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HORSEBRIDGE STATION 2010

 

A canal running between the Hampshire towns of Andover and Redbridge had been opened in 1792.  Once the railways began, the canal owners decided to replace the waterway with a railway, connecting Andover and Southampton.  In 1857 the canal company changed its name to the Andover Canal & Railway Company, and the Andover & Redbridge Railway was opened in March 1865.   Passenger trains took about 90 minutes for a 28 mile journey.  The line passed through rural countryside, but fishing in the River Test brought many visitors, and race horses were brought to the racecourse at Stockbridge via the railway.

First opened in 1865, Horsebridge was a large station with sidings taking up what is now the paddock and Test Way Car Park.  Horsebridge operated as a busy country station until closed in 1965.  Left to become derelict for 20 years, it was bought by its present owners, Tony and Val Charrington in 1985, and restored to create its present charming and nostalgic atmosphere.

Teas are served on Platform 1 during summer afternoons, and the venue is available for weddings and other events.  The station has been lovingly restored, as witnessed by the photographs below.

Station website:  http://www.horsebridgestation.co.uk

History of the station:  http://www.horsebridgestation.co.uk/history.html

The photographs below were taken on Saturday 16th October 2010.

 

The station building, now the home of the owners.

 

The forecourt, with carriage at the platform.

 

The southbound (Romsey) platform, now used for afternoon teas.

 

The northbound (Andover) platform.

 

The track bed has been turned into an attractive lawn.

 

Close up of the end of the track bed.  The line continued through the trees, and under a road.
The cutting has now been filled, and the over-bridge removed.

 

The original signal box had been removed  This replacement was obtained from Yalding in Kent.

 

The carriage is ex-London & South Western Railway, built in 1922, and obtained from British Rail at Bournemouth.

 

Authentic station items add to the bygone-era charm.

 

Platform 1 set out for afternoon tea.

 

 

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Copyright M J Smith, 2010
No photographs to be reproduced elsewhere without permission.

mjs@onlineweb.com