Saturday, 10 April 2010


(All 22.3.1975 Copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)

The Fawley branch is an interesting survivor. It was built very late, in 1925, as a light railway, and retained features such as ungated level crossings. It lost its passenger services in the 60s, but I suspect the line could be reopened for passengers at minimal cost, thereby serving the fairly large town on Hythe as well as Marchwood and Fawley itself.

These pictures are from a railtour on 22 March 1975. There was still a lot of infrastructure surviving even ten years after closure to passengers.

The line is still open and serves the large oil refinery at Fawley and also connects with the Marchwood Military Railway at Marchwood. We were scheduled to travel on the military railway but it was not to be due to security concerns - the IRA was involved in a mainland bombing campaign at the time.

More info (from Wikipedia)

Fawley railway station was the terminus of the Totton, Hythe and Fawley Light Railway, which was built along the coast of Southampton Water to connectTotton and Fawley and to provide a freight link from the South Western Main Line to Fawley Refinery.


The station opened on 20 July 1925 and closed to passengers on 14 February 1966 and goods on 2 January 1967.

Present situation

The single-track non-electrified line remains open to serve Fawley Refinery, with the site of Fawley railway station now within the perimeter of the refinery.
In June 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies published a report (Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network) strongly indicating that the reopening of Hythe station, to serve the village of Hythe, north of Fawley, would be viable, in that the ratio of business, economic and social benefits to costs would be as high as 4.8. However the ATOC report did not suggest any passenger service for Fawley, or anywhere south of Hythe.

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