|Below are many old pictures
of the old Portland railways.
Click on the images to see them
||No. 221 has just
run around its train after arrival at Easton, the coaching
stock on this occasion being the Bristol Division No. 7'B'
||A view towards
Portland Goods Junction signal box shortly after its
opening. An LSWR 0-6-6 locomotive shunts a goods train. To
the right can be seen the Royal Navy oil tanks under
looking south. In the background is the old footbridge
leading from the bottom of Channel View into Bloomfield
Thanks to Dave Woolford for the information about
||Bomb damage to the
line near the Dockyard entrance on 23rd August 1940.
Although the Dockyard sidings had been repaired, the Easton
line had to wait until more important work had been attended
||A pre-1900 view of
Castletown sidings complete with overhead gantry cranes.
Running down the centre can be seen the narrow gauge line
and wagons of the 'Merchants Railway'.
||The 60 foot long
platform adjoining the Naval Hospital situated just beyond
Castletown sidings. At the far end of the platform can be
seen the girder bridge carrying the Easton line over the
The end of the line at the top end of Sheepcroft Yard
during construction work. After opening the gantry crane was
used to load stone onto wagons in the siding below.
||An '02' class
locomotive pushes stone wagons out of the South Western
Stone firm's yard at Quarry Tip Siding back onto the branch
towards Easton station. The regulations for working the
branch obliged the engine to be at the Portland end of the
train to avoid a runaway in the event of a coupling
||Tank engine No.
4624 stands idle in the no longer used Easton station.
Merchant Navy Class No 35018 locomotive, formerly of
the British India Line, arrived on Portland in May 2003.
The locomotive is named "British India Line", but it was
never owned by them. It was built by the Southern Railway
and passed to British Railways in 1947. It was the first of
the class to be rebuilt by BR - originally, the boiler was
covered by an "air-smoothed" casing, causing them to be
called "spam cans" by railwaymen.
35018 was built in 1945 and was withdrawn from service in
August 1964. It arrived in the
Woodham Bros scrap yard on
Barry Island in South Wales in December 1964 where it stayed
for over 15 years until it was bought privately and resided
on the Watercress Line in Hampshire in 1983, restoration
finally began when it arrived on Portland. It was never
owned by the Mid-Hants Railway (Watercress Line).
For more information on the Watercress Line
||35018 All loaded
up and ready to leave the Watercress Line bound for
Photo (12th May
2003): Tony Wood -
in the compound at Portland awaiting restoration.
||21C18 / BR 35018
Merchant Navy ‘British India Line’
after she was rebuilt in 1956.
||A view of the
Woodham Bros scrap yard
on Barry Island in South Wales taken in 1967 when most of
the engines were still intact. Many of the engines have now
Mark Fry has emailed me with comments
and amendments about this locomotive. These details have now
been incorporated into this page.
His un-edited email appears
sharing your photos of Portland railways. I have a couple of
comments for you regarding the captions for your photos of
35018, on page railways4.htm. The locomotive is named
"British India Line", but it was never owned by them. It was
built by the Southern Railway and passed to British Railways
in 1947. It was the first of the class to be rebuilt by BR -
originally, the boiler was covered by an "air-smoothed"
casing, causing them to be called "spam cans" by railwaymen.
As you say, it was sold for scrap to Woodhams Bros of Barry
in the 1960s, and before moving to Portland, it spend quite
a long time on the Mid-Hants Railway ("The Watercress
Line"). However, it was purchased from Barry privately and
never belonged to the MHR. The establishment where it
currently resides has no connection with the MHR, and it's
almost certainly not correct to describe the place as "MHR
I hope this
information is helpful to you. I've been a member of the Mid
Hants Railway Preservation Society for more than 20 years
and have followed 35018's progress with interest over the
Thank you Mark