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Castlemans Corkscrew Southampton to Dorchester

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Castleman's Corkscrew was the sobriquet given to the Southampton & Dorchester Railway because of its circuitous route. Originally conceived as a railway between Southampton and Dorchester with proposed westward extension towards Exeter and an independent branch to Weymouth. It is the story of the determination of the early railway promoters inspired by Charles Castleman who took on the might of two major companies, the broad gauge Great Western Railway and the standard gauge London South Western Railway, both striving for domination in the West of England, in the 'Gauge Wars'. The involvement in the Wimborne, Poole and Bournemouth area of the Somerset & Dorset Railway was to have a profound effect on future development. The history of the railways of this area has never been explored in such detail before, the development of the railways and the social changes in the Victorian era make for compelling reading.
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