The Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Line

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright January 2012, Bill Nicholls; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5278 : Goal on the line by Bill Nicholls SU5278 : Posts by the railway by Bill Nicholls SU5278 : Towards Hampstead Norreys by Bill Nicholls
Travelling along from the bridge you come to Compton Crossing which I presume used to be a level crossing, the house is still there and you can see where the line went, from there it carries on to Hampstead Norreys

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5277 : Upland railway bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5277 : Track through the Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5277 : Embankment in the trees by Bill Nicholls SU5277 : No cutting by Bill Nicholls
The line runs under a bridge at Uplands near Hampstead Norreys. There is nothing but farmland round it now though if you look towards Newbury from the bridge you can see an embankment .

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5276 : Looking through the station by Bill Nicholls SU5276 : All that remains by Bill Nicholls SU5276 : Through the station by Bill Nicholls SU5276 : End of the Station by Bill Nicholls SU5276 : The old line by Bill Nicholls SU5276 : Rubble on the line by Bill Nicholls SU5276 : Footbridge to Hampstead Norreys by Bill Nicholls SU5276 : Path on the line by Bill Nicholls SU5276 : The Station Site by Bill Nicholls SU5276 : Start of the path by Bill Nicholls SU5276 : New path to Hermitage by Bill Nicholls
There used to be a station at Hampstead Norreys but it was removed and little trace remains, only the one ton crane base. I think the station and cutting from the bridge were back filled so the platforms could still be underneath. The bridge which was at the end of the station does remain still used with a footpath leading under it to the village hall and the road over the top. The old tracked is still there heading to Newbury and used as a footpath by local people and walkers. In 2019 West Berks Council made the track into a cycleway going to Hermitage

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5275 : Eling road by Bill Nicholls SU5275 : Embankment towards Newbury by Bill Nicholls
Out of Hampstead Norreys the railway crossed a road leading to Eling.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5175 : Eling Rail Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5175 : Over the bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5175 : Path along the track by Bill Nicholls SU5275 : Over the bridge to Newbury by Bill Nicholls
A little further along it runs over a smaller track the bridge is still there and used by people walking over it on the old track though a lot of the line is getting well overgrown in places.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5174 : Looking back at the bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : Railway cutting near Four Elms by Graham Horn SU5174 : Next Stop Pinewood Halt by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : Four Elms Railway Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : New path to Hermitage by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : Down on the path by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : Track through the bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : Path through the trees by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : Bend in the line by Bill Nicholls
Going on from there the railway enters a cutting going under a bridge near Four Elms. The bridge is in good condition and only used as access to Common Barn. The track has now been cleared and used as a cycleway

