17th September 1872

Construction of Gorey Railway begins

The honour of cutting the first sod in the construction of Jersey’s new Eastern Railway line went to one of the directors’ wives. However, despite being the centre of attention – not to mention the one who did the heavy lifting – she didn’t even get a name check in the paper.

The Hampshire Advertiser, Bedfordshire Mercury and other papers that published news of the event the following weekend, merely described her with reference to her husband, Mr Edward Mourant.

Largely overlooked

Moreover, considering that the railway was to form part of a planned ring of railroads all the way around the island (which was never completed) with links from Gorey to France and, from there, direct access to the French railways, the occasion was largely overlooked. Deciding not to try and extract maximum publicity, the company behind the proposed line put on a ceremony “of a private nature, [with] very few spectators except the invited guests and personal friends of the directors”.

It took almost 20 years for construction to come to an end, with the line terminating at Gorey.


FREE Jersey history newsletter

Don't miss our weekly update on Jersey's fascinating history. We promise never to sell your data to anyone else, and there's a super-easy unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email so you can leave whenever you want.



Other events that occured in September