Notes: The station at Lee was alongside the beach. Facilities
were basic with a single storey brick building incorporating
a waiting room and booking office at the end of the line. There
were two extensions at the platform side of the main building
which included a porter's room and ladies waiting room, store
and toilets. Apart from two small huts there were no buildings
on the platform and no canopy. The station had a crossover loop
that also acted as a siding and no signalbox.
In 1917 the Admiralty built a rail connected seaplane depot
close to the station. After 1922 the station was downgraded
coming under the control of the stationmaster at Fort Brockhurst
with a senior porter in charge at Lee.
Freight traffic was relatively healthy consisting mainly of
coal and building materials for new housing being built during
the life of the line. The station was closed on 31.8.1914 and
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LEE-ON-THE-SOLENT
The Lee-on-the-Solent Railway Company obtained their Act of
Parliament on 14th April 1890. By early 1892 little work had
been carried out but by the spring of 1893 the line was nearing
completion and was ready for a Board of Trade inspection on
15th July that year.
It was originally planned to operate the line as a tramroad
using American style coaches with end steps down onto low platforms.
Four stopping places were to be provided at Elmore, Browndown,
Privett and Pound Lane Crossing. The latter three having a level
crossing with a platform either side of the crossing. Only two
were built however at Browndown and Privett.
The line failed its inspection on 13 points. Among other changes
the Board of Trade insisting that if through trains were to
run from the LSWR then standard height platforms would be needed
at all the stations.
The line finally opened on 12th May 1894 with a locomotive
hired from the South Western. The initial service comprised
eight trains each way daily with three on Sundays, all services
calling by request at the two intermediate halts.
Early passenger numbers were disappointing due in part to the
lack of any through trains and a possible takeover by the LSWR
was discussed as early as 1896 but the line was to remain independent
until takeover by the Southern in 1923.
In June 1908 the South Western informed the company that both
the locomotives they were hiring were worn out and no other
suitable engines were available. Instead they offered the use
of railmotors but before this was implemented the LSWR officially
took powers to work the line with the railmotor service starting
on 1st August 1909
A new halt was opened at Elmore on 11th April 1910. The railmotors
lasted until 1915, when the working reverted to locomotive haulage
and 'push-pull' trains which remained in use until closure of
With the coming of the 1921 Railways Act the company was still
in debt and the Southern were unwilling to take over the line
as they would also be liable for its debts but on 4th January
1923 they finally agreed to take on the ailing company; the
Lee-on-Solent board were glad to be rid of it.
An improved service under Southern control did nothing to improve
the fortunes of the line due to competition from local busses
and trams and the continuing inability of the company to offer
through trains to London. Eventually the Southern realised that
there was little prospect of the line ever making a profit.
In 1930 guards were withdrawn from trains on the Lee branch
which led to difficulty collecting fares from the few passengers
traveling between the halts. As a result it was agreed that
the three halts should be closed from 2nd May 1930. The savings
made did nothing to improve the fortunes of the line and total
closure was announced for 1st January 1931. The closure was
met with indifference form the local community with only six
men and a dog traveling on the last train.
The goods service to Lee was retained until 30th September
1935 although there was no regular service with trains running
'as required'. The track was lifted between Lee and Gomer Halt
in 1939. Towards the end of WW2 the remaining section
Further reading: The Railways of Gosport by Kevin Robertson
- Kingfisher 1986
ISBN 0 946184 25 9 (out of print)
Lines around Gosport by Vic. Mitchell & Keith. Smith
- Middleton Press 1991
ISBN 0 906520 36 3
For other stations on the Lee-on-the-Solent
branch click on the station name: Fort
Gomer Halt, Browndown
Halt & Elmore