Southampton Central railway station

Southampton Central railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Southampton Central

code = SOU
manager = South West Trains
locale = Southampton City Centre
borough = Southampton
usage0405 = 4.655
usage0506 = 4.845
usage0607 = 5.084
platforms = 4
years = 1 November 1895
events = Opened (Southampton West)
years1 = 1934-1935
events1 = Enlarged
years2 = 7 July 1935
events2 = Renamed (Southampton Central)
years3 = 10 July 1967
events3 = Renamed (Southampton)
years4 = 29 May 1994 [Butt, R.V.J. (1995). "The Directory of Railway Stations", Patrick Stephens Ltd, Sparkford, ISBN 1-85260-508-1, p. 214.]
events4= Renamed (Southampton Central)

Southampton Central railway station is a main line railway station serving the city of Southampton in Hampshire, southern England. It is on the Wessex Main Line, the South Western Main Line and the West Coastway Line.

The station is managed by South West Trains who operate the majority of services, including frequent trains to London Waterloo. Other operators are CrossCountry (providing services to Birmingham and beyond), First Great Western (to Bristol Temple Meads) and Southern, which links Southampton to London Victoria via the south coast and Gatwick Airport, and to London Bridge following a similar route excluding Gatwick Airport.

All the platforms are split into two sections, a and b, allowing two services to occupy a platform at the same time. Platforms 1 and 4 are, however, rarely used in this manner except when a train divides.
*Platform 1 is used for services to London Waterloo from Weymouth and CrossCountry services to the north of England from Bournemouth.
*Platform 2 is used for First Great Western services to Portsmouth and the stopping service to Romsey via Eastleigh. It is the usual platform for the stopping service to London Waterloo, originating from Poole.
*Platform 3 is used for local services to Salisbury via Redbridge (Hampshire), usually departing from platform 3b. It is also the usual platform for the South West Trains stopping service to Portsmouth. The Southern service from London Victoria usually terminates and departs from platform 3a. Platform 3 is also used for the stopping service to Poole where it is overtaken by a faster service.
*Platform 4 is used for services to Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth as well as First Great Western services to Cardiff Central and the West Country

There is also an ex-Red Star Parcels bay on the Bournemouth end of Platform 4. Known as Platform 5, a number of slow trains used to start from there, but they were phased out. Now it is used for stabling units, and often a Class 450 unit can be seen in there. All traces of the platform branding has, however, been removed.

A number of empty stock loops are located a short distance away allowing terminating trains to clear the platforms for through services if required, and also to allow passenger services to pass freight trains.

Southampton Central houses a British Transport Police station in Overline House on the upside, with street access from Blechyden Terrace.

Southampton Central was flooded by torrential rainfall on 26 May 2008 [ [BBC News: Flooded railway station reopens] ]



Southampton Central has three trains an hour to London Waterloo of which two take approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes and the Poole stopping service taking approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes (this service is over taken by the express service at Eastleigh).

Romsey can be reached from Southampton Central using trains departing in both directions, by South West Trains via Chandler's Ford in the up and down directions and by First Great Western via the Salisbury line in the down direction only.

The service operated by Southern operates Mondays-Saturdays only.

On 9 December 2007 a number of changes were made to South West Trains, First Great Western and Southern services. The current London Waterloo to Southampton Central stopping service has been extended to Poole, replacing in part the former Brockenhurst to Wareham stopping service. The former Poole train has been extended to Weymouth. The Totton to Romsey shuttle and the Salisbury to Southampton Central portion of the First Great Western Westbury to Southampton Central service have been replaced by a South West Trains Salisbury to Romsey via Southampton Central and Chandlers Ford service, this calls at Romsey twice on its journey [ [ Timetable changes for December - South West Trains] ] [ [ First Great Western - Draft December 07 to May 08 Timetable] ] . Southern have introduced a new service from Southampton Central to Brighton, the service to London Victoria now runs via Horsham rather than via Hove.

Further changes are planned to occur in December 2008 when CrossCountry launches its new timetable with most CrossCountry trains operating between Bournemouth and Manchester Piccadilly though some will continue to Newcastle [ [ CrossCountry 2009 timetable consultation] ]


The station has a free shuttle service that links the station to the city centre and on to Town Quay, for the Isle of Wight Red Funnel and Hythe ferries. This service is operated by Uni-link and departs from the Weymouth side of the station along with Uni-link's other routes which serve the station. The now defunct City Clipper service also served this side, linking a number of places in Southampton City Centre to the station. This side of the station has the advantage of a turning space, so buses can come in and out, rather than just pass in either direction as on the London side. Bus services operated by Bluestar, First, Stagecoach, Velvet, and Wilts & Dorset use stops on the London side. Taxi ranks are also located on both sides of the station.


Southampton Central station was opened as "Southampton West" in 1895, to replace the original "Blechynden/West End" station (note nearby road namings). It was enlarged in 1934-1935 (from two platforms to four), and became "Southampton Central". Soon after the closure of Southampton Terminus station near the docks in 1966, the station was rebuilt in 1967, losing its clocktower which was replaced with an office block. At this point it was renamed "Southampton", although many years later it was once again renamed to "Southampton Central".

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