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Southampton Terminus

Southampton Terminus station originally opened on 10th June 1839 as plain Southampton, the terminus of the London & Southampton Railway though wasn't fully operational until 11th May 1840 by which time the L&SR had become the London & South Western Railway. It was renamed Southampton Docks in July 1858, Southampton Town & Docks in September 1896, Southampton Town for Docks in November 1912 and finally Southampton Terminus on 9th July 1923, by which time it was primarily used by local trains. When opened the station was initially excluded from passenger operations due a dispute over running rights, with tickets issued from a small platform just north of the station, known as Southampton Northam Road. The main building was designed in the Italianate style by Sir William Tite and is now a Grade II listed building. Originally there was a train shed with six platforms, all now demolished and replaced by housing. There is still a railway line that passes around the station and goes into the docks, used mainly for goods traffic these days though there are infrequent passenger services in connection with cruise ships.
 
The south-west corner of South Western House, at the corner of Canute Road and Terminus Terrace. This was built by the Southampton Imperial Hotel Company on land leased from the London & South Western Railway and was completed in, according to the English Heritage listing description, 1872. The hotel was used particularly by passengers awaiting departure of liners from Southampton Docks. The LSWR bought the hotel in 1882 and renamed it the South Western Hotel. The extension, to the left fronting Terminus Terrace, dates from 1927. The hotel closed in 1939 following the outbreak of war and the building was subsequently used as offices. Far too large for the railway, it was also occupied by the military and the BBC. The building is now converted to luxury apartments.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Southampton Terminus
 
Southampton Terminus The Canute Road frontage to South Western Hosue. In the foreground is the Canute Road level crossing which takes the railway from Northam into the Eastern Docks.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

 
The canopy over the former station concourse, which was built in 1927 when the hotel was extended. Platforms were to the right and the station building can be seen in the background. Today it is simply a covered car park.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Southampton Terminus
 
Southampton Terminus A view from where the platforms were, looking at the rear of South Western House. There was originally a timber-roofed trainshed, but that was replaced by individual platform canopies when the station was extended in 1891.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

 
This is the main entrance and is part of the 1927 extension which allowed passengers to access the hotel directly from the station concourse.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Southampton Terminus
 
Southampton Terminus This is the rear of the station building and part of the former concourse. Again, platforms were to the right.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

 
This is the Southampton Terminus station building, built by the London & Southampton Railway for the opening of the line. The single-storey extension to the left is a later addition. The long demolished London terminus at Nine Elms was in similar Italianate-Classical style, but less imposing. The present use for this building is as a casino and offices.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Southampton Terminus

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This page was created 28 December 2009

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