9th June 1934

Guernsey Railway company ceased operations

Guernsey once had a railway – of sorts. It started operating on 20 February 1892, and continued running until 9 June 1934. Work started on lifting its tracks two days later. It had been unable to compete with the far lower running costs of motor-powered buses, which had been running on the island since 1909.

Over the course of its operation, the Guernsey railway company invested in nineteen carriages. These were painted maroon and cream, and many looked not unlike a double-decker bus. They ran on a line between St Peter Port and St Sampson.

As reported in the Coventry Evening Telegraph of 9 June 1934,

The States of Guernsey decided this week, according to ‘Motor Transport’, to take over the permanent tramway and fixtures, and to cancel the concession granted in 1877 to the Guernsey Railway Company.

The cost of taking away the track and returning the road to usable condition would initially be borne by the States, but recouped from the company over the next two decades. From then on, the “railway” company would concentrate on running buses instead.

Channel Island railways today

Alderney now has the only traditional railway in the Channel Islands, with three stations on its small network. The rolling stock is a former London Underground train.

The only “train” to operate in Guernsey now is a small sightseeing service for visitors. However, in the early 2000s, proposals were made to lay a short stretch of track and return one of the original trams to operation close to Belle Greve Bay. To date, nothing has come of this proposal.

Guernsey Railway Co Ltd itself continued to exist until December 1980 when it was taken over by Guernseybus.


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Other events that occured in June

Cricketer Charles Grieve died in Shropshire 1st
St Johns undertook its first Guernsey rescue 2nd
Bailiff John Guille died in Plymouth 3rd
GUNS writer Joseph John Gillingham was deported 4th
First arrests were made at Guernsey Airport 5th
Jethou was put on the market 6th
The king and queen celebrated Guernsey’s liberation 7th
Occupying forces confiscated Guernsey’s radios 8th
Guernsey Railway company ceased operations 9th
Guernsey welcomed its first steam ship 10th
Laura Kennington kicks off Channel Islands triathlon 11th
Dame Sibyl became a dame again 12th
Guernsey voted to legalise local abortions 13th
Victor Hugo’s house is opened to the public 14th
The Channel Islands were demilitarised 15th
Guernsey was invaded by Colorado beetles 16th
States Telephone Department was established 17th
Pollet guest house fire claimed its third victim 18th
Aurigny founder Derrick Bailey died 19th
Guernsey joined the Football Association 20th
Guernsey’s school children were evacuated 21st
Guernsey celebrated Queen Victoria’s jubilee 22nd
Princess Elizabeth opened Guernsey’s hospital 23rd
Guernsey chose England over France 24th
First meeting of Guernsey’s Controlling Committee 25th
Guernsey bought Fort Grey from the War Office 26th
Guernsey coffee trader William Le Lacheur died 27th
G-JOEY completes his last flight 28th
Guernsey suffered its first and only air raid
The Star was published for the first time 29th
Two deserters were shot after landing on Guernsey 30th