Portsmouth Direct Line

Portsmouth Direct Line
Portsmouth Direct Line

Portsmouth Direct Line
Type Suburban rail, Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Hampshire
South East England
Opened 1858
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) South West Trains
Rolling stock Class 450, Class 444, Class 455
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) Standard gauge
[v · d · e]Portsmouth Direct Line
South Western Main Line
Continuation to left Unknown BSicon "ABZ3rg" Station on transverse track Continuation to right
Junction from left Non-passenger terminus from right
Woking carriage sidings
Stop on track
Junction from left Continuation to right
New Guildford Line
Continuation to left Junction from right
North Downs Line
Station on track
Enter and exit short tunnel
Guildford Chalk Tunnel
Enter and exit short tunnel
St Catherine's Hill Tunnel
Junction to left Continuation to right
North Downs Line
Unknown BSicon "eABZlf" Unknown BSicon "exCONTl"
Cranleigh Line
Stop on track
Unknown BSicon "eABZlf" Unknown BSicon "exCONTl"
Godalming 1st station
Bridge over water
River Wey
Station on track
Stop on track
Stop on track
Station on track
Stop on track
Unknown BSicon "exCONTr" Unknown BSicon "eABZlg"
Longmoor Military Railway
Stop on track
Unknown BSicon "eABZrg" Unknown BSicon "exCONTl"
Midhurst Railways
Station on track
Enter and exit tunnel
Buriton Tunnel
Unknown BSicon "eHST"
Woodcroft Halt
Stop on track
Rowlands Castle
Unknown BSicon "eHST"
Denvilles Halt
Junction from left Continuation to right
West Coastway Line
Unknown BSicon "eABZrg" Unknown BSicon "exCONTl"
Hayling Island Branch Line
Station on track
Stop on track
Track turning from left Junction to right
Straight track Unknown BSicon "eHST"
Junction from left Junction from right
Continuation forward Straight track
West Coastway Line
Stop on track
Unknown BSicon "eABZrg" Unknown BSicon "exCONTl"
East Southsea
Station on track
Station on track
Portsmouth and Southsea
Pier Interchange end
Portsmouth Harbour

The Portsmouth Direct Line is the route of a railway service operated by South West Trains which runs between London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour, England. Trains use the same tracks between London and a junction south of Woking as the South Western Main Line (SWML) and West of England Line, and then branch off.



The earliest railway to reach Portsmouth - in reality Gosport on the opposite side of Portsmouth Harbour - was via a London and South Western Railway (LSWR) branch via Fareham to Eastleigh and thence via Winchester to London.

The first section of the direct route was opened to Guildford as the Guildford Junction Railway on 5 May 1845; the line was extended to Godalming on 15 October 1849. The line was extended to Havant in the 1850s as a speculative venture, backed by Portsmouth townspeople frustrated with the circuitous routes via Eastleigh or Brighton. The new line was taken over by the L&SWR who opened it on 28 December 1858, having already reached Portsmouth via Cosham. In order to reach it, however, trains had to use London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) metals from a junction at Havant, and the latter objected to the L&SWR trains using the line. Fighting and obstruction took place, and passengers were forced to use a horse bus from Denvilles to complete their journey, but after a legal resolution trains ran freely from 24 January 1859.

The route

Services leave London Waterloo along the South Western Main Line and fork off at Woking to take the actual Portsmouth Direct Line. It joins the West Coastway before Havant station and then diverges again at Farlington Junction to reach Portsmouth Harbour

Before electrification, the route was a difficult one, since there are two summits on its 74¼-mile (120 km) run. After using the River Wey valley through Guildford, the line climbs from Godalming for eight miles (13 km) at 1:80/1:82 to a summit near Haslemere; the second climb is three miles (5 km) near Buriton Tunnel south of Petersfield.

The route was electrified by Southern Railway in May 1937[1], leading to major service improvements; passenger numbers more than doubled in the following two years.

Rolling stock

Since 2007, services have been provided by Class 450, Class 444 or class 455 electric multiple units.


Most of the stations are of similar design, possibly that of Sir William Tite the L&SWR architect.

There are closed stations at Farlington, Denvilles and Woodcroft.

SW 110 M-Ch km
Woking Junction 0-00 0.00
Worplesdon 2-03 3.25
Guildford 5-45 8.95
Shalford Junction 6-60 10.85
Farncombe 8-58 14.05
Godalming 9-55 15.60
Milford 11-39 18.50
Witley 13-54 22.00
Haslemere 18-17 29.30
Liphook 22-05 35.50
Liss 26-53 42.90
Petersfield 30-09 48.45
Rowlands Castle 38-36 61.90
Havant 41-53 67.05
Bedhampton 42-26 68.10
Farlington Junction 44-50 71.80
Portcreek Junction 45-15 72.70
Hilsea 45-53 73.50
Fratton 47-76 77.15
Portsmouth and Southsea 48-62 78.50
Portsmouth Harbour 49-48 79.80

See also


  • R.V.J.Butt, (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Patrick Stephens Ltd.  ISBN 1 85260 508 1

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