The Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Line

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright January 2012, Bill Nicholls; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5086 : Cutting towards Chilton by Bill Nicholls SU5086 : Further along the cutting by Bill Nicholls
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4986 : Looking towards Chilton by Bill Nicholls SU4986 : Concrete in the bed by Bill Nicholls SU4986 : Trap along the line by Bill Nicholls SU4986 : Back down the track by Bill Nicholls SU4986 : Side of the cutting by Bill Nicholls
From here the railway turned towards the south as it passed Chilton

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4985 : Prospect Farm Chilton by Mick Crawley SU4985 : Chilton cutting on the former Didcot to Newbury railway by Mick Crawley SU4985 : Excavator on the waste by Bill Nicholls SU4985 : Track to the cutting by Bill Nicholls SU4985 : Full to the top by Bill Nicholls SU4985 : Infill to the bridge by Bill Nicholls SU4985 : Another arch top by Bill Nicholls
Then through the first Chilton Bridge which Mick Crawley managed to get a photo of before it was filled in. After that is was downhill as all the cutting is now filled in which in my mind was sacrilege. SODC allowed this to happen and in doing so removed from sight the history surrounding the place. It could have stood testament to the navvies who dug it and been used for recreational purposes, instead personal gain was what was thought of.
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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4985 : Lost heritage by Bill Nicholls SU4985 : What I came to see by Bill Nicholls SU4985 : Broken wall by Bill Nicholls SU4985 : Nothing left to see. by Bill Nicholls SU4985 : Other side of the bridge by Bill NichollsSU4985 : Corner of a field by Bill Nicholls
From the bridge the railway carried on along the cutting to a second bridge near Prospect farm, now the whole length is filled in wiping away the history with it. The bridge again filled in to the road level leaving one parapet to tell you what had been there.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4985 : Piles of wood by Bill Nicholls SU4985 : Fire at Chilton Waste by Bill Nicholls
I came away feeling disappointed from that bridge and disgusted at seeing how the landscape had been treated. The pile of wood you see in the next photo showing what I mean but nature would get its own back as 700 odd tons of wood stored for bio fuel spontaneously combusted and burned for a week.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU4984 : Tile Barn by Andrew Smith SU4984 : Overgrown Railway Track by Des Blenkinsopp
The next part I have yet to go and visit though the photos show the track bed to be overgrown and if there was a bridge at Tile barn it looks to be gone.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5083 : Track from the bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5083 : Bridleway on disused railway trackbed by William Jackson SU5083 : Railway across the downs by Graham Horn SU5083 : Bridge from the side by Bill Nicholls SU5083 : Over the bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5083 : Full of trees by Bill Nicholls
From Tile Barn the railway went to Churn where it went under a bridge that is still there. The old railbed which runs towards tile Barn is now used by farm traffic and has been adopted by walkers rather than use the path to the side of it. On the Churn Halt side of he bridge the trackbed is nigh on impassable.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5182 : Churn Halt over the field by Bill Nicholls SU5182 : Last look at the Halt by Bill Nicholls SU5182 : From the other line by Bill Nicholls SU5182 : The platform wall by Bill Nicholls SU5182 : Off to the Halt by Bill Nicholls SU5182 : Down from the bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5182 : Towards the Halt by Bill Nicholls SU5182 : Overgrown on the rail bed by Bill Nicholls SU5182 : Churn Bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5182 : Rail bed to Compton by Bill Nicholls
Churn Halt is next, a Godforsaken place in the downs which would have been very bleak in the winter for any one stopping off there. It was used originally for the National Rifle Association but because of the lack of facilities (no roads or waiting room on the platform) they moved to Bisley. Little is left of the halt other than parts of the platform. The bridge nearby remains mostly intact. On the Compton side the track bed is covered in impenetrable shrubbery but a little further along it is clear as it is used by farm traffic.
More about it here. LinkExternal link

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5281 : Course of former railway by David Kemp
From Churn the railway carried on through some bleak countryside to Compton

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5280 : Former railway bridge by Graham Horn
where it runs through a cutting and over a bridge.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5279 : Compton Station by Bill Nicholls SU5279 : Platforms at Compton by Bill Nicholls SU5279 : View along the platform by Bill Nicholls SU5279 : Station at the top by Bill Nicholls SU5279 : Estate on the railway by Bill Nicholls SU5279 : Shed in the hedge by Bill Nicholls
Eventually coming into Compton Station which is still standing and now a private residence.
The goods yard and part of the railway now covered in industrial units.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright SU5279 : Compton rail bridge by Bill Nicholls SU5279 : Bridge from the graveyard by Bill Nicholls
Just outside the station on the way to Newbury the line crosses a road and you can still see the superb bridge there, unfortunately access in not possible

KML

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