PACKED four-carriage trains were the order of the day throughout a weekend of celebrations on August 5-6, to mark the formal commissioning of the mile-long 2ft gauge Hayling Railway’s new operating depot at Eastoke Corner.
Trains were hauled by 1919 Bagnall 0-4-0ST Wendy, courtesy of the Hampshire Narrow Gauge Railway Trust, and normally based at the Bursledon Brickworks Museum.
It is expected to stay until February, working passenger trains on selected dates including Santa specials and a series of planned driver experience events.
Guests of the railway on the Sunday included the mayor of Havant, Coun Elaine Shimbart, Havant MP Alan Mak, island councillor Michael Wilson, and Wave 105 local radio and former Discovery Home and Leisure Trainspotting TV presenter Mark Collins, who toured the station and surrounding vintage vehicle and agricultural machinery displays at which over £1200 was raised for local causes, talking with railway volunteers, exhibitors, passengers, residents and visitors.
The mayor and consort then rode the line to Beachlands and back, in a specially-prepared mayoral saloon renamed Elaine in her honour.
On her return she performed a tape-cutting ceremony at the platform gate, and unveiling two murals created by children from Hayling’s Mill Rythe Junior School.
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