Queen Victoria’s Railway
An abandoned Hampshire railway line that was built for Queen Victoria is still visible running through Gosport. The railway line on the Hampshire coast was built exclusively for the British monarch and was used as part of her route to her Osborne House estate on the Isle of Wight. When it was in use, the railway joined up with the main Gosport railway station and continued down towards the coast, where Queen Victoria had a private station also built.
The railway line was extended by roughly 600 yards into Royal Clarence Yard, so that the monarch and her guests could used the private station before heading across the Solent to the island estate.
After her death at Osborne in 1901, Queen Victoria's body was transported back to the royal station before being taken up the railway into London.
In the 20th century, train services to Gosport were stopped completely, which left both the royal railway and the main Gosport station building abandoned in the sense that they were no longer being served by trains.
The Gosport station building is still there and has been converted into residential properties and offices after being left derelict and untreated for a number of years.
The old Gosport Railway Station, Spring Garden Lane, Gosport, Hampshire
March 2021. (Darren Pepe HampshireLive)
Elsewhere, only a small section of the private royal railway line still stands, but it is clearly visible to the public and is located in amongst the busy town centre.
The private station in Royal Clarence Yard also still exists in some form, although it is not currently accessible and was recently saved from demolition after an applicant removed it from their plans to clear away a number of buildings at the yard.
On approach to the coastal yard, a section of the private railway track is visible off of Weevil Lane, roughly south-west of where Gosport station used to be.
Heading north, the railway track leads off towards a tunnel and is tucked in between a number of modern day buildings, protected from surrounding footpaths in some spots by a fence.
Remains of a private railway line for Queen Victoria that it can be seen off Weevil Lane and link up to The old Gosport Railway Station in Spring Garden Lane, Gosport
March 2021 (Darren Pepe / HampshireLive)
It is still partly-accessible, and a glance through the tunnel shows the track continuing into a largely-overgrown section of the town before disappearing off into a small wooded area directly south of Spring Garden Lane, where the main Gosport station was. At the south side of the visible section of track is a pedestrian crossing over Weevil Lane which still clearly shows the outline of where the railway would have stood and entered the yard area.
According to "Disused Stations"
in 1846, the renovation of Osborne House at Cowes on the Isle of Wight was completed and upon remembering her previous trip to Gosport, Queen Victoria requested that the ramparts be opened (a request that the Commanding Officer of the Garrison readily agreed) and a 600 yard extension of the track was laid into the Royal Clarence Yard where the new Royal station was built.
The station consisted of a single curved platform flanked on one side by a long wall. There was a waiting room for Royal travellers but it is said that Queen Victoria never used it when using the station. When the Queen used the station a carpet was laid between the train and the Royal Yacht that would take her across the Solent to Osborne House