As was so often the case, the arrival of the L&SWR in Weymouth was not in the least part a simple matter. A line from Southampton to Weymouth via Redbridge, Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst, Ringwood, Wimbourne and Wareham was first promoted by a Wimborne solicitor by the name of Castleman, from whom the route became subsequently known as "Castleman's Corkscrew", for obvious reasons. The L&SWR became interested in the scheme, but then lost interest in favour of a different route, so Mr. Castleman took his proposal to the GWR, who were more than interested, and agreed to construct the route as a broad gauge line which would join their Yeovil - Weymouth route at Dorchester. Other events now intervened and it was ruled by the Railway Department of the Board of Trade in connection with routes elsewhere that the L&SWR would offer no opposition to certain lines promoted by the GWR whilst the GWR would be required to give up the plans for the Southampton to Dorchester line, with that line going back into L&SWR hands! It must be observed here that during this period relations between the L&SWR and the GWR were exceedingly cordial with both companies bending over backwards to be helpful to the other. In 1845 powers were obtained to build the line which would then have running powers over the GWR route from Dorchester to Weymouth. The line was duly built and opened in two stages during 1847, from Blechynden (became Southampton West and subsequently Southampton Central) to Dorchester on 1st June and the last part to what was then called Southampton Junction on 29th July. This latter stage was delayed when a tunnel that intersected an old one built for the Andover and Southampton canal collapsed. Built as a single line, the L&SWR were required by the Act to double the line once receipts reached £65,000 pa, which they surely did within ten years.

This state of affairs remained for many years, through L&SWR and Southern Railway days and into British Railways days. After some ten years as part of the Western Region, the route from Weymouth to Yeovil was transferred to the Southern Region, finally completing the Southern ownership of the route to Weymouth, which became a truly "Southern" town when third rail electrification was extended there from Bournemouth.

Weymouth Station In Weymouth station today, a Wessex Electric from Waterloo quietly awaits its next duty.

photograph by David Glasspool

Looking towards the buffer stops on 6th April 2003. A class 150 waits for the 3:35pm departure to Yeovil Pen Mill.

photograph by Paul Ferbrache

Weymouth Station
From Weymouth station a street tramway took trains on to Weymouth Quay, where passengers could transfer to the ferries serving the Channel Islands. With the build up of road traffic in the post war years this journey could become quite delayed on occasions when a motorist or two would park their vehicle so that it fouled the tramway. The traffic to the Quay station ceased in 1999 on 30 May when two excursions ran from Yeovil Junction, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. As of 2003 the tracks are still there so could, in theory, be brought back into use.

Weymouth Quay An unidentified Crompton pulls two 4 TC units 410 and 417 down the famous tramway to Weymouth Quay.

photograph by Paul Ferbrache

An unidentified Class 73 EDL working the last train to use the Quay line. No more will trains and ships meet like this at Weymouth.

photograph by Chris Ralls

Weymouth Quay
Weymouth Quay Another part of the tramway. It is easy to see here how one badly parked car could cause delay! This tour took place on the last day of operation, 30th May 1999.

photograph by Chris Ralls

Four views of the sadly now disused tramway down to Weymouth Quay.

Weymouth Quay

Left: Looking east down the line past the Cargo Stage.

Right: Looking west up the line under Town Bridge.

Weymouth Quay
Weymouth Quay

Left: Looking west up the line past the Custom House towards George Corner. (This is the view in the opposite direction from approximately the same point used for Top Left photo).

Right: Looking east down the line at the approach to the terminus at the pier.

photographs by Chris Osment

Weymouth Quay

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This page was last updated 21 December 2003

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