Southend Pier Railway Diesel Locomotives

Southend-on-Sea's pier is 2.16km long (the longest pleasure pier in the world). Since 1890, when the pier officially opened, a narrow gauge railway has run on the pier conveying visitors and goods along it [1] (an earlier wooden pier had a horse drawn tram travelling along it). Originally the railway used electric vehicles, a toast rack style car and later on fully enclosed vehicles. The original electric railway was closed in 1978 due to it's poor condition.

After a period of of uncertainty the decision was made to build a brand new railway in the 1980s [2]. This new railway uses diesel hydraulic locomotives and push-pull rakes of coaches. The new railway was built to 914mm narrow gauge (the original was 1, 067mm) with a simplified track layout compared to the original. It opened in 1986.

Number built: 2
Built: 1986
Builder: Severn Lamb
Motor: Deutz diesel
Power: 55 hp (41 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 4wDH
The current Southend Pier Railway, which is owned and operated by the local council, has two trains, each consists of a locomotive (which is at the pier end of the train) and six passenger cars. The last and shore end trailer has a driving cab. The two trains have been named Sir William Heygate and Sir John Betjeman.

The line is mostly single with a passing loop at the mid-point, both pier head and shore stations have two platforms so in peak times both trains can be in operation, a single battery electric car is also used in the Winter. Up to one hundred and eighty two passengers can be carried per train [3]. The locomotives can also on occasion propel a flat wagon in order to take provisions up to the pier head.
Sir William Heygate at the pier head station 

The driving railer of Sir John Betjeman at the shore station

The locomotives also have space for push-chairs and other small cargo

Another view of the Sir John Betjeman train

Each trailer has electrically operated doors

Heading back to shore

[1] Keith Turner, Pier Railways & Tramways of the British Isles (Oakwood Press, 1999) p. 49
[2] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), Light Rail (Key Publishing, 2018) p. 94
[3] Turner p. 61