The Fawley Branch
It is almost impossible to imagine the enormous social and economic changes brought about by World War I. At the beginning of the war the Fawley district was still essentially rural in character and apart from farming and fishing there were few industries. The construction of the oil refinery in 1920/21 by Anglo Gulf West Indies Petroleum Corporation Limited was to change the Fawley area forever.
Opening of the railway finally came in 1925, the Fawley branch of the Southern Railway was a light railway only in a legal sense; it some of the heaviest locomotives and freight wagons in Britain. It was briefly a little railway with little stations, but the growth of the Fawler Refinery and later development of Marchwood Military Port changed all that.
The material for this book was collected by John Fairman of Chandler's Ford, a well known local and railway historian, assisted by Tony Thomas JP, formar BR area manager at Totton, and Alan Gosling of Woking. Some additional information on signalling has been provided by George Pryer, of the Signalling Record Society.
John Fairman died in 1992; it is now felt that his work should be made available to Southern enthusiasts and students of local and industrial history in Hampshire.
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