Weymouth railway station

Weymouth railway station is a railway station serving the town of Weymouth, Dorset, England. The station is the terminus of both the South Western Main Line from London Waterloo and the Heart of Wessex Line from Bristol Temple Meads and Gloucester.

History

The first Town station was opened on 20 January 1857 as the southern terminus of the Great Western Railway (GWR) line from Castle Cary via Yeovil. The London and South Western Railway (LSWR) also operated services to the station via Dorchester South railway station. Branches to Portland and Weymouth Quay (both opened in 1865) ran from Weymouth Junction, just north of the station.

The original station buildings were designed by TH Bertram and constructed in timber with a glazed overall roof across the tracks; this was removed after WW2. By the turn of the century the station area comprised five platforms, a large goods yard, and a small LSWR engine shed; the GWR had a larger shed situated north of the station. Nearby, Melcombe Regis halt served Portland passenger trains and provided an overflow platform for excursion trains on busy summer weekends.

After WW2, the station saw rapid growth in holiday and Channel Islands traffic. As a result the station underwent a major expansion in the late 1950s, gaining two lengthy excursion platforms (which now serve today's station), additional sidings adjacent to Jubilee Gardens, and a new signal box to replace two older boxes. However traffic soon declined and the station was progressively rationalised after the end of steam-hauled operations in the late 1960s, with the goods yard closing in 1972 and the signal box and most of the remaining sidings being taken out of use in 1987. Although the current Weymouth Town station is a mere shadow of its former self, the extension of third-rail electrification from Bournemouth in 1988 has given the station much improved services to London,

The current station is a relatively modern structure, having been rebuilt in 1986; in its final years, the old Weymouth station was far too big for the traffic it was handling. The station is now known simply as "Weymouth" in all public material, though its correct name is still considered to be "Weymouth Town", in order distinguish it from the other station at Weymouth Quay.

Facilities
  • Booking Hall
  • Ticket Office (2 Windows)
  • Quick Ticket
  • News Agent
  • Toilets
  • Sheltered Seating
  • Car Park
  • Bicycle Storage
Services

South West Trains operate half - hourly services to/from London Waterloo via Basingstoke, Southampton Central, Bournemouth and Poole. Services were operated by Wessex Electrics electric multiple units, until early 2007. These trains had been introduced when electrification was extended to Weymouth in 1988. The route is now almost exclusively operated by Class 444 Express Desiro units; although there are occasional services operated by the Class 450 Suburban Desiro units,and rare services by a Class 455 Metro Unit. Of the two trains per hour, one calls at many stations all the way to Southampton to pick up stations served by the former Wareham - Brockenhurst and Poole - Waterloo services. The other service calls at few stations to Southampton, and then fast from Winchester to London Waterloo.

First Great Western operate services to/from Bristol via Bath Spa, Westbury and Yeovil. One early morning service originates from Westbury, but the others all operate through (eight each way Mon-Sat, three on Sundays all year plus two additional trains in the summer). Many Bristol services now continue on to Gloucester, Worcester or Great Malvern. Services are operated by Class 150, Class 153 or Class 158 diesel multiple units. In the past few years on summer Saturdays, Class 31 locomotives and Mk.2 coaching stock had been hired from FM Rail to cater for extra passengers and holiday makers, but the demise of the charter company has seen this practice cease.

Weymouth Quay

Weymouth Quay railway station is the other terminus in the town, though it currently receives no regular scheduled service. Its passenger station was used solely for trains connecting with cross-channel ferries, which have not run since 1987, though the line remains part of the network and the station, in theory, still open. Its use has been suggested as part of the transport infrastructure for the 2012 Olympic sailing events to take place on the Isle of Portland, though since it is accessed via the Weymouth Harbour Branch, which runs along public streets, this poses difficulties. Previously, the branch saw both freight and passenger traffic, most recently fuel-oil trains.