1367, Collett 0-6-0PT, photographed about 1956 shunting vans of Channel Island produce, probably potatoes from Jersey and tomatoes from Guernsey.
Note the bell underneath the tank, a requirement for all locos using the tramway. On the odd occasion a loco without a bell used the tramway a shunter preceded it with a hand-bell.
The line first opened in October 1865. At first there were no facilities at the quay but a landing stage was constructed in 1876. Goods trains were horse-drawn and there were no passenger facilities. A trial run with a steam locomotive and coach was carried out on 19th March 1878 but regular working did not commence for another two years. Up until 1935 the line was worked by locos from various companies absorbed by the GWR. In that year 1367, the first GWR loco to work the line, arrived, soon followed by sister 1371.
With the German occupation of the Channel Islands in 1940, the port was closed for the duration of World War 2, services restarting on 18th September 1945.
Boat trains ceased working from Paddington on 29th September 1959, the service being transferred to Waterloo. At first the tramway continued to be operated by the ex-GWR locos but they were replaced by diesel shunters in 1962. 1367 and 1369 being the last two GWR locos to work the line. However a year later an Ivatt 2-6-2T, 41261, was tried out, and in 1964 members of the class were used several times, usually on the heavily loaded Summer Saturdays boat trains. In 1973 a Class 33 was tried out and subsequently they became the only class to work over the line.
In 1985 the Orient Express was worked over the line on a Sealink charter in connection with the renaming of one of their ferries recently transferred to the Channel Island crossing. The last day of operation was 30th May 1999. Two Class 73 electro-diesels operated a charter train formed of Mk1 stock in chocolate and cream livery. The line is still connected to the rest of the network and the possibility remains that trains could work over it again in the future.
However, in recent years, road repairs by the local council has lead to stretches of the track being tarmacked over making re-use of the line distinctly unlikely in the forseeable future.
Contact Graeme Wall
© Greywall Productions 2005