Opened as the London and Southampton Railway in 1838, but soon renamed the London & South Western Railway, LSWR, as it expanded, one of the early aims was to serve Portsmouth. The first attempt was a branch line from Eastleigh to Gosport via Fareham in 1841, but as can be imagined, the citizens of Portsmouth were not impressed with having to catch the ferry from Gosport, but it was all they had.
The opening of a rival line from London directly to Portsmouth by the rival London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, LBSCR, onto Portsea Island forced hand of the LSWR to provide a better service. So in 1848 it opened a double track line from Fareham, along the north shore of Portsmouth Harbour, leaving Fareham station on a very sharp curve, crossing a large viaduct over the top reach of Fareham Creek via Stations at Portchester and Cosham to meet the LBSCR line at a triangular junction, from where a joint line crossed into Portsea Island.
Portchester station sits on a high embankment with the station next to the road bridge with steps on the south side and a ramp on the north allow passengers access to the platforms. The Station buildings are on the south side with a standard LSWR footbridge connecting the platforms. With the exception of the platforms being extended for longer trains, the station has not changed much since opening.
The bridge by the station has become famous over the last 5 years as the bus company seems to have chosen it to convert its surplus double decker buses to single deckers by driving under the bridge. 2 in the last year, fortunately neither carrying passengers at the time! Railtrack have erected heavy girder ‘bumpers’ to protect the bridge from being damaged by the buses.
The cache is a magnetic 35mm film canister. When replacing the cache please make sure that it is not visible from above