Portland, an island projecting out into the English Channel is only 4 miles long, by 1 3/4 miles wide. Its two main claims to fame are its stone and the Great Breakwater forming Portland Harbour. The stone trade was the reason for building a railway to the Island from the nearby town of Weymouth. Just under 4 miles long, the branch had a complicated history, being owned by the Weymouth & Portland Railway Company, but jointly operated by both the Great Western Railway and the London & South Western Railway, who, when construction was complete, could not agree terms, causing the line to lay unused for a year.
However, the problems of the Weymouth & Portland Railway pail into insignificance compared with the predicaments of the Easton & Church Hope Railway Company who took 33 years and nine Acts of Parliament to construct a branch to form an end on junction with the line from Weymouth.Both during construction, and after the lines were in operation there were numerous disagreements between the owners and the operating companies, all adding to the colourful history of this interesting branch.
Included in this fact packed history are full details of the methods of train working, the signalling, locomotives and rolling stock involved, and a description of the branch.The railway evolved around the stone trade and the Naval establishments that caused the rapid development of the island in the late 19th century, and it was a railway that served the country well in two World Wars, and took its share of air raids during the later. Later to fall victim to the motor bus, its closure to passenger traffic coming in 1952.
Softcover, 224 pages.