Weymouth to the Channel Islands: A Great Western Railway Shipping History by B. L. Jackson

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Regular railway-operated steamer services commenced between Weymouth and the Channel Islands following the opening of the railway to the town in 1857, and continued until the demise of Sealink. Originally both the GWR and LSWR served the port amid great rivalry until 1860 when the LSWR withdrew to Southampton, from where the competition continued until the disastrous loss of the Stella in 1899. The GWR service from Weymouth was operated on their behalf by the Weymouth & Channel Islands Steam Packet Company, a financially impoverished concern that the GWR were constantly bailing out. During 1878 the GWR commenced a service to Cherbourg operating it in their own right with their own vessels, unsuccessful, it struggled on for seven years before it ceased, leaving the Channel Island service to the Packet Company. Following the loss of the Brighton in 1887 and the condition of the other two outdated paddle steamers operated by the Packet Company, the GWR decided to take the service over in 1889, providing three new steamers.


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Oakwood Press

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