A History of the Railways
around Basingstoke

by Christopher J Tolley


In order to avoid reaching foolish conclusions about the development of the local railways, I have read widely among the published work about them. I have used a few short direct quotations, and these are specifically acknowledged in the text. There are two longer passages, a circular and a newspaper report, which I came across in John Fairman's handy booklet, Basingstoke, 150 years of Railway Progress, and I have included these because I believe them to be out of copyright, both being published over 150 years ago. If inadvertently I have breached any copyright, I apologise in advance; please let me know of any matters which need to be addressed in this regard. A full bibliography appears below.

I thank those people who have helped and encouraged me in this work, especially Troy Melvin, who shares my eccentric interest in finding long-closed railway stations and lines, and who provided the transport to some of the locations discussed. In addition, I am grateful to have had the chance to speak to some of the people who were actually involved in making the history which I have documented, and acknowledge the helpful comments of Arthur Attwood about several aspects of this work; Mr. Attwood is the only person I know who can remember travelling on the Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway, as well as being a noted local historian.

One acknowledgement I often encounter in books is thanks to the author's wife for putting up with an author determined to finish the book. I can only echo this accurate sentiment, having disrupted Suzanne's routine for some weeks while producing this account.


The following books and documents were consulted during the preparation of this history, though this is not to say that their contents necessarily influenced what is contained in it - indeed, in some cases I had reached some of their conclusions independently myself before reading some of these sources, and in other cases, my views differ.

Awdry, Christopher Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies (Guild Publishing, 1990)
Bulleid, O. V. S. Report for Sir Eustace Missenden - Some Account To Date Of Assistance Rendered By The Chief Mechanical Engineer's Department In The War Effort (unpublished report, prepared 1944)
Clark, R. H. A Southern Region Chronology and Record, 1803-1965 (Oakwood Press, 1964)
Coleman, Terry The Railway Navvies (Book Club Associates, 1972)
Connolly, W.P. British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer (Ian Allan, 1976)
Cooke, R. A. Track Layout Diagrams of the G. W. R and BR W. R. Section 23, Berkshire (R. A. Cooke, date unknown)
Course, Edwin The Railways of Southern England : Independent and Light Railways (Batsford, 1976)
Croughton, Godfrey, et al Private and Untimetabled Railway Stations (Oakwood Press, 1982)
Esau, Mike Steaming Into Wessex (Ian Allan, 1991)
Fairman, John Basingstoke - 150 Years of Railway Progress (British Rail, 1987)
Gough, Terry Past and Present - Berkshire and Hampshire (Past & Present, 1994)
Griffith, Edward The Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway (Kingfisher Railway Productions, 1982)
Huntley, John Railways on the Screen (Ian Allan, 1993)
Hurst, Geoffrey Register of Closed Railways 1948-1991 (Milepost Publications, 1992)
Judge, C. W. An Historical Survey of the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway (Oxford Publishing Co, 1984)
Kidner, R. W. The Waterloo-Southampton Line (Oakwood Press, 1983)
The Reading to Tonbridge Line (Oakwood Press, 1974)
Landes, David S. The Unbound Prometheus (Cambridge University Press, 1969)
Legg, Stuart The Railway Book (Fourth Estate, 1952)
Maggs, Colin G. Branch Lines of Berkshire (Alan Sutton, 1993)
Measom, George The Illustrated Guide to the Great Western Railway (Marshall, 1852)
Mitchell, Peter, et al The Surrey Border and Camberley Railway (Plateway Press, 1993)
Mitchell, Vic & Smith, Keith Woking to Southampton (Middleton Press, 1988)
Reading to Basingstoke (Middleton Press, 1994)
Reading to Guildford (Middleton Press, 1988)
Branch Lines to Alton (Middleton Press, 1984)
Basingstoke to Salisbury (Middleton Press, 1991)
Nock, O. S. Great British Trains (Guild Publishing, 1985)
Speed Records on Britain's Railways (David & Charles,1971)
Robertson, Kevin Hampshire Railways in Old Photographs (Alan Sutton, 1989)
London & South Western Railway - 150 years of the L&SWR (publisher unknown, 1988)
Rous-Marten, Charles (ed. Fryer, Charles) British Locomotive Practice & Performance (Patrick Stephens, 1990)
St. John Thomas, David A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain -1: The West Country (Phoenix House, 1960)
Simmonds, Roger The Park Prewett Hospital Railway, Basingstoke (publisher and date unknown)
Simmons, Jack The Railways of Britain (Book Promotions, 1986)
Thornhill, Patrick Railways for Britain (Mackay, 1954)
White, H. P. A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain - 2: Southern England (David & Charles, 1969)
A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain - 3: Greater London (David & Charles, 1987)
  Railway Junction Diagrams (Railway Clearing House, 1920)
  The Concise Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 1992)

In addition to these, numerous timetables were consulted, as were issues of the following journals: Back Track, Modern Railways, Railways South East, The Railway Observer and The Railway Times.

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