The Anonymous Widower

Reopening The Fawley Branch Line

The Fawley Branch Line is a freight-only branch line alongside Southampton Water in Hampshire.

Under Future in the Wikipedia entry for the Line, this is said.

On 16 June 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies announced it was looking into the reopening of the railway as far as Hythe, with a possibility of a further extension to Fawley if agreement could be reached with Esso, which owns the land where Fawley railway station once stood.

A lot more detail is also given, which has these major points.

  • Reopening of all former stations along the line.
  • A new station in Totton called Totton West, sited just west of the junction with the main line.
  • A new train service from Fawley or Hythe to Totton and on via Southampton Central, Southampton Airport Parkway, Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford and Romsey before returning to Southampton Central, Totton and Fawley or Hythe, also serving other intermediate stations.
  • Hourly train service.
  • Possible future electrification

The section to be reopened would be about seven miles in length.

This Google Map shows the area of the branch line.

Fawley Branch Line

Fawley Branch Line

It starts at Totton and there used to be stations at Marchwood, Hythe, Hsardley and Fawley.

Rolling Stock

The current proposals talk about using diesel trains, which would probably be Class 158 or Class 159 trains.

Given that Totton station is on the electrified South Western Main Line, other trains that can work on partly electrified lines may be able to work services on the Fawley Branch Line.

Class 319 Flex train could use electric power on the main line and diesel power on the branch.

Battery trains like an Aventra with onboard energy storage, could use electric power on the main line, where they would also charge the batteries. Batteries would then be used on the branch, with a possible top-up charge from something like a Railbaar at Hythe station.

A Trip To Hythe

To look at the Fawley Branch Line, whilst I was in Southampton, I took a trip on the ferry to Hythe and had a look round.

The Fawley Branch Line passes through Hythe about two hundred metres from the water.

This Google Map shows Hythe.

The railway can be picked out as the green scar going across the bottom of the map.

I’m not sure, where the new Hythe station would go.

The Design Of The Line

This picture shows where the Fawley Branch Line joins the main line.

It all looks pretty tidy and in good condition, so making the connection to the main line wouldn’t be too difficult.

The quoted route from Fawley or Hythe via Totton, Southampton Central, Southampton Airport Parkway, Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford to Romsey is only electrified between Totton and Eastleigh, as the Fawley Branch Line and the Eastleigh to Romsey Line are not electrified.

But it is an interesting route, as one of its effects will be to double the frequency of services between Eastleigh and Romsey, where it is probably needed to serve new housing.

I reckon that it would take about forty-five minutes to go from Fawley to Romsey or vice-versa.

It would also be a route for using some form of train with new technology.

  • A bi-mode train able to use third-rail electrification would be a possibility.
  • A Class 319 Flex train would manage the route with ease.
  • Perhaps, a battery train based on a third-rail multiple unit could make the route.

The battery train could be very suitable for the route, as an hourly service would need two trains, which would have around fifteen minutes to charge their batteries at either end of the route.

Current Status

Currently, the project is on hold, but given the location, where some very nice waterfront housing might be built, circumstances could change.



February 17, 2017 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , ,


  1. […] Fawley is a possible reopened station on a reopened Fawley Branch Line. See Reopening The Fawley Branch Line. […]

    Pingback by A Look At New Station Projects « The Anonymous Widower | February 18, 2017 | Reply

  2. […] I explored this line in Reopening The Fawley Branch Line. […]

    Pingback by Reintroduction Of Passenger Rail Services On The Waterside Line « The Anonymous Widower | May 27, 2020 | Reply

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