Branksome

Station opened - 1st June 1893

Grid Ref: 195 SZ 058920

The station was opened some nineteen years after the L&SWR line from Poole to Bournemouth West. Located immediately to the west of the junction of the lines to Bournemouth West and Bournemouth Central. The station was (and indeed still is) rather a gloomy place, being built in a cutting with large canopies.
The main station buildings are on the up (northern) side of the line at road level, access to the platforms being by steps from the covered footbridge.

On the up side of the line, at the eastern end of the station just past the signal box was a private siding leading to the nearby 'Sharp, Jones & Co.' pottery (Later 'Redland Pipes'). This was taken out of use on the 15th of September 1970, and the track was removed by the 29th of November the same year.

S&D trains would take the right-hand fork at the junction towards Bournemouth West station. In the middle of the triangle formed from the three junctions was a goods yard (closed on the 29th of November 1970), and the S&D two road locomotive shed, coaling stage and turntable. The shed, built in 1896 of timber with asbestos covering, closed on the 2nd of August 1965 and was demolished soon afterwards.

The station area and junction was controlled by Branksome signal box situated at the eastern end of the up platform. This was built mainly of brick and is still in use today.

The northern most junction of the triangle was 'Gas Works Junction' and was controlled by 'Gas Works Junction' signal box located in the 'v' of the junction. This junction allowed trains to run between Bournemouth West and Bournemouth Central, Southampton and London. The triangle also allowed locomotives to 'turn round' if they were too long for the S&D turntable.
There was also a siding on the up side of the main line towards Bournemouth Central, this being used for coal for the adjacent electricity generating station below the embankment. This siding, along with the line curving towards Bournemouth West was taken out of use on the 1st of November 1965. The signal box being finally closed on the 15th of January 1967.

At the northern side of the triangle are two large viaducts to allow the lines to cross the deep Bourne Valley below. Both of these still stand today, The main line to London crossing one with the gasworks curve one being overgrown with weeds etc.


Plan of the Branksome Triangle

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Copyright © Kevin Clapcott
Most recent revision Friday August 10, 2007