End of line for money-saving carriage with boiler attached

Former steam railcar No2 (or rail motor as they were called) used on the East Southsea branch line awaiting disposal at Brighton.  									                                                       Picture: Barry Cox Collection
Former steam railcar No2 (or rail motor as they were called) used on the East Southsea branch line awaiting disposal at Brighton. Picture: Barry Cox Collection
One of the Portsmouth divers going through decontamination. Picture: Royal Navy

Portsmouth bomb squad recover mustard gas bombs

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The locomotive looking like a passenger carriage with a boiler, is exactly that.

Known as a steam railcar or rail motor it was used on the East Southsea branch line in its final years in an attempt to save money.

4472 Flying Scotsman at Basingstoke in1966.

4472 Flying Scotsman at Basingstoke in1966.

With competition from the electric street tramcars the branch began losing money as it was quicker to leave Fratton station and board a tram to Clarendon Road rather than wait for the train.

Motor cars were also on the increase in the early part of the last century, of course.

As ever, building prices differed from estimates to reality, from £700 each to the final cost of £1,280 each.

Two cars were built for the line and the service began using just one on June 1,1903, with the second car coming into use the following day.

London Road looking south in 1901 with the Green Post public house and the Boundary Obelisk on the left. (Barry Cox collection).

London Road looking south in 1901 with the Green Post public house and the Boundary Obelisk on the left. (Barry Cox collection).

With the outbreak of the First World War, the last service on the branch ran on August 8, 1914. The line was not officially closed until 1923 as it was used as a long siding for many years.

The photograph shows rail motor No2 awaiting disposal at Brighton.

n In the view along London Road, Hilsea, we see the Green Post on the right with the former boundary obelisk (formerly a green post) on the left.

The pub was named after the green post standing across the road opposite which marked the ancient boundary of the Borough of Portsmouth.

Navy Week not weekend. Only 5p entrance fee.

Navy Week not weekend. Only 5p entrance fee.

The post dates from 1857 although the Roman numerals on the post mark the boundary from 1799.

In the photograph Torrington Road does not exist but is today located just this side of the obelisk.

n You will notice that what was once Navy Days, which lasted throughout a bank holiday weekend, was at one time a seven-day affair.

It started on a Saturday and ran through to the following Saturday, although it closed on the Sunday.

Entrance was just a shilling (5p) and half price for children. How different today when any event like this costs many pounds.

n For those trainspotters among you, you might know that the iconic A3 steam locomotive Flying Scotsman is running to the north of the area today.

She is travelling from Salisbury to Eastleigh and back again.

Here we see the engine back in 1966 with the number 4472 when she called into Basingstoke depot for coal and water.

The original number on building was 1472 and later 60103 when under the control of British Rail.