Bournemouth Central

Welcome to Bournemouth
Today the fact that such a prosperous resort and major urban conurbation as Bournemouth should be bypassed initially by the railway seems remarkable. However the Southampton and Dorchester Railway pursued a circuitous route which took in the then major areas of habitation of Ringwood, Wimborne and Poole, at that time Bournemouth was scarcely a village, more a cluster of dwellings around the inlet of the Bourne stream. Its population in 1840 was merely 200. When the line between Southampton and Dorchester opened - albeit hesitantly due to problems with the tunnel through Southampton - on 1st June 1847 Bournemouth residents had to make do with a horse drawn omnibus to the nearest railhead at Hamworthy. However the luxuriant surroundings and mild micro-climate of the location was not overlooked and its rapid expansion as an exclusive prosperous resort commenced without the benefit of direct rail access. Indeed this exclusivity led to many residents pursuing a contrary relationship with the railway. Whilst they welcomed the prosperity the railway would - and spectacularly did - bring to the area they did not want any of the less desirable aspects it could also bring. Thus when the railway did arrive it was confined to the very outskirts of the town and subsequent proposals to bring it nearer to the heart of activities were rejected. So the legacy is that even though the town expanded well beyond the tracks today the station is still a brisk 20 minute walk the town centre.
East end of station A view captured by many photographers over the years, that of the eastern end of the station looking west, seen here (as on all the current day photographs on these pages) on 28th April 2001.

photograph by Colin Duff

Looking in the reverse direction towards Southampton.   A Connex coastway service is leaving platform 1. The B&Q store beyond the over-bridge now occupies part of the site which was once Bournemouth East station and then goods facilities.

photograph by Colin Duff

Looking west
Virgin train Inter-regional trains - now under the auspices of Virgin Cross Country - are still part of the Bournemouth scene.  Here the 4:20 p.m. departure to Newcastle on the 28th April 2001 is about to leave the station led by power car 43086.

photograph by Colin Duff

These are the up side buildings seen from the forecourt.   Under the canopy is the entrance to the main booking hall.  It is a matter of personal opinion but many think the down side of the station is more imposing and the main entrance.

photograph by Colin Duff

Up side buildings
Down side buildings The down side buildings which are on the town side of the station - hence the common misunderstanding that they are the main entrance. This side of the station is also the location of the bus stops serving the station, not to forget the car park entrance to the ASDA superstore.

photograph by Colin Duff

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This page was last updated 3 December 2002

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