It is now more than 50 years since steam traction ceased on Britain’s national rail network. In this book Gavin takes us back to those far off days for a fascinating look at the Bournemouth shed and station area. Bournemouth’s fine station was opened on 20 July 1885 and was designed by the London & South Western Railway’s chief engineer William Jacob. It replaced the original station named Bournemouth East, which was situated on the other side of the main road at the east end and had opened in 1870. The name Bournemouth East was kept until it became Bournemouth Central in 1899, the name it retained until 1967 when the other station in the town, Bournemouth West, closed with the ending of steam services. It then became just Bournemouth, which it remains today. The steam shed was originally at the East station, but this closed in 1883 when a new one was built at the west end of the present station. It was expanded again in 1888. Further extensions took place in 1921, then complete rebuilding happened between 1936 and 1938, when a 65-foot turntable was installed. It was always a very cramped and difficult shed to operate, and proposals were put forward to relocate it at Branksome, but these never materialised, and the pre-war layout continued to the end of steam. Electrification reached Bournemouth in 1967, the steam shed obviously closed and the two lines through the centre of the station were removed. As already mentioned, Bournemouth West station also closed, but the carriage facilities remained open for repairs and servicing. Services today are now operated by South West Trains and CrossCountry. It is a very busy station, with passenger numbers in 2012/13 of 2.505 million per annum, which increased to 2.756 million in 2016/17.
64 pages paperback