Tuesday, 4 February 2014

an unusual closed railway ... or tramway?

All taken 16.4.1986 copyright Steve Sainsbury

The Weymouth Tramway was a fascinating line that ran through the streets of Weymouth to the Channel Islands ferry station at Weymouth Quay. The line lost its freight services in the late 1960s but passenger trains continued for about another 15 years, which gave people the chance to see the incongrous sight of long trains running tramway style through Weymouth streets.

The line did close when the ferry service began to run down, but in 2014 the tracks are still in place throughout, and calls for the line to reopen as a tourist attraction are inevitably made. There must be a reason why the line has remained in place - perhaps by lifting the line Weymouth would be admitting to the world that it was just another seaside town with no unique features? A reopened tramway would of course bring in hordes of new visitors to the town and it does seem off that even today we are STILL waiting for this obvious tourist honeytrap to open!

It's not just the street running that is fascinating but also the riverside run, where trains used to brush past boats. It will become possibly the biggest tourist attraction along the south coast when the locals and businesspeople finally twig what a unique asset they have, sitting there just waiting to be used!

(Copyright Steve Sainsbury)

In happier times class 33 6533 heads a Waterloo train past the Esso garage on 7 August 1973. Whilst this scene may not be recreated, perhaps in 2020 a modern tram would be taking the same route?

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