Main line rail link asset for Southsea

East Southsea steam railcar, 1910
East Southsea steam railcar, 1910

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By the middle of the last century Southsea was beginning to become popular as a watering place so it was considered that a rail link to the main line would be an asset.

It took until 1884 to start work and the track was completed within a year.

It ran from Fratton station to the East Southsea terminus at what is now Granada Road and was opened on July 1, 1885.

Each locomotive was yellow with a black smokestack with a copper band.

However, the Portsmouth trams proved to be stiff competition and within a few years the rail company cut its losses, made the line single track and introduced steam railcars, as seen here in this 1910 photograph.

These were never a real success and by 1914 the last passengers were carried and the line was closed.