Wikipedia:Today's featured article/March 25, 2009

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Electric locomotive and freight cars on the Hellingly Hospital Railway in 1906

The Hellingly Hospital Railway was a light railway owned and operated by East Sussex County Council, used to deliver coal and passengers to Hellingly Hospital, a psychiatric hospital near Hailsham, via a spur from the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway’s Cuckoo Line at Hellingly railway station. The railway was constructed in 1899 and opened to passengers on 20 July 1903, following its electrification in 1902. After the railway grouping of 1923, passenger numbers declined so significantly that the hospital authorities no longer considered passenger usage of the line to be economical, and the service was withdrawn. The railway closed to freight in 1959, following the hospital's decision to convert its coal boilers to oil, which rendered the railway unnecessary. The route took a mostly direct path from a junction immediately south of Hellingly Station to Hellingly Hospital, past sidings known as Farm Siding and Park House Siding respectively, used as stopping places to load and unload produce and supplies from outbuildings of the hospital. Much of the railway has since been converted to footpath, and many of the buildings formerly served by the line are now abandoned. (more...)

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