THE images below bring back fond memories of the harbour tramway in Weymouth.

Taken from a YouTube video, Weymouth in the 1990s and 1980s, it shows footage of the once bustling railway in the 1980s and compares it with footage of the then-shut railway in the mid 1990s.

This nostalgic journey through time visits the historical railway, a unique relic of Britain's once robust railroad network.

Opened in 1865 by the Great Western Railway, the harbour tramway ran from a junction beyond the main station, through the streets adjacent to the backwater and the harbour, to the quay.

Passenger trains began in 1889, transporting travellers to Channel Island ferries.

Trains would travel at low speed through the streets of Weymouth to connect with Channel Island ferries

Back in the 1990s Weymouth was a rare example of an abandoned railway line that still preserves its tracks despite being disused over a decade.

Dorset Council removed the disused rails in Weymouth in a bid to improve road safety.

The harbour tramway was blamed for causing multiple accidents but the project to remove the lines received some criticism from locals who were keen to preserve history.

The lines were removed in 2020, much to the disappointment of some transport history buffs.

The removal of the Weymouth Quay branchline was controversial - and was a landmark moment in the town's history.

The project got underway at the junction of Commercial Road and King Street. King Street was closed at the junction so works could go ahead safely

Like many others in Britain, this line fell victim to the rush to road transportation in the late 20th century.

Somewhat blurry video footage then takes the viewer back to the 1980s when the railway was in its heyday.

You can even make out much loved Weymouth restaurant the Sea Cow Bistro in this photo.

The harbourside eatery at 7 Custom House Quay was famed for its Sea Cow smorgasbord, where diners could help themselves to as much as they wanted.

Dorset Echo:

Back in 1984, the dock railway functioned as follows; a class 33 train would travel from Weymouth station to the docks terminal, with a police man ensuring a clear route and two British Rail officials walking ahead of every train.

Dorset Echo:

The video then goes forward in time to the 1990s in which remnants of the railway service's operational days remain, revealing 'an intriguing time-capsule'.

Dorset Echo:

Parking tickets are still issued to cars that block the abandoned line, a testament to the unique status the line holds in the heart of Weymouth.

The video tells us of the remaining tracks showing a resilient bond between the town and its railway past.

The former rail track between King Street and the Jubilee Retail Parkhas been transformed into a new cycle and pedestrian link and Rail Heritage Park to preserve the railway's memory.

In 2021 a film exploring the history of the old tramway was released on DVD.

Titled ‘A Tribute to the Weymouth Quay Tramway’, the hour-long film covers the full history of the tramway from its building in the 19th century through to the final boat trains operating in 1999.

Historical scenes are covered with old archive films from the 1940s through to the last specials trains to celebrate the end of the one-mile branch line.

Film of the demolition of tracks in the road in 2020 are included in the final scenes which removed any sign of the tramway forever.

The quay line was crucial to the development and economy of the port with goods and passengers using the channel islands ferries. Huge markets were exploited for the import of tomatoes and potatoes which would be transported by rail direct from the docks via the tramway to markets in the midlands and in London.

The DVD is available from the producers at

You can view the You Tube video by John K Wells at