Bournemouth railway station

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Bournemouth National Rail
Bournemouth Central-8309.jpg
Place Bournemouth
Local authority Borough of Bournemouth
Grid reference SZ096919
Station code BMH
Managed by South West Trains
Number of platforms 4
DfT category C1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2009/10 Decrease2.519 million
2010/11 Increase2.583 million
2011/12 Increase2.605 million
- Interchange  65,655
2012/13 Decrease2.505 million
- Interchange Increase71,636
2013/14 Increase2.624 million
- Interchange Decrease69,293
2014/15 Increase2.625 million
- Interchange Increase74,731
Pre-grouping London and South Western Railway
Post-grouping Southern Railway
20 July 1885 Opened (Bournemouth East)
1 May 1899 Renamed (Bournemouth Central)
10 July 1967 Renamed (Bournemouth)
National RailUK railway stations


* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Bournemouth from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Bournemouth railway station, originally known as Bournemouth East (1885 to 1899) and then Bournemouth Central (1899 to 1967), is the main railway station serving the town of Bournemouth in Dorset, England. It is located on the South Western Main Line from London Waterloo to Weymouth. British Transport Police maintain a complement of Rail Community Officers at the station.[1]

As Bournemouth East station, it was previously on another site (1870 to 1885) – see Bournemouth East original railway station.


Looking eastward in 1963

The station was designed by William Jacob, chief engineer of the London and South Western Railway, and opened on 20 July 1885 as Bournemouth East replacing the original station of the same name which was located on the other side of Holdenhurst Road.[2] The station was located some distance away from the town centre on the insistence of town authorities of the time. It was renamed Bournemouth Central on 1 May 1899 and became Bournemouth on 10 July 1967 following the closure of Bournemouth West. By 1967 third rail electrification had reached Bournemouth and continued beyond to Branksome and Bournemouth Depot but no further. From the end of steam most trains were formed of 4REP EMUs coupled up with one or more unpowered 4TC units. The 4TC units would be uncoupled at Bournemouth and attached to a Class 33/1 diesel locomotive for the onward journey to Weymouth. This continued until the electrification of the line from Branksome to Weymouth and the introduction of Wessex Electric units in 1988. The end of steam also saw the removal of the station's centre tracks which ran between the up and down lines serving platforms 2 and 3 respectively and the demolition of the locomotive sheds located to the west; the station car park is now located on this site.

The station roof was severely damaged by the Great Storm of 1987 that hit the South of England. It was extensively refurbished in 2000 by Railtrack after many years of disrepair and being surrounded by scaffolding to protect people from falling debris.

Ticket barriers were installed in 2008.

The current Bournemouth railway station was once the centre of a small network featuring 5 different railway lines - South Western Main Line, Southampton and Dorchester Railway, Ringwood, Christchurch and Bournemouth Railway, Salisbury and Dorset Junction Railway and Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway all of which passed through Bournemouth and surrounding villages.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 2 September 1961, a train was derailed by trap points at the end of the down platform.[3]


The station has four platforms:

  • Platform 1 – east facing bay platform capable of accommodating trains of up to four 20-metre coaches. As of 2012 there are no scheduled services from this platform.[4]
  • Platform 2 – for through services to the east towards Southampton & London.
  • Platforms 3 and 4 – for terminating services from London and through services towards Poole and Weymouth. Platform 4 is rarely used by trains in passenger service.

Platforms 3 and 4 are continuous, and both can accommodate full-length trains. This means Bournemouth has one of the longest platforms in the country. Other stations with this arrangement include Gloucester, Cambridge and Edinburgh Waverley.

Motive power depot

BR Standard 5MT 4-6-0 No. 73110 approaching the station 10 May 1958. The Locomotive Depot is visible behind the locomotive.

A small locomotive depot was opened at Bournemouth East in 1870, but closed in 1883.[5] This was replaced by a larger shed, adjacent to Bournemouth Central station, in 1883. This in turn was supplemented by another shed nearby in 1888. In 1921, the 1883 shed was closed and the 1888 one was extended to increase capacity, and between 1936 and 1938 this was rebuilt and enlarged. The new shed included a 65 ft (20 m) turntable and a 50 LT (51 t) hoist. However the facilities remained cramped and awkwardly sited; there were proposals to move the depot to Branksome which were never implemented. This site therefore remained in use until June 1967 when the site was cleared.[6]


A CrossCountry service


The station is primarily served by South West Trains, who operate fast and semi-fast trains from Waterloo to Weymouth, and stopping services from London Waterloo to Poole. In addition, CrossCountry operate services from Bournemouth to Manchester via Birmingham. There is one CrossCountry service Monday to Saturday only from Nottingham but no return service. All CrossCountry services at Bournemouth use Voyager DEMUS. Before the CrossCountry service was standardised there were for many years CrossCountry services to many other destinations, including the 'Dorset Scot' and 'Wessex Scot' and other trains to Scotland via both the West Coast Main Line and East Coast Main Line, and also to Liverpool Lime Street.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Brockenhurst   CrossCountry
Southampton Central
  South West Trains
London-Weymouth express services
  Branksome or Terminus
Pokesdown   South West Trains
London-Weymouth semi-fast services
Pokesdown   South West Trains
London-Poole stopping services
Historical railways
Meyrick Park Halt
Line open, station closed
  London and South Western Railway
Southampton and Dorchester Railway
Line open, station closed

From 1990 Network SouthEast and then Connex South Central used to operate a London Victoria-Bournemouth service, but this was truncated at Southampton and is now operated by Southern. The service was one of the few regular services to use platform 1.


Bournemouth railway station also serves as a hub for local bus services. On the down side of the station is Bournemouth Travel Interchange which is served by More Bus and Yellow Buses, both companies operate frequent services to the town centre. A regular bus service to Bournemouth Airport, the Bournemouth Airport Shuttle, is operated by Yellow Buses. It is also a stop on National Express coach routes which serve the town.



  2. Bournemouth Central
  3. Trevena, Arthur (1981). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 2. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 42. ISBN 0-906899 03 6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Mortimer, Simon (2007). Baywatch (4th edition). Kentrail Enthusiasts Group.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Griffiths, Roger; Paul Smith (1999). The directory of British engine sheds. 1. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. p. 50. ISBN 0 86093 542 6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Hawkins, Chris; George Reeve (1979). An historical survey of Southern sheds. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Co. p. 15. ISBN 0 86093 020 3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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