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Published on : Friday, February 5, 2016
Passengers using Templecombe Station will soon be able to enjoy a brighter and refurbished footbridge as The Friends of Templecombe Station, South West Trains and Network Rail are working together to improve the bridge linking the station platforms.
The bridge was built in 1893 and was originally located in Buxted in East Sussex. However, when that line was reduced to a single track, it was moved to Templecombe in 1990. It remains an important feature of the station and is used by the Friends of Templecombe Station to access the old platform and gardens.
The Friends of Templecombe Station group was formed of local volunteers in 2010, initially to restore the gardens that had been created after the station’s reopening in 1983. The group was aware of the struggle to have the station reopened, and wanted to keep that memory alive.
Consequently, when the buildings on the disused platform began to fall into disrepair, the Friends stepped in to give them a much needed facelift and these now complement the tended gardens which provide a pleasing backdrop to the new operational platform.
The renovation of the bridge is the latest of a series of projects aiming to restore a station which is of considerable historic importance from when it was a busy interchange between the main line to London and the Somerset & Dorset line between the Midlands and the South Coast.
The improvement works have been supported by South West Trains’ Community Rail funding which helps to deliver improvements across the network which will benefit local communities and passengers.
Alison Clements, The Friends of Templecombe Station, said: “Once the new easy access platform had been built in 2012, we thought that we might lose the footbridge, which would have meant abandoning the gardens and other pleasant features of the disused part of Templecombe Station.
“It is marvellous how South West Trains, Network Rail and their contractors, Bagnalls, have managed to co-operate with the Friends in finding a long term economical solution.
“We are delighted to give it our maximum support and hope that the public enjoy the outcome.’
Richard Kempton, Community Rail Liaison Manager for South West Trains, said: “I am delighted we are working with the Friends of Templecombe Station to spruce up the footbridge. The Friends group have carried out a great deal of excellent work at the station, in partnership with us and we’re looking forward to more improvements in the future.”
In December 2015, South West Trains introduced a new timetable which includes the following improvements for Templecombe:
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