South Western Main Line

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London – Weymouth
Gauge : 1435 mm ( standard gauge )
Power system : 750 V  =
Dual track : yes, sometimes up to 8 tracks
Route - straight ahead
South Eastern Main Line from Dover Priory
Station, station
London Bridge
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London Cannon Street
Station, station
London Waterloo East
South Eastern Main Line to London Charing Cross
Connecting track Waterloo East - Waterloo
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ex-BR and today's LU route to Bank
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London Waterloo
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Waterloo International 1994-2007
Station, station
London Vauxhall
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London Nine Elms Terminus 1838–1848
to the South London Line for Eurostar
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South London Line / BML , London / Brixton - Lewisham
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London Queenstown Road ( Battersea )
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Brighton Main Line London Victoria – Brighton
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London Overground / South London Line from Brixton
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West London Line to / from Willesden Junction
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London Clapham Junction
to Windsor / Reading
Wandsworth Common 1838-1863
Stop, stop
Sutton Loop from London Blackfriars , Thameslink
Station, station
London Wimbledon
Sutton Loop to London Blackfriars, Thameslink
Stop, stop
Raynes Park
to Chessington South, Guildford
Stop, stop
New Malden
to Kingston-upon-Thames
Stop, stop
Kingston (old train station)
Station, station
to Hampton Court / Guildford
Stop, stop
Stop, stop
Stop, stop
Stop, stop
Gleisdreieck - straight ahead, to the right, from the right
from / to Chertsey
Stop, stop
Byfleet & New Haw
Stop, stop
Byfleet West
Station, station
Portsmouth Direct Line to Portsmouth Harbor
Stop, stop
after Alton
after Ascot
Plan-free intersection - above
Ascot - Guildford Railway
from Ascot
to Reading ( GWML )
Plan-free intersection - above
North Downs Line Reading - Gatwick Airport
Stop, stop
Farnborough (Main)
Stop, stop
Stop, stop
Stop, stop
Bridge over the Loddon
from Reading
Station, station
West of England Main Line to Exeter - Plymouth
Tunnel - if there are several tunnels in a row
Litchfield Tunnel, 181 m
Tunnel - if there are several tunnels in a row
Popham Tunnel I, 242 m
Tunnel - if there are several tunnels in a row
Popham Tunnel II, 182 m
Stop, stop
Station, station
Stop, stop
from Romsey
Station, station
Eastway to Fareham Line to Fareham ( WCL / Portsmouth )
Station, station
Southampton Airport Parkway
Stop, stop
West Coastway Line from Brighton / Portsmouth
Stop, stop
St. Denys
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Southampton Terminus
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Southampton Docks
Civic Center tunnel
Station, station
Southampton Central
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Southampton Western Docks
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Southampton Container Terminal
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Stop, stop
Wessex Main Line to Romsey - Salisbury - Yeovil
Bridge over the test
Stop, stop
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BSicon .svgBSicon STR.svgBSicon HST.svg
BSicon .svgBSicon STR.svgBSicon HST.svg
BSicon .svgBSicon STR.svgBSicon BHF.svg
BSicon .svgBSicon STR.svgBSicon HST.svg
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Stop, stop
Ashurst New Forest
Stop, stop
Beaulieu Road
Station, station
BSicon .svgBSicon ABZgl.svgBSicon STR + r.svg
BSicon .svgBSicon STR.svgBSicon HST.svg
BSicon .svgBSicon STR.svgBSicon HST.svg
BSicon .svgBSicon STR.svgBSicon HST.svg
BSicon .svgBSicon STR.svgBSicon BHF.svg
BSicon .svgBSicon STR.svgBSicon hKRZWae.svg
Lymington Bay
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Lymington Pier
Stop, stop
Stop, stop
New Milton
Stop, stop
Hinton Admiral
Stop, stop
Stop, stop
Bournemouth Pokesdown
Bournemouth Boscombe 1897-1965
Station, station
Bournemouth Meyrick Park 1906-1917
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Bournemouth West 1874-1965
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Bournemouth Depot
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Stop, stop
Poole Branksome
Stop, stop
Poole Parkstone
Station, station
Stop, stop
Stop, stop
Holton Heath
Station, station
to the Furzebrook Oil Terminal and Swanage
Stop, stop
Stop, stop
Station, station
Dorchester South
BSicon STR + r.svgBSicon STR.svgBSicon .svg
Great Western Line from Yeovil
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Dorchester West
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Dorchester Junction
Winterborne Monkton & Came 1905–1957
Bincombe tunnel
Upwey Wishing Well 1905-1957
Upwey (old train station) 1871–1886
Stop, stop
Upwey (new train station)
Radipole 1905-1984
End station - end of the line

The South Western Main Line is a main railway line in England. It connects the capital London with Weymouth in south-west England . Well-known cities on the route are Woking , Winchester , Southampton , Bournemouth and Poole .

