Recent Peeps articles concerning the long-defunct Bordon to Bentley railway line have reignited calls for the historic army town’s rail links to be reinstated.

The Bordon Light Railway opened to passengers in December 1905 and provided rail connections onto London Waterloo until it was closed just over 50 years later, a victim of the Beeching cuts. 

It served the local community and was also supported by the War Department to provide access to military bases in the Bordon area and an army line diverged to the Longmoor Camp at Bordon.

Responding to a map of the long-gone line shared by railway historian Nigel Welbourne and posted on Facebook by Peeps, many lamented the lack of foresight in the development of Bordon, highlighting the disconnect between the Bordon housing boom and the absence of transportation solutions.

Others pointed to the economic benefits of reopening the line, with Berwyn Thomas claiming it was once valued at £50 million to reinstate, and several emphasising its potential to alleviate traffic congestion on the A325.

Pete Dale envisaged how a reinstated Bordon to Bentley line may run, saying: “Because Bordon and Alton are virtually equidistant from Bentley, a service could be run every half hour alternating between the two towns. Reopening this line in some form is a big win for everyone in the area and from every respect.”

Or “if this really can’t be achieved, why don’t we designate it as a bus route from Bordon to Bentley? All the basic infrastructure is there,” Mr Dalee added.

Johnny Bunn poured cold water on the proposal, commenting: “Trains are a poor form of transport these days. The fares are prohibitive and then there’s parking. It’s just easier and more economical to drive.”

But Bob Rodwell suggested a new type of transport altogether: “If cost was a prohibiting factor they could have made the route into a tramway at much reduced cost. Lack of forward thinking as always from politicians.”

Dan Ingham shared a more personal perspective on the challenge a lack of transport options pose for his parents.

“Bordon either needs that station or a more regular bus service that runs into the evening,” he said. “My elderly parents find it really difficult as buses to Farnham and Alton are every couple of hours and stop early evening. Bordon was promised a lot with all this development currently all they have are houses and a ring road.”

Andrew Gardner highlighted the perceived lack of interest from local authorities and developers in anything beyond housing projects. While Edwin Catt, a former Lindford councillor, shared his frustrations at the dismissal of the idea of restoring the railway during the planning of the eco-town concept.

He said: “I was a councillor from Lindford when this whole eco town concept started. We repeatedly asked for the line to be restored but the pretty young people from London who were developing the plans just would not listen. It wouldn’t take the weight of trains, was unsuitable as a light rail connection etc etc and they just would not even investigate the suggestion. So much for public consultation.”

And Chris Holmes fondly recalled farming the land once occupied by the Bordon Light Railway with memories of large rivets embedded in the soil – a poignant reminder of the history that lies beneath the surface.

He also shared part of a large antiquated map showing the path of the line south-east of Bentley (pictured above).