Many Piers in the UK have had rail borne transport operating along them and there is often a debate as to whether these are railways or tramways but over the years we have tended to cover these on and off as news or historic photos have come to light. Probably the most famous of all these lines is that which runs along Southend Pier – the longest pier of course – which does describe itself as a railway but nonetheless it has been reported this week that the local council have earmarked some funding to replace the trains which have now been in operation for over 30 years.
Due to its length the railway on Southend Pier is a key offering for visitors – especially for those with disabilities – and is also part of the official evacuation procedure in case of emergency. As such it is essential that reliable trains are provided and as such it is imperative that they are replaced in the short-term.
The vehicles currently in operation were introduced in 1986 and at the time were said to have a 20 year life-span, this has obviously been exceeded but with spare parts to keep them running becoming more difficult to source Southend Council have now put money aside for a new fleet of trains. It is expected to cost £3.25 million to replace the trains and to improve the infrastructure – and construction is expected to commence in the 2020/21 financial year.