Description of the line

Templecombe to Wimborne & Broadstone section

Templecombe to Blandford - Single liine with passing loops at
Stalbridge, Sturminster Newton and Shillingstone Stations
(All passing loops were on the down side of the line)
Blandford to Corfe Mullen Jcn - Line doubled by 1905
Corfe Mullen Jcn to Wimborne - Single line
Corfe Mullen Jcn to Broadstone Jcn - Single line
Broadstone Jcn to Broadstone Station - Double line

The line is 'up' to Templecombe

The remaining thirty four and a half miles from Templecombe to Bournemouth West was nowhere near as hilly as the previous section of line, being almost level by comparison. After Templecombe was Henstridge station. This was the last S&D station in the county of Somerset.

Into Dorset and the line went under the first red brick built bridge so far encountered. The first station reached in Dorset was Stalbridge. This was the first crossing place south of Templecombe. Here and at the other crossing places on towards Blandford (where double line is resumed) the turnouts of the loops were so arranged that down trains were required to reduce speed, whilst up trains had a clear run.
The line then ran down to Sturminster Newton, where the two platforms were slightly staggered. A lot of cattle traffic was handled here, because of the local weekly market. There was also a milk factory owned by the Milk Marketing Board. This created a great deal of traffic down to Wimborne until its closure in 1933.

The next station reached was Shillingstone. This was a rather grand station, complete with large canopy. This was (It is said), for King Edward the VII, who used the station to visit the local Iwerne Minster House. The station gardens were also rather beautiful and well kept, winning many ‘Best Kept Station’ awards over the years.

The next section of line on through Stourpaine & Durweston Halt, towards Blandford was a very scenic part of the route, with the line following the River Stour through the steep sided valley. Just before reaching Blandford the line encountered some long sweeping curves whilst climbing at about 1 in 80 along the eastern side of the valley and then descending again through cuttings just to the north of the station, passing the rather grand Bryanston Park & Mansion (Now a school).

The single line became double at Blandford, and was the largest S&D station on the line, having large brick built buildings and a large goods yard, After leaving Blandford the line crossed the River Stour again and ran down a slight gradient towards Charlton Marshall and then Spetisbury, virtually following the main A350 road towards Poole. (Most of the old trackbed is still visible along this section today)

At Sturminster Marshall was ‘Bailey Gate’ station, this originally took the name of it’s village but was later renamed in 1863 to avoid confusion with Sturminster Newton further up the line. The main traffic handled here was milk produced by the adjacent dairy. Shortly after the station the line crossed the busy A31 Wimborne to Dorchester road at Bailey Gate Crossing. This was controlled by a signal box on the down side of the line. This was also where the double section of line ended. In the early days the line became single leading on towards Wimborne. When the new line to Broadstone was built it ran parallel with the old for about half a mile, but climbed sharply and then curved south towards Corfe Mullen.

The line to Wimborne curved to the north and joined the L&SWR line from Poole, for the last 23 chains, crossing the River Stour into Wimborne Station, where the train would have to ‘reverse’ back down the L&SWR line to Broadstone and on to Bournemouth. In 1933 this line to Wimborne was closed and became a siding with all trains now taking the new Broadstone route. This climbed up through to the East End region of Corfe Mullen where a small halt was opened in 1928. The line then descended down through the middle of a golf course to join the L&SWR line at Broadstone Junction, Some 63 miles and 56 chains from Bath.


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