Fancy owning an entire railway? A Hayling Island service could be yours for £300,000
AN ENTIRE railway, complete with trains, a mile of track, and three stations on Hayling Island could be yours – for £300,000.
The Hayling Island Railway Service has been put up for sale by its owner.
The service comes with two diesel locomotives, five carriages capable of carrying 90 passengers, one mile of track, and three train stations along a seaside route.
The current line stops at Beechlands, Mengham, and Eastoke stations, which are dispersed along the South Hayling seafront.
Bob Haddock, who built the track himself in 1988, has decided to sell the railway to spend more time with his family.
The 72-year-old said it is ‘incredibly rare’ that one person has the opportunity to own a railway.
He said: ‘Normally a railway like this would be owned by a group of people.
‘Whoever buys it has got to be happy and cheerful.
‘I want it to be here forever, but they have the freedom to change the running of the trains.’
Bob intends to stay on for another month following the sale, as a consultant.
He added: ‘I will advise the new owner to enjoy meeting the public. There could have been as many as 100,000 people who have come to see this over the years.
‘I'll miss the camaraderie, the friendship, and meeting the people.’
The new owner will also be assisted by a group of 60 volunteers - including their very own 'Fat Controller'.
Robert Hazelton, a conductor and train driver on the service, has picked up the nickname in reference to the Thomas the Tank Engine character.
The former chauffeur said he ‘loves’ his role.
Robert said: “I love it because I talk with people, I bond with people, and I’m looking at the beach all day long.’
The service was built as a homage to the the Hayling Island Branch Line, know as the Hayling Billy line, a railway that ran from Havant to the island between 1867 and 1963.
Train enthusiast Mr Haddock, from Cosham, Portsmouth, is offering the entire railway service for £300,000.
An annual lease of £4,500 for the land occupied must be paid to Havant Borough Council.
The business sees an annual turnover of £60,000, with a net profit of £20,000.