Hampshire & Isle of Wight

New depot for Hayling Island seaside heritage railway line

Hayling Seaside Railway Image copyright Hayling Seaside Railway
Image caption The new depot has been built on the seafront at Eastoke Corner

A new depot for a heritage railway on the Hampshire coast has opened.

The volunteer-run Hayling Seaside Railway has been operating since 2003 but needed permanent facilities for storing and maintaining engines and rolling stock.

The narrow gauge line runs about one mile (1.6km) along the seafront and the new £100,000 depot has been built on the seafront at Eastoke Corner.

Volunteer Cliff Robinson said it would "ensure the railway has a future".

He said it was the culmination of a five-year effort and would allow the group to operate vintage steam and diesel engines more frequently.

Image copyright Nick MacNeill
Image caption The narrow gauge line runs about one mile (1.6km) along Hayling Island seafront

"It's a milestone - quite a celebration," he said.

"There are retired guys giving their skills and it's hands-on work for younger people. It's revitalised tourism on the island."

He said the long-term ambition was to link the railway line with the Hayling Island ferry linking the island with Portsmouth as well as building a heritage centre.

The island was once served by the Hayling Branch line, known as the Hayling Billy, which ran until the 1960s.

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