31st March 1871
States of Jersey authorises construction of the Eastern Railway
Although it eventually served the whole of Jersey’s south coast, from Corbiere to Gorey, Jersey Railway was built in parts, by different companies. The section serving areas east of St Helier, and the southern part of the east coast, was signed off by the States in 1871. However, it would be a further two decades before the line finally linked Gorey to the capital.
Work on laying the track began in September 1872 but, even upon its completion in 1891, it still wasn’t possible to take a single train from one end of the island to the other. Instead, travellers heading west would have to leave one train at Snow Hill and walk to Weighbridge station for a connecting service. Upon their return journey, they would do the same in reverse.
A dense line
Despite its short route, Gorey Railway had fifteen stations and halts, and an all-stations stopping service would take half an hour to complete the journey. A first-class return ticket cost 9d, and a second-class ticket 6d. Between 20 and 30 return services ran each day.
In the late 1920s, facing increased competition from road transport, Jersey Eastern Railway Company went into liquidation. Snow Hill station, its terminus in St Helier, was demolished to make way for a bus station, which later moved to Weybridge, allowing the site to be repurposed for a second time as the lower terminus of the Fort Regent cable car.
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