East Southsea railway station

East Southsea was the name of a 1904 terminus railway station of the 1.25 mile[1] Southsea Railway, which linked the Southsea seaside resort with the Portsmouth Direct Line at Fratton railway station.[2] It replaced a larger, grander earlier station building named Southsea railway station, which opened in 1885.[3]

East Southsea
The line crossed a bridge here at Old Bridge Road and terminated shortly afterwards
General information
LocationSouthsea, City of Portsmouth
Grid referenceSZ651983
Platforms3 (1885-1904), 1 (1904-1914)
Other information
Opened1 July 1885; 137 years ago (1885-07-01)
Closed6 August 1914; 108 years ago (1914-08-06)
Original companySouthsea Railway
Railways in the Portsmouth area
Farlington Halt
HMNB Portsmouth
Admiralty Line
Portsmouth & Southsea
Portsmouth Harbour
Southsea Railway 1885–1914
Jessie Road Bridge Halt
Albert Road Bridge Halt
East Southsea
A 1910 Railway Clearing House map of lines around Portsmouth, showing the Southsea Railway


Southsea railway station (1885-1904)Edit

The first terminus station of the Southsea Railway was named Southsea and was built in a grand Queen Anne style. The station was located 50 yards (46 m) to the north of Granada Road, Southsea,[4] and south of the southern side of St. Simon's Church, in St. Ronan's Road, Southsea. The station and its tracks were orientated diagonally north-east in parallel with the southern side of St. Ronan's Road, and had three 360 feet (110 m) long platforms[3] under a glass paned roof.

Southsea station, along with the Southsea Railway and Fratton railway station were jointly opened on 1 July 1885 by Lady Ada Mary Willis[3] (née Neeld), wife of General Sir George Willis, the Lieutenant Governor of Portsmouth.[5] The Southsea Railway was built to serve the fashionable Victorian seaside resort of Southsea, and at its northern end, the Southsea Railway connected to the Portsmouth Direct Line at Fratton railway station.

East Southsea railway station (1904-1914)Edit

By the twentieth century, the Southsea Railway was experiencing competition with Portsmouth Corporation Transport trams and trolleybuses. Conventional steam trains on the line were replaced in 1903 with 56 feet (17 m) long steam railcars. The steam-powered railcars had small wheels and allegedly gave passengers a bumpy ride.[3] As a cost-cutting measure, the Southsea Railway leased out the original 1885 Southsea station building in 1904, which become a motor engineers garage.[3] The terminus was then moved 50 yards (46 m) south down the station driveway to a small wooden single platform with a waiting room, built directly on Granada Road[6] named East Southsea station.[4][3]

In 1904, East Southsea station was joined by two unstaffed halt stations at Albert Road and Jessie Road, added to the Southsea Railway line.[7] These additions were initially a success,[8] but were unable to compete with Portsmouth's burgeoning tramway network and passenger numbers began to decline.[9]

Closure, First World War and fateEdit

By 1914, the threat of the First World War loomed. The final nail in the Southsea Railway's coffin was a government directive issued shortly after the declaration of war[1] to the effect that railways unable to support themselves would cease operations at the earliest opportunity; and, as the line clearly fell into this category, the last train ran on 6 August 1914.[7] The original 1885 Southsea station at Granada Road was used as a munitions store during the war.,[3] while the rail line itself served as an additional overflow siding from Fratton railway station's goods yard.

After the war, the Southsea Railway and its stations lay abandoned. Partial removal of the line was sanctioned by Section 55 of the Southern Railway Act 1923. The 1885 Southsea station at Granada Road was converted into a road vehicle garage business,[3] until it was fully demolished and cleared in the 1970s.[10]


After the demise of the Southsea Railway, Fratton & Southsea station reverted to its original Fratton name on 1 December 1921.[11]

The Southsea name was later transferred to Portsmouth's main Portsmouth Town railway station in 1925[11] creating the present-day Portsmouth & Southsea railway station name.

The site of Southsea's terminus station is now occupied by a late twentieth century residential cul-de-sac named Chewter Close, just to the north of Granada Road in Southsea.[12] The original 1885 terminus station building was located at the northern end of today's Chewter Close until its demolition in the 1970s. A mural commemorating the station was unveiled on the northernmost wall in Chewter Close on 26 August 2011.[13] This wall was not part of the original Southsea station building, as the wall was built after the railway line closed and was built as a boundary wall between the rear gardens of newer inter-war period houses that became Parkstone Avenue and the garage business that occupied the original station building. The smaller, later East Southsea station site is now occupied by modern houses close to the junction of Chewter Close and Granada Road.

Preceding station   Disused railways   Following station
Albert Road
Bridge Halt
  Southsea Railway   Terminus

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "The Southsea Railway" Robertson,K: Southampton, Kingfisher, 1985 ISBN 0-946184-16-X
  2. ^ Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (December 1985). Southern Main Lines: Woking to Portsmouth. Midhurst: Middleton Press. ISBN 0-906520-25-8.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Southsea Railway, Fratton". Portsmouth-guide.co.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  4. ^ a b "View: Hampshire & Isle of Wight LXXXIII.SE (includes: Alverstoke; Portsmouth.) - Ordnance Survey Six-inch England and Wales, 1842-1952". maps.nls.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  5. ^ "History In Portsmouth". historyinportsmouth.co.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  6. ^ Railway Magazine, June 1936, p. 397
  7. ^ a b "Hampshire railways remembered" Oppitz,L Newbury, Countryside 1988 ISBN 1-85306-020-8
  8. ^ Despite being 0.25 miles from the coast
  9. ^ "Portsmouth’s tramways" Petch,M: Midhurst, Middleton Press,1996 ISBN 1-873793-72-3
  10. ^ "History in Portsmouth (with further history and photos of the station and railcar)". Archived from the original on 6 May 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Portsmouth". Starzina.com. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Google Maps|Southsea". Google Maps. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  13. ^ "It took five years – but now our train has finally arrived!". Archived from the original on 22 June 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2019.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 50°46′52″N 1°04′38″W / 50.781075°N 1.077263°W / 50.781075; -1.077263