On Good Friday April 18th 2003 at about 4:30.P.M., a train consisting of ‘Alan B’, coaches 5,4 and,7, was formed up at Beachlands station on the East Hayling Light Railway. Various engineering members then distributed themselves in the coaches, with instuctions about safety and how to observe the quality of the ride.The ride of the vehicles as a train was a little lively but not unpleasent and, remind me of the old Waterloo & City line 1940 stock. As we processed down the beach, it was interesting to observe the reactions of other beach users, there was no protests but a great many waves and smiles. Cars where seen to slow down and even stop in order to get a better view of our train. Some even sounding their horns as we passed! After leaving Hornby Halt ‘Alan B’ made short work of the climb up to the Coastguard Station, the occupants of which where noted observing inland towards the railway and not to sea, I wonder why?
Soon we arrived at Eaststoke much to the surprize of a group of Drinkers sat enjoying the Sunshine outside the ‘Lifeboat’. The E.H.L.R. had run it’s first passenger style train and had made history, but in doing so we also recreated history. As the run round loop was not complete at Eaststoke, we had to hand shunt the train, this was achieved by pushing the coaches into the platform after the loco had been detached and run into a short siding. The same method used on the Tal-y-Llyn railway when it first reopened over fifty years ago.The trains arrival and presents at Eaststoke caused a great many favourable comments, and left Bob Haddock the lines owner elated.