Portsmouth & Southsea railway station

Coordinates: 50°47′54″N 1°05′25″W / 50.798448°N 1.090393°W / 50.798448; -1.090393
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Portsmouth & Southsea
National Rail
Portsmouth & Southsea station entrance (2018)
General information
LocationLandport, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Grid referenceSU641002
Managed bySouth Western Railway
Other information
Station codePMS
ClassificationDfT category C1
Original companyLondon, Brighton and South Coast Railway
Pre-groupingPortsmouth and Ryde Joint Railway
Post-groupingSouthern Railway
Key dates
14 June 1847Opened as Portsmouth
1866Reopened after rebuild
2 October 1876Renamed Portsmouth Town
1925Renamed Portsmouth & Southsea
2018/19Increase 2.053 million
 Interchange Increase 25,817
2019/20Decrease 1.990 million
 Interchange Increase 25,972
2020/21Decrease 0.528 million
 Interchange Decrease 6,479
2021/22Increase 1.422 million
 Interchange Increase 16,031
2022/23Increase 1.707 million
 Interchange Increase 21,158
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Portsmouth & Southsea railway station is a Grade II listed building[1] and the main railway station in the city of Portsmouth in Hampshire, England. It is in the Landport area close to the Commercial Road shopping area. British Transport Police maintain a presence at the station. There is a taxi rank at the front of the building and regular local buses within five minutes' walking distance.

The station, which is managed by South Western Railway, has ticket barriers in operation.


Aerial view of the station in 1946, showing seven platforms (now four) and to the south, the former location of the adjoining goods station which was closed in 1936 and relocated to Fratton.
View of the west end of high level platforms 2 (left) and 1 (right), located on an embankment
View of the 1980s British Rail era canopy over upper level platforms 1 & 2
Portsmouth & Southsea Low Level platforms 3 & 4, 2020
View of the surviving Admiralty Line level crossing gates on Edinburgh Road close to Victoria Park.

An earlier and smaller station building was opened as Portsmouth on 14 June 1847 and served as a terminus station. The present station was built in 1866[2] and was further extended via additional high level platforms to Portsmouth Harbour in 1876.[3] It was later renamed Portsmouth Town on 2 October 1876[3] to avoid confusion with other stations in Portsmouth, such as Portsmouth Harbour.

To the south of the passenger railway station and high level platforms, an adjoining railway goods station stood until 1936,[4] when it was relocated to Fratton Goods Yard.[5][6] Currently, a Premier Inn hotel and University of Portsmouth student accommodation blocks now occupy the site of the former Portsmouth Town goods station.

The station's present-day name of Portsmouth & Southsea originates from 1925 after the closure of the Southsea Railway branch line, which had a terminus station in Southsea named East Southsea from 1885-1914. Competing trams and trolleybuses put the Southsea Railway out of business and was closed in 1914. Train passengers and tourists bound for Southsea were then diverted to Portsmouth's main railway station, Portsmouth Town which was later renamed Portsmouth & Southsea in 1925.[3] A year later, the town of Southsea became officially integrated into the city of Portsmouth on 21 April 1926 when Portsmouth was granted city status.[7]

Portsmouth & Southsea station was once the junction for the Portsmouth Dockyard branch, known as the Admiralty Line. The line opened in 1857 and branched off from the west end of today's platform 1 and passed through the east side of Victoria Park, close to the rear of Stanhope Road, before crossing Bishop Crispian Way via a level crossing (the gates still exist) and entering the naval base at the Unicorn Gate. The Admiralty Line was closed in 1977.

During the 1980s, Portsmouth & Southsea station lost three of its five low level platforms and adjoining sidings to redevelopment, a large Matalan retail store (originally a W.H.Smith Do It All DIY retailer) and car park were built on their location to the south of Station Street.

Part of the station, specifically the 1980s canopy over high level platforms 1 and 2, is still in its original red Network SouthEast livery. In early 2021 strengthening work was carried on Landport Viaduct which carries the high level platforms 1 & 2.[8][9]

Presently, the station is still informally and colloquially known as Town Station by Portsmouth's local population, despite Portsmouth having been awarded city status on 21 April 1926.


Station entrance
Overhead view of the station at dusk

The station is located on the Portsmouth Direct Line which runs between London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour. In addition there are regular services to Cardiff Central, Bristol Temple Meads, Southampton Central, Eastleigh, Guildford, Woking, Brighton, Gatwick Airport, East Croydon and London Victoria. The station is split into two distinct parts: the high level island (Platforms 1 and 2) for through trains to the Harbour, and the low level (bay Platforms 3 and 4) where some trains terminate. In addition, Hovertravel run a bus service from Portsmouth & Southsea which connects to their Hovercraft service from Southsea to the Isle of Wight. The IoW terminal is located next to Ryde Esplanade, with a single price ticket for journeys via rail/hover/rail, similar to that provided by Wightlink from Portsmouth Harbour.

The Monday-Saturday off-peak service is:

South Western Railway:


Great Western Railway:

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Fratton   South Western Railway
Portsmouth Direct Line
  Portsmouth Harbour
West Coastway Line
  Great Western Railway
West Coastway Line
  Hovercraft services  
Terminus   Hovertravel
  Ryde Esplanade
via Hoverbus


Railways in the Portsmouth area
Farlington Halt
HMNB Portsmouth
Admiralty Line
Portsmouth & Southsea
Portsmouth Harbour
Southsea Railway 1885–1914
Jessie Road Bridge Halt
Albert Road Bridge Halt
East Southsea
  1. ^ "PORTSMOUTH AND SOUTHSEA RAILWAY STATION, Non Civil Parish - 1387026 | Historic England". Historicengland.org.uk. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  2. ^ "None". Starzina.com. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 190. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  4. ^ "Portsmouth Town Station goods yard". 12 November 2015.
  5. ^ https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/retro/nostalgia-the-mysterious-case-of-the-disappearing-portsmouth-guildhall-1061354
  6. ^ http://starzina.com/Starzina%20Z%20Railways%20Portsmouth.htm
  7. ^ https://www.welcometoportsmouth.co.uk/portsmouth%20history.html
  8. ^ "Portsmouth rail line shut for viaduct strengthening". BBC News. 18 January 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Repairing the Landport Viaduct with Network Rail". Retrieved 28 February 2022 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]

50°47′54″N 1°05′25″W / 50.798448°N 1.090393°W / 50.798448; -1.090393