SU7104 : Langston Viaduct - the opening span & control cabin

taken 55 years ago, near to Langstone, Hampshire, Great Britain

Langston Viaduct - the opening span & control cabin
Langston Viaduct - the opening span & control cabin
The 1100ft Langston timber viaduct allowed the railway to reach Hayling Island from Havant. The cabin in the middle housed the controls for the adjacent swing section that permitted navigation. The whole length is shown here: SU7104 : Langston Viaduct from across mud flats. The branch line closed in November 1963 - expensive maintenance of the viaduct being one of the reasons cited. The timber work has long been demolished - all that remains today are the concrete piers, as can be seen here: SU7104 : Hayling Island: The former railway bridge.
The Hayling Island Branch Line :: SZ7099
The 4½ mile branch line from Havant to Hayling Island station near the south coast of the island was opened throughout in 1867 by an independent company. Independence didn't last long & the line was taken over by the London & Brighton South Coast Rly in 1872. The line was single with no crossing places although there were intermediate stations at Langston & North Hayling. The only significant engineering feature of the line was the 1100ft Langston timber viaduct which linked the island to the mainland railway system. The viaduct had a central swinging span to permit navigation. Passenger traffic was heavy in summer months but very light the rest of the year which meant closure was inevitable - coming in November 1963. The route of the line now forms part of the ‘Hayling Billy’ foot & cycle path.

The weight restriction imposed by the viaduct meant that only small steam locomotives could be used, with the result that several 'Terrier' 0-6-0T locos, built in the 1870s, survived into the 1960s – much to the benefit of the nascent railway preservation movement. The restrictions imposed by the viaduct & its maintenance costs also contributed to the reasons for the closure of the branch line.

Note: Langstone was habitually named ‘Langston’ by the railways.
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SU7104, 171 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
April 1964   (more nearby)
Monday, 15 April, 2019
Geographical Context
Coastal  Village, Rural settlement  Islands  Railways 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 718 042 [100m precision]
WGS84: 50:50.0057N 0:58.8994W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 720 042
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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Image Type (about): cross grid 
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