Isle of Wight Railways

In amidst the chaos of a family holiday on the IoW, I managed to get a 24hr pass to explore the Island's railways and take a trip to the mainland to visit Gaugemaster/The Engine Shed.

The island's railway, Island Line, runs from Ryde Pier Head, below, in the north, down to the truncated end at Shanklin. Ryde Pier Head and Ryde Esplanade are the two closest stations on the National Rail network, fascinating fact!


Operated by ex-London Underground tube trains, it's an all-electric railway and a pretty busy one, at least in the summer months,


Brading is located around half way down the line, the above Box, which is now a Grade II listed structure, once controlled the junction with the Bembridge branch. It was taken out of use in 1989 when signalling was centred on Ryde St John's Road.

This is the view at Shanklin, the end of the line. This ran on to Ventnor until 1966, the decision to axe the line certainly led to Ventnor's inexeroable decline as one of the island's major resorts.

The island's heritage railway is the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. It runs from Smallbridge Junction, which connects it to the Island Line, through to it's base at Havenstreet. The MPD is at Havenstreet, along with the associated shop, museum etc.

This website is usually a "kettle-free" zone, but I couldn't resist a picture of this charming loco, a Hawthorn Leslie 0-6-0 "Invincible".


Finally I managed to take the Fast Cat ferry to Portsmouth Harbour and thence on to Ford in Sussex to visit the Engine Shed. It's a brilliant shop with a huge variety of UK and European stick, scenics and Gaugemaster electronics, and the bonus of very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful staff.



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