Eastleigh works' "balloon loop" - any info.?

Dougal2345

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Just an idle question - whenever I head from Eastleigh to Fareham, I'm sure like many of us I crane my neck to see what's in the works' sidings.

And of course always catch sight of the junction for the loop that goes all the way around the outside of the works.

This loop - I can understand it allows stock to leave the works facing in either direction.

But has it ever been used, perhaps in loco-hauled days, to reverse trains that otherwise have no business visiting the works?

And has a railtour ever been around it?
 
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444045

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The loop you are referring to actually belongs to Eastleigh Depot and not the works, when you next head from Eastleigh to Fareham or
vice versa, that line is either the last or 1st thing you will see. It has been there for years, back in the day it was used for
Ecs Vep/Cig/Bep/Hap and loco-hauled coaching stock for WOE when Eastleigh Depot was a front line depot and lots of stock was berthed
there, cleaned and tanked. Loco's would 'A' exams done on them in the shed.

A number of railtours over the years have been through the depot via the loop line.

Long Welded Rail trains and other freight trains have been taken from the marshalling yard to turn the train ready for engineering works
or so the train was the right way round via this loop line, that practice still happens now although less frequently.

The Depot is mainly used now for XC voyagers who use the loop line and the new 701 class when returning from test runs.

I hope this has answered your question @Dougal2345.

Please feel free to ask any questions about what I have written.
 

Dunfanaghy Rd

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The Depot Loop (from South Jn to West Jn) has been used to turn steam locos. Back in the day (when steamers were allowed out without a 'support coach') the Flying Jockpig used to run light from Southampton Docks and bac again to turn.
Pat
 

Dougal2345

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Thanks to both of you for the interesting replies. I didn't realise it was still used regularly for turning trains.

Now to keep an eye open for an affordable railtour that uses it...
 

swt_passenger

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Thanks to both of you for the interesting replies. I didn't realise it was still used regularly for turning trains.

Now to keep an eye open for an affordable railtour that uses it...
I think when the normal works and depot access in line with Eastleigh P2 was out of action early last year, (after the Freightliner derailment), all the depot access was via the loop with a shunt to/from the Botley direction for a few days, maybe nearer a week?

A few years ago I remember during one weekend‘s engineering work that XC were terminating at Eastleigh. Some services ran anti-clockwise round the loop during the time between arrival and their next departure, possibly just to get them out the way of other services through P2 or P3. Of course this also saves the driver having to change ends.
 

JonathanH

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Last edited:

zwk500

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They went to Eastleigh works relatively recently though - https://www.branchline.uk/fixture-report.php?id=373


(I don't know to what extent members can encourage particular track / locations to be, in the BLS fixtures team's words, "much requested".)
They're still by far the most likely to organise for a train in passenger service to go round the loop.

All the rest would normally terminate at Eastleigh Station and go round the line empty as it's a lot easier to organise.
 

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