley   London and South Western Railway
London Waterloo to Devon and Cornwall


The main offices, designed by Sir William Tite stand on the north side of the line.[1] The track serving this platform is signalled for trains to run in either direction so most trains use this platform unless two need to pass. The southern platform, which is reached by a footbridge, is then used for the westbound train. The former signal box (now reduced to ground frame status following the 2012 resignalling) is at the west end of the station by the end of this platform.[2][3]


A train arriving from London Waterloo

South Western Railway operate hourly services between London Waterloo and Exeter St Davids and a service once on a Saturday between London Waterloo and Weymouth operating from late May to early September.[4]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Tisbury   South Western Railway
West of England Main Line

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Phillips, Derek; Pryer, George (1997). The Salisbury to Exeter Line. Sparkford: Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86093-525-6. 
  2. ^ a b Jacobs, Gerald (2005). Railway Track Diagrams Book 3: Western. Bradford-on-Avon: Trackmaps. ISBN 0-9549866-1-X. 
  3. ^ "Salisbury to Exeter Re-signalling Project 2012"Yeovil Railway Centre; Retrieved 8 June 2016
  4. ^ Table 160 National Rail timetable, May 2016