Hamble

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Oracle

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I have been asked about the points at Hamble on the Fareham-St Denys line. I thought that those who do not know anything about the branch might be interested.

Basically there was a branch line with trailing cross-over...not sure but think it was from both Down and Up lines. There was also one at Netley but at the Hamble end of the platforms which accessed the Netley Hospital branch. The route of the branch can stil be seen, and part of the Royal Victoria Railway NG railway uses the old trackbed. It ran directly to the famous Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley and wa for ambulance trains for military personnel. However the Hamble branch ran from the Netley end of the platform round the back of the Down platform and curved round to the right, across a road which leads now to the Hampshire Police training centre/fraud squad/police station at Netley, then paralleled Hamble Lane for a short time before crossing the road on a slight angle at a manual crossing gate. It then went on a curve to the right across what was Hamble Aerodrome, and aircraft literally took off and landed next to the line! Finally it left the 'drome, headed across a main road into the village and into Hamble Oil Terminal. A lot of the track was in good condition a few years back, and you could envisage that it could have been brought back to use if required. Now there is a lot of new housing on the old 'drome. The points at Hamble were operated by a ground lever I seem to recall. I have seen a photo circa 1969 of a Shell-BP diesel on the branch with oil tanks, amidst light aircraft. There was I believe an exchange siding behind the platform.

Some years ago, when I libed in Netley, so say early 80s, there was a proposal to run oil trains day and night to Hamble from Wytch Farm but in the end they built a pipeline through the New Forest [it's just along the road from us] to Fawley.

Hope that is of interest!
 
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GeoffM

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The ground frame is (or at least was a few years ago!) still there. Number 676, released from Eastleigh, with 2 levers - presumably a release lever and a points lever.

Geoff M.
 

Oracle

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There was I seem to recall a signal at the end of the Down platform. I really must go down to Hamble Lane and take some pix. I have no idea whether the housing development has severed the branch.
 

ChrisM

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The BP line ran behind Hamble station where they was a run round loop across the main road to the right and back across the main road (next to a fire station)to Hamble oil refinery and was used reguarly up until the 80's.
I used to travel from Swanwick/Portchester to Sholing and used to look out for the tankers in the sidings.
Most of the track in still there just overgrown, the points at the Netley end have been removed.
 

Oracle

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I went down there lunchtime. Basically there may well be some track actually in situ from Hamble station over the Netley Police entrance, and to the level crossing over the Hamble Lane but it's a jungle! The old airfield side is fenced off but the remnants of the manual crossing gates are there still. The line is them overgrown as far as the crossing into the oil terminal. However the tracks south of the road, into the terminal are all clear, and apart from being rusty look ready for business! I assume that they must be maintained. The tracks ove the two main road crossings look usable.
 

TheSlash

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Automotive historian, i'd be interested in any pics you have, current or when the line in use. I have probably driven past bits that you mention and not seen them.
 

GeoffM

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Automotivehistorian said:
There was I seem to recall a signal at the end of the Down platform.
Yes, EH804, a two-aspect red/green semi-automatic signal (I assume you mean the Up rather than the Down). As the ground frame lies in the overlap of said signal, the signal in rear (ignoring the repeater) is also a semi-automatic.

Geoff M.
 

Oracle

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I have done some digging:

http://www.branchline.org.uk/bln_sample.pdf

More digging! Two known Tours to visit the Branch:

http://www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk/70s/750322bl.html
http://www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk/70s/780722se.htm

although it seems the latter went 'all the way' to the Terminal gates.

Even more digging:
http://www.hants.gov.uk/decisions/decisions-docs/031104-swhtpn-R1028153735.html

see reference to BP keeping their options open.

As regards Netley:
http://www.netleyabbey.info/railways_of_netley.htm

And thanks for the correction about the platforms..I assumed incorrectly that the westbound, to St Denys, line was 'Down'...evidently it is 'Up'!
 

Oracle

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I have been down to Hamble and undertaken some industrial archaeology with my camera in the jungles of Hamble Peninsular!

The first views show the old conection, which wwas clearly a two-track facing and trailing arrangement at one time from the Down and Up lines, into a single siding that went through lockable gates into what is now woodland, but was at one time exchange sidings I gather. The track then singles, crosses the modern entarcne to Netley Police complex, then crosses Hamble Lane. Both sides of the crossing have the footpath following alongside the oldf line which itself is a veritable jungle, although all of the rails are still there I believe! The north side of the crossing is fenced off but the teack is overgrown and then circuits houses and then crosses in a double track in a modern road crossing [a fre years ago the track had been cleared and the single-double points and paralell lines were quite evident. The track then goes into a single line again and crosses the main road and goes into the oil terminal, which has a locked gate across it.

The ground frame levers are stil there and rodding is connected on the south side.

http://www.nostalgiaroad.co.uk/hamble1.jpg NOTE SEMI SIGNAL E 804
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Oracle

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This shot shows the branch line crossing the main road, but towards the NR tracks. The line curved to the right and in fact the rails in the deep undergrowth still do, then more or less staright to the exchange sidings as was. The country path runs to the left of the old line.

I would love to know if BP ever intend to re-open it or whether it really is abandoned? Do Hampshire CC own the trackbed? Of course if anything happened to the Esso pipeline, then the rail connection would be required. I query why the ground frame levers are still there if there was no specific reason to retain it?
 
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