Further information about our visit to MoD Ludgershall

HDL Ludgershall Legionnaire railtour, 14 September 2019

This article was opened on 4 September 2019

We thank our contact at the MoD site for providing this helpful description of our proposed visit

Before entering the MoD site at Ludgershall, the train will come to a stand in what remains of the former M&SWJR station at Ludgershall (closed 1961), the station building and access road formerly being on the right hand side of the train, with the former (and optimistically large) station hotel, built at the town end of the station approach, remaining to this day converted to flats.

Once entry to the MoD system is obtained, the train will pass the MoD locomotive shed on the left hand side as it starts to traverse the truncated remains of the branch climbing up to the now closed and demolished MoD Ludgershall vehicle depot, the site now approaching completion following redevelopment as a military housing estate in preparation for personnel returning from Germany later this year.

At the end of the branch the train will reverse and retrace its route for a short distance, before reversing again to access the remaining stub of the former Tidworth branch (closed 1963). At the end of this line, the train will again reverse and retrace its route back to Ludgershall station site.

A further reversal will take the train into the military vehicle loading area known as the “Horse Sidings”, the name possibly dating from the time when significant numbers of horses belonging to cavalry regiments were unloaded and loaded at Ludgershall having come by train to Salisbury Plain for military exercises. Alternatively the name may be a legacy of the First Word War when the vast majority of horses for military purposes were transported to Salisbury Plain for breaking in and training before being deployment to the front lines.

The formation of the MSWJR heading north to Swindon, and ultimately Cheltenham, left Ludgershall station to run on the right hand side of the train parallel to and behind the platform on the right hand side on what is now an area of trees. On the left hand side of the train, the area of woodland covers the site of what was once Ludgershall loco shed, a two road shed with a turntable, water tower and all the usual facilities found at a small country loco shed.

Having reached the end of the Horse Sidings, the train will again reverse and return to the former Ludgershall station area before departing back to Andover.

During the visit to Ludgershall, please respect the permission to enter the complex by not taking any photos or videos, and by refraining from using the toilets.