Early History

This section describes the demand for good transport links in the area and the reason why the Hayling Branch Line became important. It then follows the struggles to establish the branch line.

This map shows the rural nature of Hayling Island and the new housing developments on the east of the Island. It also shows the original route of the Hayling railway as authorised by the 1860 Act of Parliament, running on an embankment to the proposed docks near the Portsmouth - Hayling Ferry. The 1864 Act [...]

In July 1860 the Hayling Railway Company was formed, in order to build a branch line from Havant to South Hayling. It was estimated that it would take seven years to raise the money, acquire the necessary land and build the line. The civil engineer contracted to build the line was Frederick Furniss, who was [...]

1864 Act of Parliament Construction of the railway as defined in the 1860 Act was slow and had not started in 1862 leading to a notice being placed in the London Gazette, 26 November 1862, that an application to abandon the railway and dissolve the Company was to be made. Work did start mid 1863 [...]

In the winter of 1857/8, the Portsmouth Company’s railway line between Godalming and Havant was connected to the London Brighton & South Coast Railway LB&SCR) at Havant. This provided a much shorter route to London via Guildford. Incredibly, running rights over the LB&SCR to Portcreek Junction had not yet been agreed and thus left the new [...]

The introduction of the railway at Havant presented two routes to London; east via the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) to London Bridge or west via the London & South Western Railway (L&SWR) to Waterloo. Although the railway routes were longer they provided a quicker and more comfortable way to travel to the [...]

The Battle of Havant  Introduction The Hayling Branch line story really began when the Portsmouth Direct Line was established at Havant, reducing the distance between London and Portsmouth by some 25 miles. The direct line was constructed between Godalming and Havant as a speculative venture with neither the London Brighton and South Coast Railway nor [...]

Until 1824, the only access to the island was by ferry between Portsea and the western extremity of Hayling Island or by the use of the Wadeway linking Langstone with Hayling island at a point close to where Chichester harbour opens out. This situation was resolved when a single-lane wooden road bridge was constructed by [...]