T: 07751 613 221
See also:
Blog page   
Railway Photographs   
Then and Now

Southern Steam 

1966 and 2016
A 50 Year Then and Now special 

In 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!


Back 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.

This 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 picture. 

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.

Bournemouth 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.

These 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 August 1966)

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 August).

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.

The west end of Bournemouth station. 45699 again, leaving for Weymouth on the 9 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. 

Southampton Central

Friday 19 August 1966 and 34005, again with the 1.25pm from Weymouth to Waterloo. 

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.

Corfe Castle

 Two pictures taken from the castle ruins looking towards Poole harbour. The 1966 picture features Standard class 4MT tank engine no. 80146.
(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 Poole Harbour. 
(17 August 2016)

Weymouth Sheds

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.

Although the engine shed closed in 1967 and was swept away for the housing development, steam locomotive servicing still takes place in Weymouth.

The 2016 picture features 45699 in the Jubilee Sidings having arrived from London earlier that afternoon.

50 years previously, Ivatt class 2 tank no. 41284 is serviced in Weymouth shed between shunting turns at the station.

Both pictures were taken on the 10 August and are 50 years and 4 hours apart.


Two 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.

The second 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 left.

Both pictures taken on the 10 August 2016.

Apart 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 Region. 

The Locomotive 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.

Meanwhile, LMS 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 northbound working.


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.   

Published 13 September 2016

All images, audio, text and documents on this website are copyright Des Shepherd who asserts his intellectual property rights under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
No images, audio, text or documents may be reproduced in any form without written permission of Des Shepherd.