Salisbury railway station
|Managed by||South West Trains|
|Number of platforms||6 (4 in use)|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Original company||Salisbury and Yeovil Railway|
|Pre-grouping||London and South Western Railway|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Salisbury from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
Salisbury railway station serves the city of Salisbury in Wiltshire, England. It is 83.75 miles (135 km) by rail south-west of London Waterloo on the line to Exeter St Davids. This is crossed at Salisbury by the 'Wessex Main Line' between Cardiff Central and Portsmouth Harbour/Brighton. In the past timetabled routes had more distant destinations to the south-west including Ilfracombe, Padstow and Plymouth. It is operated by South West Trains (SWT) and also served by Great Western Railway (GWR).
Three railway station sites have been used in Salisbury, owned by the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) from 1847 and the Great Western Railway (GWR) from 1856, as well as two further stations at Wilton, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) west.
London and South Western Railway
The LSWR opened their Milford station on the east side of the city on 1 March 1847, with the opening of their branch line from Eastleigh, near Southampton, to passenger traffic. For nearly a decade this was the city's only railway, until 30 June 1856 when the GWR opened their Salisbury branch from Westbury. On 1 May 1857 the LSWR opened their extended main line from London and Andover, at first to the Milford station.
On 2 May 1859 the LSWR opened a station on the south side of the 1856 GWR station, west of Fisherton Street, to coincide with the opening of the first section of the Salisbury and Yeovil Railway. At the same time the terminus of the Andover line moved to the new station, having been brought across the city, part of the way in a tunnel. The building is largely of two stories with a central main entrance; the architect was Sir William Tite, who was responsible for a number of LSWR stations.
As the GWR and LSWR used different gauges, through goods traffic had to be unloaded and transhipped in a transfer shed; a covered footbridge was opened in 1860 linking the two stations, to allow passengers to change trains. The LSWR station had a single long platform served by trains in both directions and a second bay platform was provided at the London end.
In the 1870s the LSWR opened a second platform east of Fisherton Street for services towards London; it had an entrance from the street and was linked to the old platform by a subway, and there was another bay platform for trains to the east.
The LSWR station was again enlarged between 1899 and 1902, and the 1870s platform east of Fisherton Street could then be closed. Two new platforms serving three tracks were opened between the GWR platforms and the original LSWR one, reached by a subway from the LSWR's new station offices which were built in red brick on the west side of their original building of 1859.
Great Western Railway
The GWR opened their 7 ft (2,134 mm) broad gauge Salisbury branch line from Westbury on 30 June 1856. The terminus was on the west side of Salisbury on the west side of Fisherton Street. Isambard Kingdom Brunel provided a station with a wooden train shed to cover the tracks and a single-storey building of red brick with stone dressings to house booking offices and waiting rooms.
The GWR converted their line to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge in 1874, and four years later a connecting line was laid to the neighbouring 1859 LSWR station, which allowed wagons to be shunted between the two stations. In 1896 a through service between Cardiff on the GWR and Portsmouth on the LSWR began operating over a junction line at Salisbury. The two companies' lines ran alongside each other from Salisbury as far as Wilton (where they finally diverged although there was no connection between the lines there) until October 1973, when a new junction between the lines was put in at Wilton and the former GWR route closed.
On 12 September 1932 the GWR's passenger trains were transferred to the LSWR station, and the two railways were in common ownership by British Railways from 1 January 1948. The train shed was demolished but Brunel's passenger buildings were designated as Grade II listed in 1972 and are in use as offices by non-railway businesses.
The former Salisbury Milford station was used as a goods station until it was closed in 1967 and demolished in 1968. Goods traffic was also handled in goods sheds at the west end of the Fisherton station – north of the GWR station and south of the LSWR station – and also on the 460 yards (420 m) Market House branch from the east end of the LSWR station which opened in 1859. A new LSWR marshalling yard was opened on the site of the old platform east of Fisherton Street after it had closed in 1902, but the main LSWR goods depot was kept at the old Milford station until 1967. The former GWR station remained in use as a goods depot until 1991.
Motive power depots
An engine shed, water tower and turntable were erected on the Milford site from January 1847, as the line was then open for freight traffic. A replacement engine shed was built by the LSWR at Fisherton Street in 1859. The GWR also built a small engine shed adjacent to their station in April 1858. This was demolished in 1899 to allow expansion of the LSWR station, and a replacement built on the north side of the line. This was closed by British Railways in 1950.
A large new and well equipped engine shed was opened by the LSWR on 12 January 1901. This remained in use until the end of steam in southern England on 9 July 1967. The shed lay derelict for some years before being demolished.
The approach road from the city is accessed from a junction on the south side of the railway bridge across Fisherton Street, which leads into a one-way car park with 287 spaces. The large building on the right of this approach is the old LSWR buildings of 1859, which now houses the Salisbury signal panel. Immediately next door is the red brick building of 1902, now the main entrance where the ticket office and buffet are located.
The main platform adjacent to the entrance is platform 4 which is mainly used for trains towards Exeter and Cardiff, as is platform 3 opposite. This is one side of an island platform, the opposite side of which is platform 2 which is used by trains to London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour. Platform 5 is a bay platform at the west end which is no longer used by passenger trains. Terminal platform 6 is an eastwards extension of platform 4 and is predominantly used by London Waterloo trains terminating here, and local services to Southampton.
Beyond platform 2 is another disused platform, formerly platform 1. Behind this are the sidings of the Traincare Depot; at the east end of this is an old water tank and the brick offices which once served the GWR station.
South West Trains operate half-hourly services to London Waterloo and hourly to Exeter St Davids. There is also an hourly circular service to Chandlers Ford via Southampton and limited services to Bristol Temple Meads or Yeovil Pen Mill. In 2016 a new service is running once on summer Saturdays between London Waterloo and Weymouth.
Great Western Railway operate hourly regional services between Portsmouth Harbour and Cardiff Central via Bristol and limited services between Brighton & Great Malvern, plus a few Southampton to Bristol/Gloucester stopping trains.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|Warminster||Great Western Railway
Wessex Main Line
|Tisbury||South West Trains
West of England Main Line
|Grateley or Andover|
|Warminster||South West Trains
Wessex Main Line
|Tisbury||South West Trains
London Waterloo to Frome or Weymouth (Limited Service)
|Terminus||South West Trains
London-Salisbury stopping services
|Terminus||South West Trains
Wessex Main Line
Salisbury and Dorset Junction Railway
- Bradley, D.L. (1965). Locomotives of the London and South Western Railway. Solihull: The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. p. 3.
- Historic England. "Buildings fronting South Western road and attached canopy (1392847)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- Oakley, Mike (2004). Wiltshire Railway Stations. Wimbourne: The Dovecote Press. ISBN 1-904349-33-1.
- Rolt, L.T.C. (1956). Red for Danger. Bodley Head / David and Charles / Pan Books.
- Pattenden, Norman (2001). Salisbury 1906 – An answer to the enigma?. Swindon: South Western Circle. ISBN 0-9503741-6-4.
- Historic England. "Former GWR station (1242134)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- Griffiths p.43.
- Griffiths, Roger (1999). The directory of British engine sheds: 1. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. p. 43. ISBN 0-86093-542-6.
- "National Rail information page". Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- South West Trains May 2016 Timetable
- Table 123 National Rail timetable, May 2016
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Salisbury railway station.|