Called the South West Main Line by the infrastructure company Network Rail , the line has several branches that are important for rail traffic, such as Reading , Guildford or Portsmouth, as well as the West of England Main Line , which branches off in Basingstoke and leads to Exeter and Plymouth .


The line is double-tracked along its entire length, with eight tracks between London Waterloo and Clapham Junction , and the section to Basingstoke with four tracks .

Many sections are developed for a speed of 160 km / h .

The line has been electrified along its entire length since 1988. When the route from London to Bournemouth was electrified in 1967, passengers to Weymouth were forced to change trains.

However, there are often delays due to the high level of use.


The idea of ​​a railway from London to the south coast near Southampton first came up in 1831. This idea envisaged a line to Bristol in addition to the main line . The project continued under the name Southampton, London & Branch Railway and Docks Company .

The chosen route to Southampton left important cities like Guildford on the left, so that these had to be connected by branch lines. The route to Bristol fell victim to deletions.

At the same time the Great Western Railway was planning to build a route from London to Southampton via Bristol. This had the advantage that it connected several important cities, while the variant of the Southampton Railway, which appeared in 1831, mainly ran through countryside. The two companies operated a great rivalry, so the railway line opened by the GWR Reading - Basingstoke in Basingstoke had a different station than the one on the main line.

On May 21, 1838, the successor company to the Southampton Railway, the London and South Western Railway , opened the first section from London to Woking . The former London terminus Nine Elms was in the Battersea district .

Winchfield was reached on September 24 of the same year .

The southern section from Southampton was completed on June 10, 1839 with the completion of the line to Winchester, on the same day Basingstoke was reached from the north . The missing section Basingstoke - Winchester was opened on May 11, 1840, the delay was due to the construction of the Litchfield tunnel.

Between 1845 and 1847 the extension from Southampton to Dorchester was completed, but for the time being the small village of Bournemouth was left behind. Only after its development into a large seaside resort was a line to Bournemouth built, the original one closed.

In 1848 the extension from Nine Elms to today's terminus at Waterloo in London was built. In 1865 the Eastleigh to Fareham Line Portsmouth could be connected.


The trains are mainly operated by the South West Trains (SWT), a few also by the CrossCountry (CC), which do not run to London, but to central and northern England and Scotland .

  • London Waterloo - Woking - Winchester - Southampton Airport Parkway - Southampton Central - Brockenhurst - Bournemouth - Hamworthy - Wareham - Dorchester South - Weymouth (SWT)
  • London Waterloo - Clapham Junction - Basingstoke - Winchester – Southampton Airport Parkway - Southampton Central - Brockenhurst - New Milton - Christchurch - Bournemouth - Poole - Weymouth (SWT)
  • London Waterloo - Clapham Junction - Basingstoke - Winchester - Southampton Airport Parkway - Southampton Central - Bournemouth - Poole
  • London Waterloo - Woking - Basingstoke - Winchester - Eastleigh - Fareham - Portsmouth & Southsea - Portsmouth Harbor (SWT)
  • London Waterloo - Clapham Junction - Woking - Exeter - Plymouth (SWT)
  • Bournemouth - Brockenhurst - Southampton Central - Southampton Airport Parkway - Winchester - Basingstoke - Reading - Birmingham New Street - Manchester Piccadilly / Nottingham / Glasgow Central / Edinburgh Haymarket - Edinburgh Waverley (CC)
  • London Waterloo - Basingstoke (SWT)
  • London Waterloo - Alton (SWT)
  • London Waterloo - London Vauxhall - Woking (SWT)
  • London Waterloo - Hampton Court (SWT)
  • Romsey - Eastleigh - Southampton Central - Salisbury (SWT)

Route Utilization Strategy

The route is often very busy. This prompted Network Rail in March 2006 to introduce a Route Utilization Strategy . One solution would be to take over the orphaned Eurostar terminal in Waterloo.

Acquisition of Waterloo International

Since November 2007 and the opening of High Speed ​​One , the Eurostar trains no longer travel to Waterloo International, but to London St. Pancras . The Waterloo International Terminal has been empty since then. In addition to a conversion to a shopping center, the takeover of the five-track station by South West Trains for the express trains to Weymouth is also under discussion. She expressed interest and announced that a takeover would greatly reduce the often long delays on the SWML.

Individual evidence

  1. PDF report by Network Rail on SWML -RUS
  2.  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /