Short-lived short line which branched out for 29 years

A tram approaching the Albert Road bridge in 1919
A tram approaching the Albert Road bridge in 1919

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We’re in transport mode again today with particular emphasis on the old East Southsea branch railway line (1885-1914).

It ran from Fratton Station to Granada Road with halts at Jessie Road and Albert Road.

A Terrier locomotive at East Southsea station in 1901

A Terrier locomotive at East Southsea station in 1901

Arthur Strong, of Westover Road, Baffins, sent me three postcards showing the tram, train and bus featured here.

In the picture on the right we see car No15 at Francis Avenue, Southsea, in August 1919. Look closely and you can see the road slopes slightly uphill.

That’s because it formed a road bridge which crossed over Albert Road.

And in the bottom right hand photo is a Terrier locomotive captured at the East Southsea station in Granada Road in 1901.

The line was built as a result of South Parade Pier’s construction and the introduction of Isle of Wight ferry sailings from it.

But the line could not compete with increasingly reliable electric trams and it closed in 1914 after just 29 years, one of the shortest-lived railways in England and one of the shortest in length.