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Stourpaine & Durweston Halt

Stourpaine & Durweston Railway Halt opened on the 9th July 1928. Practically everyone in the two villages at the time had walked down to the Halt to watch the departure of the 8.06am to Bournemouth. Local newspaper the Western Gazette reported that the locals had adorned the Halt with flags. However, just seven passengers joined the train which included local clergyman, the Reverend C Cooke.

Unfortunately, because the Halt stood on an open embankment it proved to be exceedingly cold for passengers waiting on the platform the following winter. So, the following April, the railway company built a ‘substantially-built shelter for the convenience of passengers.’ Although the track through the Halt was single line, there was a passing point just to the north of the Halt.

The Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway or ‘S&D’ connected Bristol and Bath with Bournemouth West, a station now long closed. The line was used for both freight and passengers and its stations included Stalbridge, Sturminster Newton, Shillingstone, Blandford, Bailey Gate & Poole.

Unfortunately with the growth of motor transport after World War II, Stourpaine & Durweston Halt was used less and less by passengers. This led to its closure on 15th September 1956 by British Railways (Southern Region) as a part of an economy drive. Other Halts with the same fate included those at Charlton Marshall, Spetisbury and Corfe Mullen.

Trains continued to pass through the closed Stourpaine & Durweston Halt until the ‘S & D’ line closed in 1966.

(Illustration: Stourpaine & Durweston Halt - 9th July 1928)


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