Rail Books - Free UK Postage on Orders Above £20!
Rail Books - Free UK Postage on Orders Above £20!
Cart 0
Main Line to The South - Part 1: Basingstoke to St.Cross (Winchester)
Irwell Press

Main Line to The South - Part 1: Basingstoke to St.Cross (Winchester)

Regular price £34.95 £0.00 Unit price per

The London and Southampton Railway opened its line in 1840 and was the first major railway in the south of England. Engineer Joseph Locke, and contractor Thomas Brassey, completed the last part of the line from Basingstoke to Winchester through the chalk downs to the summit at Litchfield Tunnel.

The easy grades of the line were only achieved by involving some heavy civil engineering work, high embankments, deep cuttings and numerous tunnels. Traffic grew steadily, particularly goods, to and from the expanding Southampton Docks and boat trains ran in connection with the ocean liner traffic.

Southampton developed into the principal port for military traffic to the Empire and the line played a major role in the supply of men and materials for the Boer, First and Second World Wars. The line achieved something of a legendary status in the 1960s being the last steam worked main line in England until its electrification in July 1967.

Today the line between Basingstoke and Southampton carries not only heavy passenger traffic but, with the recent demise of coal traffic elsewhere, some of the nation’s heaviest freight traffic with containers from Southampton Docks.

Part One covers the line between Basingstoke and Winchester
Part Two deals with the line through Eastleigh, including the works, to Shawford Junction.
Part Three completes the story to Southampton covering St.Denys, Northam, Southampton Terminus and Central.

Hardback, 296 pages, black & white photographs, maps, track layout diagrams

ISBN: 9781911262350

Most orders are dispatched within two-three working days of receipt of cleared payment. If there is going to be a significant delay (more than 10 working days), we will contact you and, where possible, give you an estimated dispatch time.

Please be aware that advance orders will be sent as soon as the relevant book has been published. 

When placing your order, please ensure that you add the correct full shipping address to your order. This includes house number, street name, zip code/post code. If parcels are returned on account of an incorrect shipping address we will contact you to seek the correct address and also ask that you pay a contribution towards posting the parcel to you a second time. Similarly, if a parcel is returned to us because the local mail service is unable to deliver it (or you do not collect it from the designated collection point), we will contact you and ask you for a contribution towards the cost of shipping to you for a second time. 


All orders over £20.00 are post free to all UK addresses. For orders of £20 or less, a £1.50 postage fee will be added. These are normally sent via Royal Mail 48 Hour (the business equivalent of 2nd class mail) which is not tracked. If you require tracking for your, tracking options are available for a small fee. If the service that you require is not shown, please get in touch with us and we can quote for your desired service.

Large, bulky or high value orders may be split in to multiple consignments or sent via courier. There is no additional charge for this and you will be advised at the order fulfillment stage if this happens.


Overseas orders are charged based on weight, and postage will be automatically calculated at checkout. For a postage quotation, please add the items you want to your cart and proceed to the checkout. All orders are usually sent via Air Mail - this is not tracked. If you required your order to be tracked or sent by a different service, please contact us, preferably before checkout.

Royal Mail will only accept parcels up to 5kg in weight (2kg for Canada). If you are ordering multiple items that exceed these limits, please contact us first so that we can advise you of the appropriate shipping rate.

Due to the high volume of parcels going missing, we are no longer able to send untracked orders via third party mail handling services such as Parcel Motel. We are able to send untracked parcels to bona fide PO Box addresses, friends and family members and to work addresses.

Some countries charge import taxes  and other taxes such as VAT;  we suggest that in these cases, you asked for your order to be tracked so the local taxation authorities can trace your parcel.

Please note that courier services are unable to deliver to PO Box addresses. If you usually use a PO Box address, you will need to supply an alternative address if you require shipping by courier.

Shipping to the European Union

From 1 July 2021, all EU countries will be imposing VAT on all imports. In the UK, books are zero-rated for VAT proposes so there is no VAT to deduct from the prices quoted on are website.

Therefore all of our shipments to the EU will be held by the relevant customs authority until the customer pays any VAT that is due. We understand that if no payment is received by the relevant customs authority after 30 days, the package will be either returned or destroyed. Rail-Books will not be liable for any loss resulting from the destruction or return of goods where VAT has not been paid.  

Updated: 1 July 2021