The new section of the A34 was eventually opened in November 1998.
The line was opened in 1885 and closed in 1964 although passenger services between Southampton and Newbury ceased in 1960. The route left the main Southampton to London main line at Shawford (south of Winchester) and crossed the Hockley viaduct, still in place and clearly visible from the M3, ...
Having diverted somewhat from Newbury, we will take a further look at this lesser-known cross-country line tomorrow. Meanwhile, enjoy this video of the magnificent viaduct and the footpath across it. (view here).
This viaduct was built as part of the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton Railway. The line was planned as a quicker route from the Midlands to the docks at Southampton, and opened between Didcot and Newbury in 1881. Operation and stock was provided by the Great Western from the outset. The company opened the extension to a new station at Winchester (Chesil) in 1885, but finances could not be raised for the continuation to Southampton. The LSWR stepped in and built a line from Winchester (Chesil) to their own main line at Shawford, where DN&S trains could use the main line into Southampton. As part of the deal, GWR locomotives had to be replaced by LSWR locos at Winchester.