Northam (Southampton) railway station

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Place Northam
Area City of Southampton
Coordinates 50°54′24″N 1°23′32″W / 50.9068°N 1.3923°W / 50.9068; -1.3923Coordinates: 50°54′24″N 1°23′32″W / 50.9068°N 1.3923°W / 50.9068; -1.3923
Grid reference SU428121
Original company London and South Western Railway
Pre-grouping London and South Western Railway
Post-grouping Southern Railway
Platforms 2
10 June 1839 first station opened as Northam Road
11 May 1840 Closed
1 December 1872 second station on different site opened as Northam
5 September 1966 Closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Northam railway station served the suburb of Northam in Southampton, England.


The London and Southampton Railway (L&SR) was opened in stages. Most of the portion south of Winchester was opened on 10 June 1839, to a temporary terminus in Southampton called Northam Road. Not long before the opening, on 4 June 1839, the L&SR was renamed the London and South Western Railway (LSWR). The temporary station was closed when the line was completed and the permanent Southampton Terminus was opened on 11 May 1840.[1][2]

The need to open a temporary station at Northam Road arose because of a dispute during construction of the line. There was an disagreement between the L&SR and the Northam Bridge Company (NBC), owners of the Northam Bridge, concerning how the railway would cross Northam Road, which connected the bridge with the centre of Southampton. The plans for the railway specified that there would be a level crossing, but the NBC requested that the Northam Road be carried over the railway on a bridge. The NBC began legal proceedings on 13 March 1839, and the L&SR took legal advice which recommended that the road bridge not be built, but even so the L&SR acceded to the NBC's demands and built the bridge over the railway.[3]

During the 1860s, Northam residents campaigned for a local intermediate station, but the LSWR was not in favour because Northam would be only a short distance away from the main terminus, which would become known as Southampton Terminus. Nevertheless, a site was investigated between, what is now, Mount Pleasant level crossing and the current South West Trains train depot. Eventually the station was built on the south side of Northam Road bridge, not far from where the temporary terminus once stood.

The new Northam station opened on 1 December 1872.[4] It was built by a company called Joseph Bull & Sons,[5] which at the time had its own tramway system from its premises at Belvidere Wharf on the River Itchen to areas north of the location. As well as building Northam railway station, the company was associated with much of the early railway construction in Southampton and near-by areas.

When Northam opened, only tickets to depart could be bought at the station. Passengers travelling to Northam had to buy tickets to Southampton Terminus, with Northam acting as a ticket platform. The station never needed any goods facilities or sidings due to its close proximity to Southampton Terminus, which handled all the goods traffic in Southampton.

Northam station was situated at the base of the triangle formed by the northern and southern junctions leading to the line to Southampton Central. Northam only served trains to and from Southampton Terminus.[5] The station offices on the up line to London were made out of wood and each platform could be accessed only by steps from Northam Road bridge. Northam also had an engine shed, which was 14 tracks wide but short in length, with room for only two locomotives under cover. It opened in October 1840, but closed on 1 January 1903 when Eastleigh Railway depot was opened.[6]

With traffic booming for both Northam and Southampton Terminus in the early 1900s, the bridge crossing the line at the station was rebuilt in 1908. Only one entrance was retained, but a new footbridge connecting the platforms was provided, as well as new station buildings.[6]

Northam station closed on 5 September 1966.[4] By the 1960s, with most traffic now going to Southampton Central, business at Northam and Southampton Terminus was in decline. Both stations were closed prior to electrification of the main line in 1967. Northam station was demolished in 1969[5] and no traces remain of it. However the former up line still runs through the site of the station and is used for freight trains going to the docks. The down lines which ran through Northam are now connected to the nearby Siemens train care depot for South West Trains.

Preceding station Disused railways Following station
St Denys   London & South Western Railway
London and Southampton Railway
  Southampton Terminus
Line and station closed

Future Station[edit]

A few campaigns have been launched to reopen Northam station next door to St Mary's stadium to serve nearby local residents and allow football charter trains to stop outside St Mary's stadium which is home to the local football team Southampton FC. South West Trains have shown no interest in reopening either Northam or Southampton Terminus, claiming that the South Western Main Line is already full with both passenger and freight trains and Northam Junction is also extremely busy. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

A £10 million pound plan was put forward in 1999 to reopen Southampton Terminus and Northam Station, which was to have been controlled by East Anglia Railways Train Company, their plans included building a new rail-link using the current remaining track by St. Marys Stadium and as far as the Waterfront, which is now safe guarded by Southampton City Council for future rail links. This would have allowed trains to go from Southampton Waterfront to East Anglia without the need to change at London. It was also hoped it would reduce the traffic around Southampton with a local commuter line linking the Waterfront to Romsey, Halterworth and Chandler's Ford, the plan failed to come about for reasons unknown.[12]


  1. ^ Williams, R.A. (1968). The London & South Western Railway, volume 1: The Formative Years. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. pp. 38, 40. ISBN 0-7153-4188-X. 
  2. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. pp. 173, 214. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  3. ^ Williams 1968, p. 40
  4. ^ a b Butt 1995, p. 172
  5. ^ a b c Moody, Bert (1997). Southampton's Railways. Atlantic Publishers. pp. 33–38. ISBN 0906899788. 
  6. ^ a b "Station Name: Northam". Disused Stations. Subterranea Britannica. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  7. ^ "Revitalising the old rail-way link.". Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Rail line would ease fans' way to Saints.". Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Call to push on with Saints railway link.". Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Let Saints use local rail link.". Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Rail link is just the ticket for St Mary's.". Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Revitalising the old rail-way link.". 

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