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Old Line Discovered as disused Weymouth Railway taken up

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

Work has been continuing to remove Weymouth Harbour's tramway tracks

Contractors taking up a tramway line on the Dorset coast have unearthed another set of rails underneath. Weymouth Harbour's tramway tracks, which linked the town's station and harbour, have been disused since 1999 and are being removed despite a campaign for it to be kept as a tourist attraction.

It is thought the unearthed track was part of the old Weymouth Branch Line. Rail enthusiast Andy Christie said it was replaced in the late 1930s.

Dorset Council said work would be extended on Commercial Road by Cosens Quay Car Park to allow for the removal of the additional track.

Mr Christie said the rails appeared to be part of the branch line, which a section known as "The Loop" replaced. A larger curve was built in the late 1930s to cope with new traffic and larger trains heading to the ferry terminal. Larger and more powerful locomotives could also be used on the line due to the large curve," he said.

Trains would travel at low speed through the streets of Weymouth

to connect with Channel Island ferries

Plans to remove the tramway tracks won more than £1m of Department for Transport after the council and Network Rail declared they could not be reused due to their "deteriorated condition". Heritage campaigners had previously wanted the 1.25-mile (2km) line to be reopened to boost tourism and a petition to save and preserve it gained almost 4,000 signatures. The next section of tramway track due to be removed is between St Nicholas Street and St Mary Street.

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