Being 1.33 miles long, Southend pier is the longest in the world. Originally built of English oak, it was first opened in 1830 as a commercial pier but quickly proved to be popular as a pleasure pier. The old structure was replaced by the present iron pier in 1889. Its unique feature, apart from its length, has always been its various forms of transport, from hand carts to horse-drawn tram to electric trams and trains and now diesel trains. The pier's history is vast and fascinating and the museum depicts this in its entirety using train and pictorial exhibits.