Branch Lines of Hampshire DVD


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Join railway historian and author Colin Maggs as he explores every corner of Hampshire to see what remains of the county’s once-numerous branch lines, some of which were closed even before the Second World War.

Many more lines have been lifted since then, but every branch can now be re-visited in this special historical journey, which explores every corner of the county.

In pre-grouping days the county was served almost exclusively by the LSWR.

The GWR made inroads only as far as Basingstoke and Winchester, the South Eastern & Chatham Railway just encroached into the Farnborough area, and the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway served Hayling Island and shared the East Southsea branch with the LSWR.

The southern tip of the Midland & South Western Junction Railway just entered the county and part of its station on the Tidworth branch was on Hampshire soil.

The only other major branch line owned by any other company than the LSWR, or its successors, was the Longmoor Military Railway.

The branch line from Basingstoke to Alton was closed and lifted during the First World War, was reluctantly re-laid in 1924 by the Southern Railway and had to close a dozen years later due to the sparsity of traffic.

The Meon Valley Line, between Alton and Fareham, succumbed to closure in 1955 while most of the others shut in the following decade.

Some former railway stations have been painstakingly renovated or maintained and put to alternative use, such as at Horsebridge, Droxford, Holmsley and Lee on Solent.

Other highlights include some enlightening and amusing anecdotes from Colin.

Such as why the Kaiser’s train was kept waiting at Christchurch Road level crossing in 1911.

How a helpful porter saved potential embarrassment at Litchfield Station.

Plus a grandiose plan at Brockenhurst that never materialised.

There is also a fascinating interview with Dave Blay, who enjoyed working at the Esso Fawley Refinery Railway for over thirty years.

Happily a few branches remain active today.

The electrified Eastleigh to Fareham line.

The Alton and Lymington branches.

The preserved Mid-Hants Railway from Alton to Arlesford.

Plus the Totton to Fawley branch.

We also visit the evocative Hayling Seaside Railway.

Although technically just across the border at Ashley Heath in Dorset, we will also be visiting another narrow gauge line, the Moors Valley Railway, near Ringwood.

1st Take’s series of films on the Branch Lines of England, now explores the historic county of Hampshire.

Some branches were closed even before the Second World War, and many have since been lifted, although happily a few remain today and Britain’s great heritage railway tradition is also evident here.

As before our tour guide is eminent railway historian and author, Colin Maggs, on whose book ‘The Branch Lines of Hampshire’ this film is based.

Most of the branches no longer survive.

The Moor Valley line succumbed to closure in 1955 while most of the others shut in the following decade.

Enhanced by archive images, superb modern location film and excerpts of archive footage, this dvd will be greatly enjoyed by railway enthusiasts everywhere and anyone with an interest in Hampshire’s history.

Approx. 109 minutes.

This dvd is being sold on behalf of and with full permission of the copyright owner – 1st Take.