About The Admiralty Line
The Admiralty Line was a railway connection between Portsmouth Dockyard and the mainline. There were links at both Portsmouth & Southsea station and Portsmouth Harbour Station.
The first connection was built in 1846, between the Dockyard at Unicorn Gate and Portsmouth Town station (now called Portsmouth & Southsea station). The line crossed over Commercial Road in front of the station, passed just behind the eastern edge of Victoria Park, and then across Alfred Road and into the Dockyard.
At its peak in 1952 the Dockyard had over 27 miles of railways, used for transporting goods, equipment, personnel and much else. The use of trains in the Dockyard declined in the 1970s and ceased entirely in 1978. The Admiralty Line fell out of use at the same time.
Little remains of the Admiralty Line today, but you can find two sets of gates in Edinburgh Road that were used to halt the traffic when trains were passing. Why not find them and post a picture of them in your log?
Here are some memories and details of the Admiralty Line courtesy of local cacher shocr
I recall this line when it was operational. Closing Alfred Road caused holdups even then - inconceivable to do so now with the higher volume of traffic. At the southern end is an electrical connector box and until a couple of years ago, there was a Dymo label (remember them?!) marked AWS - Automatic Warning System - was adjacent to two of the wire connectors. On the other side of the track at the same spot was a single signal - manually controlled from the signal post itself. There was a plan to reinstate the line when the Continental Ferry Port opened to link the port with the mainline - but MOD wouldn't have the train travelling through the Dockyard.
The line ran behind the Portsmouth Evening News offices and printing works and joined the mainline at Platform 1 (originally numbered Platform six), which was opened in 1876. The junction was at the country (western) end of the platform and joined the Up line. There was also a small signal box just to the country end of the junction - in between the Up line and the Admiralty Branch line.
Finally, the line to the Dockyard from the Portsmouth Harbour station was initially intended for Queen Victoria to join her transport to the Isle of Wight - Osborne House. Prior to that, she travelled via Clarence Yard using another branch line from Gosport station - remnants of that line still exist too.
**Please replace the cache high up and out of sight! Thanks!! **