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Written by Kevin Lee - 12 Oct 2005
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Location notes
A footbridge just to the west of Southampton Central station.
Railway type and traffic
Passenger traffic includes hourly Virgin Cross Country Voyagers to and from Bournemouth, a half hourly SWT express (442) to Poole or Weymouth and an hourly Romsey - Totton SWT 170. Wessex trains services to and from Cardiff , Penzance, Bristol, Westbury, Swindon, Southampton and Portsmouth Harbour will provide Wessex 'Alphaline' 158s and various advertising livery 153s. In addition to this you will also get Waterloo and Victoria - Southampton Centrals reversing in the sidings under the footbridge providing 450s, 444s and 377s.

Freight wise there is all the freightliner traffic out of Southampton, as well as a GBRf gypsum, DB Schenker Intermodals and stone workings.
A footbridge crossing the mainline, linking an urban estate with a footpath and the main road, in the middle of built up Southampton. The bridge is pretty busy, but mostly with people going to and from work and during lunchtimes, there are dog walkers, dogs and locals as well. The bridge is narrow so please keep your bags to one side and move out the way to allow them to pass - they have as much right to be there as you do!
Road directions
You need to head for Southampton City Centre and then towards Southampton Central Station, if approaching from the south side of the line you will be on either the A33 or the A3024, you need to turn north onto the A3057. (if from the north you will already be on the A3057).

From the South:
Just after you cross the railway line by the station turn left into Millbrook Road East.

From the North:
Just before you cross the line turn right into Millbrook Road East. Follow this along and turn left into Cracknore Road at the crossroads. You should now be able to see the railway line and the footbridge.

Alternatively travel to Southampton and park in the station, or other public, car park and then follow the public transport directions below.

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Southampton Footbridge map co-ordinates
Once you can see the line/footbridge you can park in the road that runs parallel to the railway line, you will be able to see your car from the footbridge.
Public transport
Travel on one of the many and varied services to Southampton Central station. Exit the station on the south (platform 4) side. Exit the station car park via the steps in front of you onto the main road. Turn right and walk along the road, you will cross over the road that crosses the railway, continue walking parallel to the line, The pavement will veer away from the road and you will find yourself with the railway on your right and fences/bushes to the left, continue walking and you will reach the footbridge.

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There are no toilets in the immediate area. There are numerous eateries in Southampton and on the station which is a short walk away.
There are numerous Bed and Breakfasts and hotels in Southampton (there are at least two Travel Inns in Southampton, one at the Airport and one near the station)
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Southampton Footbridge

Googly map
Streetmap links
Southampton Footbridge general view map
Southampton Footbridge close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Southampton Footbridge

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Railway Gen Group
Wessex Rail Gen [WRGen]
Photographic notes
The railway is aligned almost due east-west so the light is good during the whole day, except that there is a large number of trees to the south side of the line which can cause some shadows.
Facing towards the east the trains are leaving the station round a tight bend, you do not get much warning but they are not usually travelling that fast, the down signals on the bridge to the west will change to a proceed aspect when a train is coming.
Facing west you can see the trains as they approach Millbrook, they then 'disappear' behind a bridge before reappearing on a longish straight. The signals with platform indicators are visible from the footbridge so this will tell you if anything is coming, sometimes they will approach on a red, in which case they will be going slowly enough for you to see them!
The goods line into the docks on the south-side of the formation is difficult to shoot because of line side vegetation and fencing, trains going 'into' the docks are shoot able but you would need to go 'wrong side' to get those coming out of the docks.
This loop does also serve as a reversing siding when the one on the north side of the formation is in use, which can lead to a EMU parked in the way of your shot, but it should not be there for more than 20 minutes or so.
You can see things shunting about in Millbrook, and these occasionally encroach on the mainline so do not be surprised if you see a 57 or a 66 pop out from under the bridge and then disappear again!

A video would look excellent in both directions, but there is a lot of road noise, and some aircraft from Southampton Airport.
The sides of the footbridge are open but just the wrong height for someone around 5'10" meaning you have to duck or stand on tip-toe to see what is coming, therefore a height enhancing device such as step ladder, camera case or milk crate is advised, you can also photograph from part way down the steps.

General views - All photographs © Kevin Lee unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking east

Fig 1 - Looking east

Looking towards the station, along the northside carriage sidings.

Fig 2 - Looking east

Fig 2 - Looking east

Looking towards the station you can see the tight curve and the station signals with platform indicators

Fig 3 - Looking east

Fig 3 - Looking east

Looking towards the station, wrong side shot of the dock line, which doubles as a turnback for EMU's.

Fig 4 - Looking east

Fig 4 - Looking east

Looking towards the station, showing the shot of the dock line.

Fig 5 - Looking west

Fig 5 - Looking west

General view to the west, you can see a Wessie comming through Millbrook, and the signals which indicate a train comming.

Fig 6 - Looking west

Fig 6 - Looking west

Fig 7 - Looking west

Fig 7 - Looking west

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