Crowds steam in for 150th anniversary of rail line

STEAM train enthusiasts in Hastings and Bexhill were in for a treat at the weekend as thousands of people turned out to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Brighton to Seaford line.

As stations at and between the coastal town and city marked the occasion with a string of events train buffs had the chance to spy the steam trains as they made their way from London through Brighton, Seaford, Hastings and other stations during the weekend of June 7 and June 8.

The arrival of the steam trains was a separate event to the one held in Seaford and other stations on the Saturday to mark the anniversary which included music, games and a photo gallery.

The 13.40 train from Brighton also offered a historical commentary from the city to Seaford by historian Kevin Gordon.

The event was organised by Community Rail Partnership and Seaford Town Crier Peter White said of the fun in Seaford: “We had a fete and there were historic vehicles, two choirs and everyone was in Victorian costume.

“We had a shop window display which was brilliant.

“There was also two steam trains which were organised through a private charter and people went to see them in their thousands.”

Bexhill resident Michael Foster sent in photos to the Observer series and wrote, “Bearing in mind that a year often passes without Bexhill seeing a steam train, local enthusiasts were spoilt for choice last weekend.

“On Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8, London-based excursions passed through the area towards the end of their busy schedule celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Seaford-Brighton Railway.”