Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Eclipse Expectations (2)

 Tukes Routes

For the sake if completeness, fbb should mention that First routes 9 and 9A ...
... use the busway between Fareham Station and the Tukes Lane crossing (which is "at grade"") ...
... before bumbling round various estates and ending up at Gosport. The 9 and 9A are not Eclipse routes, so do not have the same high-spec buses. Currently these services are running every 90 minutes each.

Beyond Rowner Lane - By Train!
A combination of the need to serve various military establishments and a desire to transport locals and tourists, led to much more than a simple branch to Gosport.

First there was a shuttle train from Fort Brockhurst ...
,,, to Lee-on-the-Solent.
Much of the route has been replaced like-for-like by roads, but at Fort Brockhurst itself, you can spot the line of the diverging trackbed between two different types of housing.
This footpath is where trains once ran.
Then there was the branch off the Gosport branch which ran to Stokes Bay. This was a much grander plan to provide train and ferry connections to Ryde, Isle of Wight. A substantial pier was built onto which the trains would trundle.
There was a triangular junction with the "main" line ...
As an indication of the over optimism of the Stokes Bay Railway Company, just gaze on the size of Gosport Road and Alverstoke station (on the red road above near "Bury").
The line closed in 1915 and little remains of the hardware apart from the shadow of the triangular junction ...
... and a splendid footpath and cycleway ...
 ... which takes you across Stoke Lake on what may well be the original bridge!
Stokes Bay reveals nothing of the pier ...
fbb is, however, rminded of Hovertravel's pioneering service from Stokes Bay ...
... to Ryde, which ran, initially, from a slipway at Stokes Bay.

One Requires One's Own Station
In order to facilitate seemly travel to her new country pad at Osborne Hice, H M Q Vic desired her own station at Gosport. Thus it was that a short extension was built from the original terminus to a station at Clarence Yard.

Here parts of the route can still be identified; across the road from the terminus and into the woodland ...
... beyond which a short length of track is now restored.
Rails are still in place across Weevil Road ...
... and the route is marked by some cared-for greenery which led her Maj's Royal Train round to a station roughly where the new block is in the Google Earth shot below.
The Clarence Yard station was substantial ...
... and included a Royal Waiting Room, which, reputedly, Her Maj never used!
The Royal extension line also proved useful for ther navy's freight trains as here ...
... with a goods train exiting the woodland and crossing Weevil Road. The line was deleted in response the the deletion of the much-loved monarch in 1901.

But, tomorrow, we need to address the critical question as to whether the rest of the Gosport Branch could be used to extend the Eclipse Busway right into the centre of the town.

Anything is possible with enough money!

 Next Eclipse blog : Wednesday 3rd March 

1 comment:

  1. Nice Post, Keep Posting

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