Fawley branch reopening supported by 80% of locals

A plan to reopen the branch line towards Fawley in Hampshire has been backed by 84% of people who took part in a Network Rail consultation. 

Shuttle trains would run along the edge of Southampton Water between Southampton Central, a rebuilt Marchwood station, and a new platform at Hythe. 

A public consultation about the Waterside Line took place during August and September, with a series of eight local events to publicise the project. Leaflets were delivered by hand to 30,000 lineside homes. 

The line to Britain’s largest oil refinery has not had scheduled passenger trains since 1966, although freight services to the refinery continued until 2016, and a spur to Marchwood military port continues to be used occasionally.

A previous plan to reopen the line almost as far as the gates of Britain’s largest oil refinery, with a new park and ride station, has been cut back. The current proposal has just two stations: Marchwood (where a single platform still exists), and a new platform at one of two possible locations near the centre of Hythe. 

A diesel service every 30 minutes, using two-car Class 159s from Salisbury, is seen as more likely. 

A total of 1,508 responses were received and 84% agreed, or strongly agreed, with the project. The 13% who disagreed, or strongly disagreed, were most concerned about level crossing disruption and the level of disturbance the line could cause. The remaining 3% were neutral. 

Additionally, 80% of respondents said they would use the train service.

A formal business case will now be developed by next January. It is hoped that an application for the scheme under the Transport and Works Act will be made in 2023. It is thought passenger trains could start in 2025 at the earliest. 

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  • Güntürk Üstün - 08/12/2022 22:01

    The Fawley branch line, also known as the Waterside Line is a standard-gauge railway line to Fawley, in the English county of Hampshire. It is on the opposite side of Southampton Water from the city of Southampton itself, in an area known as Waterside. For 40 years (1925 - 1966) a passenger service operated, but this was withdrawn with the exception of the occasional enthusiasts' railtour. The line serves the freight needs of Marchwood Military Port, having also served the same function for Fawley Refinery until 2016. Dr. Güntürk Üstün

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  • Güntürk Üstün - 08/12/2022 22:08

    Just another important opportunity not to ignore in order to encourage people out of their cars by providing an alternative, secure, robust and value-for-money public transport system. Dr. Güntürk Üstün

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