In the mid-1950s’ photograph on the right we can see the railway viaduct which ran across the water just off The Hard, Portsmouth, to South Railway Jetty in the dockyard – the royal family’s personal railway station.
It was built to allow Queen Victoria’s train direct access to the berth alongside which was moored the royal yacht.
This allowed royal passengers to transfer from one mode of transport to another without the need to travel farther.
But in this photo the viaduct has been partially demolished.
The structure was completed in 1867 and ran from Portsmouth Harbour station and across the pier road made safe with level crossing gates.
It then crosed the water on this viaduct to South Railway Jetty, then called Farewell Jetty.
Before reaching the jetty the line crossed a swing bridge which was where the gap is in the photo.
Below right, is the site of that viaduct today.
The swing bridge across to the jetty was apparently, damaged during the blitz and taken out of service in December 1946.
The last royal train to use the viaduct was on May 6, 1939.
Although the viaduct may not have been used by service trains after 1939, it was used to berth empty coaching stock, so I am told by long-retired drivers.