Until 1876 the railway line into Portsmouth terminated at the Town Station, as Portsmouth and Southsea was then called.
On October 2, 1876, the extension to Portsmouth Harbour opened which saved passengers heading for the Isle of Wight a great deal of time.
Up to that point a train with its Isle of Wight passengers drew into the Low Level platform on the south side of the station.
From there passengers were transferred to a tram car which took them to Clarence Pier for the trip across the Solent.
The Dockyard branch line led from the Low Level platforms across Commercial Road alongside where the railway bridge now is, via a level crossing.
It then curved around on the level alongside Victoria Park. After 1876 the branch left the main line from the High Level and descended an embankment to the park following its previous route beside the park.