• Bookmark this page

The Best Guide for the Portsmouth Area

Portsmouth news, reviews and local events in Portsmouth areas including Portsmouth, Cosham, Drayton, Farlington, Southsea, North End, and communities in Portsmouth.

Calendar of
Upcoming Events
Drayton MOT Centre Banner

Business Reviews

"Best butchers in Portsmouth!"
"Fantastic store for new and retro gaming"
"Beautiful shop with amazing customer service "
"Convenient, professional, great value service"
"The whole package for a great night out"

Testimonials

"Tracie Sharp, Grosvenor Casino"
- We have been with AMA for around 4 years now, and in that time all events listed have been put on the site, and generated interest and also bookings. AMA is probably the best "whats on" site in Portsmouth, and one everyone goes to, to see what’s happening
Loading...

Easy Access

History of Hayling Island Rail Line Steams Into View With Unveiling of New Panels

Published: 23rd March 2017 13:15

New interpretation panels have been unveiled detailing the historic route of a former steam railway on Hayling Island thanks to a partnership project between Havant Borough Council, Hampshire County Council and Hayling’s BEST volunteer group to secure funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

 

The Hayling Billy Heritage Project has produced five panels along the five-mile route which provide information on the railway’s history from its heyday to its decline, and the revival of the route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

Councillor Andrew Gibson, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, said: “The Hayling Billy project is a great example of partners working together to enhance a trail which is historically and environmentally important. The new interpretation panels make that special connection with the past, reviving memories of the old Hayling Billy railway whilst creating new memories for those strolling along the shores of Langstone Harbour - one of the country’s most beautiful and internationally important habitats.”

Councillor Faith Ponsonby, Mayor of Havant, said: "I was delighted to attend and unveil this new information panel which tells the story of the trains that took so many people down to our lovely Hayling beaches.  It was good to meet members of the community who have been involved in caring for the trail, as well as County Councillor Gibson who has encouraged the County Council to invest in this part of the Shipwrights' long distance walk. Many people from across the borough walk or cycle down the Billy Line Trail, and the information panels are a fantastic way of extending the enjoyment and sharing the history of the trail, as well as the wonderful views over the harbour, and all the wildlife just a short distance from the bustle of Havant Town.”

The Hayling Billy railway opened in 1865, linking rail stations at Havant and Hayling Island. In its heyday, steam locomotives transported freight and passengers, particularly to Hayling Island beach during the summer. However, over time it became expensive to run, until 1963 when the last train steamed across it.

The rails were torn up and the sleepers moved elsewhere, leaving the route overgrown with weeds and bramble before volunteers started to clear the route in the 1980s. Hampshire County Council has maintained it as a coastal trail since 1988, resurfacing sections over a number of years.

In 2013, 50 years after the last train, HLF awarded £89,000 to the Hayling Billy Heritage Project, which included resurfacing, drainage works, new interpretation panels and the restoration of a former Hayling Billy Line signal from around 1950. Today, the Hayling Billy Trail is a popular five-mile combined footpath, bridleway and cycleway - part of route 2 of the National Cycle Network.

The County Council has also commissioned a series of wildlife panels to complement the HLF panels which will be erected later this spring along the trail.

Bookmark and Share

Report this article as inappropriate

Comments

Gilbert53
At 23:05 on 24th March 2017, Gilbert53 commented:
Who wants to read, walk, and fantasise about Hayling Billy: The money should have been used to reinstate the whole steam-line.
That would have been far more interesting and stress releasing than walkin-it.

Di Mundell

You need to log in before you can do that! It's only a quick registration process to join the AMA network and completely free.

Sign in or join now to post a comment
Find a Local Business
Loading...
Back to Top
© Copyright 2005-2017 AboutMyArea

AboutMyArea Privacy Policy

PO6: Portsmouth Home | News | Community | Classifieds | Business Directory | General Election 2017 | What's on in Portsmouth | Business Talk | Portsmouth People | Lifestyle | Have Your Say | Food and Drink | Competitions | Gallery | Days Gone By | Archives | Election 2016 | Contact Us
AboutMyArea: Home | Site Map | Contact AboutMyArea | Terms & Conditions | Community Guidelines | Franchise Opportunity | Help

About Cookies