25th October 1870
The first train runs on the Jersey Railway
The Jersey Railway Company, which owned a line between St Helier Weighbridge and Corbiere, ran its first services on 25 October 1870. It was separate from the Jersey Eastern Railway, which took passengers from St Helier Snow Hill to Gorey Pier and commenced operations three years later.
Initially, the railway only took passengers from its St Helier terminus to St Aubin, which perhaps explains why, despite the excitement of its opening, it wasn’t a financial success. Despite services continuing to run, the operating company was declared bankruptcy and sold several times over the years.
A second line
Although initially built to standard gauge, with a track width matching that on the mainland, the line was re-laid in the 1880s in a narrower format, and over time the network grew until, fifteen years after its first day of operation, it ran its first train as far as Corbiere.
Despite its financial problems, format changes and multiple owners, it operated for close to 70 years. However, by the 1930s it was struggling to remain viable as cars became more popular and, in a 1936 fire proved to be the last straw. The line finally closed and was bought by the States of Jersey, which pulled up the track.
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Other events that occured in October
BBC broadcasts the first episode of Bergerac
- The BBC’s Jersey-set police drama, Bergerac, produced in association with Australia’s Seven Network, followed Jim Bergerac of the fictional Bureau des Etrangers. With 87 episodes across nine series, including six Christmas specials, it ran until boxing day 1991.
- Read more…