The Dorchester and Southampton railway line was constructed in 1845-7, and provided the town with its first railway link to the west. The main station was built at Blechynden, some way east of the present Central Station. It was linked with the existing London and South Western Railway (L.S.W.R.) line at Northam via a new tunnel (just south of the old canal tunnel) taking the line under the Marlands fields. Construction of the new tunnel did not prove to be easy, partly because of the close proximity of the existing canal tunnel. The Blechynden to Dorchester section opened on schedule on 1 June 1847, but it was to almost two months later before the link to Northam was operational. The Southampton – Dorchester line was absorbed by the L.S.W.R. in 1848.
Southampton Railways, by Bert Moody. (HS/pk)
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