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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The 2100 feet long Hythe Pier in Hampshire is Britain's seventh longest pier. Built in 1880 as a terminal for the Hythe-Southampton Ferry (12 minutes crossing time). A few years later a 2-foot gauge baggage line was laid using hand-propelled trucks built by a local Funeral Director!!! This survived until 1919. In 1921, it was replaced by a segregated 2-foot 3rd rail electric railway with originally 3 (now 2) 1914-built battery locos originally from the Avonmouth Mustard Gas Factory and converted to 3rd rail traction push-pulling 3 coaches of the lines 4 coach fleet of 2 driving trailers and two trailers.

The railway still goes strong and is proudly 'The World's Oldest Pier Train' a title granted by Guinness Book of Records. Here's some photos taken on 25th July 2008.


At the shore end with the train about to depart. In front of the driving trailer is the sole surviving double-deck luggage trolley possibly from the original tramway. Mrs Piermaster is on the extreme right.


Beside the shore station is the workshops connected by unelectrified sidings, there is a new tank wagon which is propelled to the pier head to refuel the ferries and the second loco under maintenance.


The locos are only 8ft 4ins long, 6ft 9ins high, and 3ft 9ins wide - hence the generous cab accommodation!!!


The train setting off for the pier head. Doors are on one side only.


Arrival at the Pier Head.


End of the line and a very mean looking buffer stop!


view of the train from the pub at the shore with the train in the mid distance. This is a very busy line and ferry service as it is an alternative to a 7 miles drive around Southampton Water coastline to the city - just don't try to travel on the train between 8 and 8:30 on a weekday morning - it is packed with commuters!!

This will be a good place to be on Tuesday 11 November as QE2 leaves Southampton for the last time.

Dave
 

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Interesting photos Dave - be worth a visit when next in the area.

Good to know it's still earning a living.

Thanks for taking the time to post.
 

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Nice photos. You got much better weather than we did on our visit sometime in the Spring.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (Doug @ 29 Aug 2008, 22:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Daft question perhaps ... Why are their railways on the piers in the first place?

Isn't the idea to walk out on the pier for a bit of exercise?

Not quite Doug,

They were derived from 'Baggage Lines' which usually consisted of narrow-gauge hand-propelled rail trucks to transport passengers baggage and local goods along the pier. Ryde (IOW) chose to have a passenger service to connect the town with the ferries as does Hythe today. Southend, Herne Bay, Southport, Walton-on-Naze, and Felixstowe have (or had) long piers all over 0.5 miles long and provided passenger services to connect with pleasure steamer traffic. Even in these days, visitors to Southend still treat a ride on a pier train as one of the highlights of their visit to the town.

Hope this helps,

Dave
 

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Fascinating set of pix Dave, and certainly an inspiration for some restricted space modelling! I haven't actually been there since 1974.

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
More pics to follow of the present Glasgow Subway and the old Glasgow Subway exhibits in the Museum of Transport. All will be in a new topic.

Dave
 

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QUOTE (Piermaster @ 7 Sep 2008, 09:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>More pics to follow of the present Glasgow Subway and the old Glasgow Subway exhibits in the Museum of Transport. All will be in a new topic.

I look forward to them.

Regards
 
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