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5174 : Path through the saplings by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : A clear area by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : From the fence to the embankment by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : Sleepers and fence posts by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : End of the cutting by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : Bending past the house by Bill Nicholls SU5174 : Along to Pinewood by Bill Nicholls
Not far from here the line stops due to the M4 being built across it though both sides still show remnants of the old line.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5174 : Bending past the house by Bill Nicholls SU5173 : Gate across the line by Bill Nicholls SU5173 : Looking down on Pinewood by Bill Nicholls SU5173 : Playground by the line by Bill Nicholls SU5173 : Bridge at the Halt by Bill Nicholls
From here the track leads to Pinewood Halt. The track bed has gone and Pinewood Crescent uses part of the old line but you will find Pinewood Halt is by the bridge on Chapel Lane. The Halt has now gone but the bridge remains in good condition and used by local traffic. A children's playground is now on the line. This place took a bit of figuring out as to where it was, I had to get a book on the railway which showed the position.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5173 : Embankment on the bend by Bill Nicholls SU5173 : Along the embankment by Bill Nicholls SU5173 : Along the embankment by Bill Nicholls SU5173 : Bending away by Bill Nicholls
Heading on to Newbury the line would have crossed the Yattendon road bridge but this has now been removed leaving just the embankment on the Newbury side.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5072 : Towards Hermitage by Bill Nicholls SU5072 : Track by the embankment by Bill Nicholls SU5072 : From the junction to the bridge by Bill Nicholls
The railway then crossed over Marlston road where there is a track that would have been the entrance to Hermitage station.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5072 : The goods yard by Bill Nicholls SU5072 : Hermitage Station by Bill Nicholls SU5072 : Back of the station by Bill Nicholls
The Station house is being lived in and the yard used by a diamond drilling company. I've not had a chance to look at the line there so cannot comment on what is there now.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5071 : Red Shute Hill Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5071 : Line from the bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5071 : Along Red Shute Hill by Bill Nicholls SU5071 : Bridge from the field by Bill Nicholls SU5071 : From the sawmill by Bill Nicholls SU5071 : Back of the saw mill by Bill Nicholls
Going on from Hermitage station the line went past Curridge and under a bridge at Red Shute Hill, the bridge is there and in use but no line as such can be seen. A saw mill sits beside what was the line one side and farmland the other.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4971 : Cold Ash Farm Crossing by Bill Nicholls SU4971 : Line towards Fishers lane by Bill Nicholls SU4971 : Line near Cold Ash Farm by Bill Nicholls
Not far from Curridge the line ran past Cold Ash Farm which may well have had a farm crossing there.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4970 : Towards the crossing by Bill Nicholls SU4970 : Gate at Fishers Lane by Bill Nicholls SU4970 : Railway towards Newbury by Bill Nicholls SU4970 : Gate in the fence by Bill Nicholls SU4970 : Along the line by Bill Nicholls SU4970 : Passing by the road by Bill Nicholls
After Cold Ash Farm the line ran over Fishers Lane where there used to be a crossing, nothing much remains other than the cottage used by the person manning the crossing. From there it passed Craven Farm where some of the line has gone though you pick it up again further along.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4868 : Bungalow on the line by Bill Nicholls SU4868 : More dwellings on the line by Bill Nicholls
The line now enters Shaw and runs past Newbury Cemetery, the line can be seen but a lot is built on.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4868 : Garden over the parapet by Bill Nicholls SU4868 : Railway throughthe gate by Bill Nicholls SU4868 : End of the carpark by Bill Nicholls SU4868 : Kiln Road by Bill Nicholls
Going through Shaw the railway would have gone under Kiln Road Bridge. Little remains other than the parapet which can be seen. Looking over that parapet you can see where the line went through there are now gardens and the arch is filled to below the parapet. On the other side is a fence and a company called Hitachi Capital has a building on the line with a carpark running up to where the bridge stood.
The line next would have had to cross two watercourses before finally joining the main line in Newbury.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4867 : Over to the cutting by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : Ramp to the bridge by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : Some remains by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : Sleepers on the bank by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : Wall on the line by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : Edge of the park by Bill Nicholls
The first river is the Lambourn which is more like a large stream to my thinking. There is not much to say there was a bridge there until you look on the bank by the Hitachi Capital site where you can see the stubs off the bridge support. On the opposite side a wall runs over the land there and marks the line of the old railway embankment.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4867 : The Railway crossed here by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : It used to be here by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : Looking towards the railway by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : Carpark on the line by Bill Nicholls
Going round to the Bath road (A4) apart from some shrubbery and wasteland there is nothing to say the railway was ever there. From looking at old maps the railway would have gone over the A4 so there would have been a bridge there with an embankment either side. In my blog is a photo showing the railway going over the road.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4867 : My destination by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : The confirmation by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : Retaining wall on the Kennet by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : Made from an old rail by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : The Far Bank by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : Well overgrown by Bill Nicholls SU4867 : Towards the footbridge by Bill Nicholls
This area was easy to access from Tesco's carpark but at the time I did not realise it and came along the towpath from town. There would have been an embankment running between the A4 and the Kennet bridges. I feel it would have looked quite impressive now the only evidence you can see is a couple of end posts from the boundary fence. The retaining wall on the Kennet edge would have been where the towpath ran under the bridge. The other side is devoid of any signs. The last photo looks towards the lock, if you look at my blog you can see an original photo of this view

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4766 : Two on the line by Bill Nicholls SU4766 : Hedge marks the bridge by Bill Nicholls SU4766 : Two pipes over the line by Bill Nicholls SU4766 : Where the bridge was by Bill Nicholls SU4766 : In the yard by Bill Nicholls
SU4766 : Small estate by Bill Nicholls
The railway would have crossed through the area where the bone lane industrial estate is now and under the Hambridge road. Looking from where the bridge was you can see two building which are on the trackbed, the bridge itself was demolished by the contractor building the industrial estate though I dare say some remnants still survive under the road. it is reasonably easy to see where the bridge was and a couple of pipes mark the spot. On the far side a hire company is built on the line but looking through the yard gates you can see a cutting side. The line was turning here towards the main line and would have gone through where a couple of buildings stand now before going under the Boundary road bridge to join the line.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4766 : Storage in the sidings by Bill Nicholls SU4766 : It would have been there by Bill Nicholls SU4766 : Towards Newbury Station by Bill Nicholls SU4766 : Buffer in the weeds by Bill Nicholls
These photos were taken from the Boundary road bridge and show where the line came through and onto the main line. I will go back to and get some more photos of the bridge and station.
This video in the link shows the railway going under Boundary road bridge. LinkExternal link
That just about concludes the section to Newbury but I will endeavour to trace it to Southampton at in the same way but it may take a little time.



KML

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