Aviva Directory » Local & Global » Europe » Channel Islands » Bailiwick of Guernsey » Alderney » Getting From Here to There

Because of the island's size, there is not much use for vehicular transportation, but even so, there are numerous transportation options for those in Alderney.

The island is served by the Alderney airport, which has flights from Southampton and Guernsey. Aurigny Air Services, based in Guernsey, serves Alderney with Dornier Do 228 twin-tubroprop planes, while Waves Airline provides air taxi service.

Boats and water taxis come and go among the other Channel Islands as well as France, and in the summer, almost 30,000 yacht crew members visit the harbour.

A high speed ferry offers passage to France and to St. Peter Port in Guernsey, and freight services which carry passengers takes people to and from the south coast of England.

There are taxis and bicycles are popular forms of transportation. It is lawful to drive a car on the island without having to wear seatbelts.

Then there is the historic Alderney Railway which was built by the British government and meant to carry stones from the east coast of the island in order to build the Victorian forts and a breakwater. The breakwater was 1,430 metres long, but a severe storm just after the completion of construction took 540 metres.

It began service in 1847, and its first official passengers were Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1854.

In the winter of 1911-1912, a train ran off the end of the breakwater and into the sea. No one died in the accident, and the locomotive was soon salvaged and repaired, but after it happened, all trains working on the breakwater were required to carry life belts.

The train was used off and on until 1940, when the German army began to occupy the islands. The Germans did not use the train, and they pulled up much of the railway and replaced the tracks with 60 gauge tracks.

Once World War II was over and the occupying forces left the Channel Islands, the railway tracks were laid again with standard gauge by the Ministry of Defence and the railway was pressed back into service.

It is the only working railway in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, and it provides scheduled runs from the Braye Road Station to the Mannez Quarry Station and Mannez Lighthouse, an approximately 2-mile run.

Now, the Railway only runs on weekends, beginning every Easter and terminating at the end of September. Trains are also available for private charter.



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