Winchester railway station

Winchester railway station is a railway station in Winchester in the county of Hampshire, England. It is on the South Western Main Line and was known as Winchester City from 1949-67 to distinguish it from Winchester (Chesil) station. It is 66 miles 39 chains (107.0 km) down the line from London Waterloo.

Winchester National Rail
Winchester City Station.jpg
Winchester railway station
Local authorityCity of Winchester
Grid referenceSU477300
Station codeWIN
Managed bySouth Western Railway
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryC1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Increase 4.915 million
2015/16Increase 5.041 million
2016/17Increase 5.083 million
2017/18Increase 5.092 million
2018/19Increase 5.242 million
Key datesOpened 10 June 1839 (10 June 1839)
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Winchester from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Railway stations
in Winchester
King's Worthy
Winchester (Chesil)
Winchester City

Despite its prominence (most passenger trains stop here), the station only has two platforms. One is on the western side, with the line running in a northerly direction via Basingstoke, Woking and Clapham Junction, towards the terminal at Waterloo. The other is on the eastern side, with the line running in a southerly direction, towards Eastleigh, where it splits and runs towards Southampton Central, Bournemouth and Weymouth or Portsmouth Harbour.


The station was opened on 10 June 1839 by the London and Southampton Railway (later the London and South Western Railway). It became a temporary terminus for the Winchester to Southampton section. On the same day, another station was opened at Basingstoke, which was a temporary terminus of the London to Basingstoke section.

The following year, a line was built joining Winchester and Basingstoke and the line was complete. This line was the trickiest to construct and had four tunnels and a single station called Andover Road (now Micheldever), rather optimistically given that Andover lay 13 miles (21 km) west. Winchester became a through station on 30 March 1840.

As the line bypassed Kingston upon Thames, Winchester was the only major settlement on the line between London and Southampton. Since the original Southampton line ran via the then small market town of Basingstoke (where lines to the west would be built), it was not very direct. Another line was constructed to run via Guildford, Farnham and Alton, which joined the main line north of Winchester. The present day line runs via Aldershot instead of Guildford, and the line finishes at Alton. British Rail closed the line from Alton to Winchester in 1973 but a section from Alton to Alresford is preserved as the Watercress Line. The final gap from Alresford to Winchester is unlikely ever to be reinstated owing to housing having been built on the trackbed.

Unique SR locomotive at the station in 1947

Later, the Great Western Railway built the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway. This passed at a separate station on the eastern side of Winchester, when opened called Winchester Cheesehill, later Winchester (Chesil). In 1949, it was renamed Winchester Chesil, whilst Winchester's main station was renamed Winchester City. This did not last long: In 1966 Chesil closed and an alternative diversionary route to Oxford, Birmingham and beyond, bypassing Basingstoke and Reading, was consequently lost. The following year British Rail changed the station name from Winchester City to Winchester.

Renovations in summer 2004 gave the western side a refurbished entrance and second ticket office; albeit with shorter opening hours than that on the eastern side.

In summer 2009, both platforms received ticket barriers with CCTV, with the entrance to platform 2 from the forecourt reorganised as part of South West Trains' plan to fit or refit ticket barriers on the busiest stations on the network.

In July 2013, A brand new footbridge was constructed between the platforms and also features lifts.[1]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • In 1937, a boat train caught fire due to an electrical defect in one of the carriages. Four carriages were destroyed.[2]

Goods yard and motive power depotEdit

A small engine shed was built by the Southern Railway in 1927. This housed a shunting locomotive which worked in the local goods yard. It was closed, together with the goods yard, in 1963. There were formerly extensive sidings on both sides of the station and a coal yard, all now largely converted to car parks. On the eastern side, in the area now occupied by retail units, there was a cattle dock for livestock arriving by rail for the adjacent Winchester Cattle Market in Andover Road.


The station at night: a CrossCountry service to York passing a South West Trains service to Weymouth
Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Basingstoke   CrossCountry
  Southampton Airport Parkway
or Basingstoke
  South Western Railway
London-Weymouth express services
  Southampton Airport Parkway
or Eastleigh
Basingstoke   South Western Railway
London-Weymouth semi-fast services
  Southampton Airport Parkway
or Micheldever
  South Western Railway
London-Poole stopping services
Micheldever   South Western Railway
London-Portsmouth via Winchester
stopping services

South Western Railway provide regular and frequent services to and from London Waterloo, with the fastest taking 61 minutes. Southbound, there are two trains per hour to Weymouth, one to Portsmouth Harbour and an additional stopping service to Poole each hour (Mon-Sat).[3] CrossCountry services between Bournemouth and Manchester Piccadilly via Reading and Birmingham New Street also call hourly each way, along with a number of Southampton to Newcastle via Doncaster trains.[4]

There was a rail-bus link operated on behalf of South West Trains. This was known as the Romsey Rail-Link service and followed the same route as the X66, linking the station with Romsey via Hursley and Ampfield but with limited stops. Guards were equipped with rail ticket machines and were able to issue tickets for the entire rail network as well as weekly season tickets, thereby saving passengers the necessity of queuing at the station ticket office. The service ceased on 28 July 2008 when South West Trains withdrew its subsidy, citing lack of use, despite a protest group having formed and collecting a petition of over 1,000 signatures to oppose the closure.[5] As part of the superseded X66 timetable, Stagecoach continue to operate two of the early morning peak services which were well used alongside the existing hourly services (now half-hourly on weekdays) but without the facility to purchase rail tickets on the buses.[6] The route (now known simply as Route 66) has been extended with variants through the day, and increased journey times, to serve Romsey's outlying housing estates at Woodley, Cupernham and Abbotswood.[7]


  1. ^ "Hampshire Chronicle". June 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  2. ^ Hall, Stanley (1990). The Railway Detectives. London: Ian Allan. p. 101. ISBN 0 7110 1929 0.
  3. ^ Table 158 National Rail timetable, May 2019
  4. ^ Table 51 National Rail timetable, May 2019
  5. ^ "1,000 sign petition to save rail station bus link". Southern Daily Echo. Newsquest. 25 October 2007. Archived from the original on 3 November 2007. Retrieved 21 December 2007.
  6. ^ "Rail company withdraws link". Romsey Advertiser. Newsquest. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  7. ^ Stagecoach timetable 66 Winchester:

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°04′01″N 1°19′12″W / 51.067°N 1.320°W / 51.067; -1.320