the summer of 1966 I spent a family holiday in Bournemouth. Whilst
the rest of my family spent the time on the beach, I bought a
couple of rover tickets and spent my time traveling between
Bournemouth and Swanage, Weymouth, Lymington and Eastleigh. Two
weeks of main line steam on the Southern Region. Bliss!
in 1966 I did not have a very good camera so some of my images
leave a bit to be desired.
This year I revisited some of those
haunts to replicate some of my original pictures. In 2016 main
line steam on the SW main line was rather limited. The Railway
Touring Company's tours to Weymouth (those that ran) were hauled
by LMS Jubilee 45699 and only in the down direction to Weymouth.
article looks at some of those workings but more generally how
things have changed over 50 years. I also include some relatively
recent pictures of steam around Bournemouth to help complete the
The first pair of pictures, both
taken at Bournemouth (left),
feature a West Country class locomotive no.34005 'Barnstaple' with
a morning train to Weymouth on 19 August 1966.
The 2016 picture is of the
Jubilee 45699 on it's way to Weymouth on Saturday 9 July.
locomotive shed was next to the station and spotters could get a
superb view of the goings on from the lengthy platform 4.
Today the site of the shed is a
car park although the foundations for the shed building can still
be seen at the far end.
The pictures below features 'Clan
Line', again on the light engine move from Poole to Eastleigh,
Battle of Britain no. 34066 'Spitfire' running into the depot and
a present day view of the depot yard/car park.
three pictures show how Bournemouth station has changed. The roof
fell into disrepair in the 1980's and 90's but has since been
sympathetically restored to it's former glory.
The top picture shows West
Country class no. 34015 'Exmouth' having arrived with a train from
London and about to move to the adjacent depot for servicing. (11
The bottom picture, shows the
changes 50 years on. The through lines have disappeared but the
roof restored. (27 February 2016).
The middle picture features a
rare light engine move with Merchant Navy class no. 35028 'Clan
Line' on 17 May 1997.
The view at the east end of the station and London bound trains
waiting to leave.
The 1966 picture shows 34005 'Barnstaple'
(again!) with the 1.25pm train from Weymouth to Waterloo. (16
In 2016 there were no steam
hauled up trains to get a 50 year comparison, so I have included a
shot of 34027 'Taw
Valley' taken on 17 May 1997. This tour used 'Clan Line' to Poole, hence
the light engine move, and 'Taw Valley' from Poole to Southampton
where both engines double headed the special back to Waterloo.
end of Bournemouth station. 45699 again, leaving for Weymouth on
July 2016 and Battle of Britain 34056 'Croydon' arriving with a
Waterloo bound service. (15 August 1966)
The main difference over 50 years
is the construction of the road bridge and the resulting removal
of part of the down platform awning. The signal box is still there
but no longer in use.
Friday 19 August
1966 and 34005, again with the 1.25pm from Weymouth to
The picture of
35028 'Clan Line' was taken in almost the same position on 4
February 2001 with a VSOE Pullman train.
The 2016 shot
features 45699 with a Weymouth train on Wednesday 17 August. The
station, with it's SR designed canopy and the road bridge are
relatively unchanged since parts were rebuilt in 1967. The biggest change was the removal of
the magnificent signal gantry, replaced with the smaller gantry
housing the colour light signals.
I gather the
original gantry is now owned by the National Railway Museum but is
not on public display.
pictures taken from the castle ruins looking towards Poole
harbour. The 1966 picture features Standard class 4MT tank engine
(8 August 1966)
The 2016 picture
shows Drummond M7 tank engine 30053, once a regular on the Swanage
branch in the early 1960's. Apart from a clean locomotive and a
longer train, the main difference over 50 years is the growth in
trees. There are considerably more trees on the land behind the
viaduct and also on the horizon which today hides the view across
(17 August 2016)
A view of the
shed on 9 August 1966 with an Ivatt 2-6-2T on the left and West
Country no. 34102 'Lapford'. The main line ran behind the
locomotive shed with Weymouth station to the left.
50 years and 1
day later, the same view but now a housing estate. The trees in
the background follow the course of the railway line.
engine shed closed in 1967 and was swept away for the housing
development, steam locomotive servicing still takes place in
The 2016 picture
features 45699 in the Jubilee Sidings having arrived from London
earlier that afternoon.
previously, Ivatt class 2 tank no. 41284 is serviced in Weymouth
shed between shunting turns at the station.
were taken on the 10 August and are 50 years and 4 hours apart.
more views of the shed site in 2016.
The top picture
shows the housing estate above the second and third coach of the
train. In the foreground are the Jubilee Sidings, where steam engines
are serviced today.
picture looks north from the hill south of the shed. The road
covers the area where the coaling stage used to be. The
turntable was sited in front of the trees in the distance in the
taken on the 10 August 2016.
from Bulleid Pacifics, one type of engine I saw quite a bit of
that summer in 1966 were the BR Standard class 4 2-6-0's. 76007 is
featured at Weymouth shed. (10 August 1966)
It was therefore
pleasing that one returned to steam on Southern lines in 2016. A former Salisbury engine, 76017
is seen at New Alresford on the
Watercress Line on 17 August 2016.
August 1966 saw a number of visitors to the Southern
Club of Great Britain ran a tour with LNER A2 Pacific no. 60532 'Blue
Peter' and Britannia no. 70004 'William Shakespeare' on the 14
August. More about this in a future article.
Black 5's were regular performers on the Poole to Newcastle
trains, running as far as Banbury. However on the 18 and 19
August, a 9F 2-10-0 appeared. Being unaware of this, I only caught
a glimpse of it and didn't get the opportunity for a ride.
There is still a 9F active in the south - 92212 on the Watercress
Line. The picture of 92002 was taken at Basingstoke on the
The picture of 92002 is not one of mine but taken from an old
print I acquired many years ago. I do not know the name of the
photographer but if it's your picture please contact
me and I'll be pleased to give a credit.