top of page

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

INFORMATION FOR THE VISITOR

RCD’s Overview

The former railways of the Isle of Wight (of which just one remains open) were in many ways unique due to the particular requirements of operating a railway on a small island. This heritage railway is one of the most authentically preserved railways in the country, with most of its steam locomotives and its coaches having worked on the Island’s railway in pre-preservation days.  The distance of the line, at 5.5 miles, is not as extensive as some heritage railways, but any shortcomings in that regard are outweighed by its sheer character. Havenstreet is its main station, and has picnic and play areas and a museum to visit. The Isle of Wight is just a short ferry ride from Portsmouth, and national rail trains take visitors directly from the pier to connect with the heritage line at Smallbrook Junction. The railway is a must see on any visit to the Isle of Wight, and indeed justifies a visit in itself.

 

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Smallbrook Junction (near Ryde) to Wootton

Principal Visitor Centre:

Havenstreet station (PO33 4DS)

Period of Operation*

- March to October (Near daily)

- December (Special event trains)

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 

 

Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

Exclusively steam

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Selection of steam locomotives including A1’s and Ivatt tank engines

Length of Line:

5.5 miles

Time taken for a round trip:

One hour

Number of trains per day:

5 to 9 in each direction

Number of Stations:

4 stations

Prices:

Adult: £18 Child: £9

Time to allow for Visit:

Half day to full day

Museum:

Yes, at Havenstreet Station

Shop/Cafe:

Yes/Yes

Picnic/Play areas:

Yes, Train Story Discovery Centre, and Museum, at Havenstreet

Preservation Established:

1971

Car Park Facilities:

At Havenstreet Station (free), limited parking at Wotton


Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- None currently advertised                                                                               

Event Trains:

- Santa Specials: December

- Mince Pie Specials: December post Xmas                                                                                               

Principal Galas:

- Festival of Transport: May

- Spring Gala: May/June

- Island Steam Fair: August

- Diesel Gala: September 

Experiences:

- Footplate Experience

 

Contacts

Email:                                                                  info@iwsteamrailway.co.uk

Telephone:                                                           01983 882204

Website:                                                                www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk

Social Media:                                                        www.facebook.com/iwsteamrailway

                                                                              Also on Twitter/ Instagram/ YouTube

 

INFORMATION FOR THE ENTHUSIAST

Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

The railways of the Isle of Wight were built by a number of different railway companies, three of which merged in 1887 to form the Isle of Wight Central Railway. It operated the line from Ryde to Newport which had opened in 1875. The low population of the Island meant comparatively low levels of traffic, and little investment was made until absorption of the entire network into Southern Railway at the 1923 Grouping. By the 1960s further investment in the network was necessary, and a decision was made to close all the Islands railways save the Ryde - Shanklin section which was to be electrified. The Ryde to Newport line closed in 1966. Preservation of the line was attempted almost immediately based at Newport, which was unsuccessful, but in 1971 a preservation group was formed to buy a short section of line from Wootton to Havenstreet. The railway then extended eastwards reaching Smallbrook Junction in 1991, where a new station was built with the still open Ryde - Shanklin line, enabling passengers to again reach Ryde and the resorts of Sandown and Shanklin.

 

Steam Operational Locomotives:

(1) A1X Terrier Class - W11 ‘Newport’

(2) William Adams O2 Class - W24 ‘Calbourne’

(3) Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T - 41298

(4) Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T - 41313

(5) Hunslet Austerity - WD198 ‘Royal Engineer’

 

Steam Locomotives Under Overhaul:

(1) A1X Terrier Class - W8 ‘Freshwater’

(2) London, Brighton and South Coast Railway E1 Class - W2 ‘Yarmouth’

(3) Hunslet Austerity - WD192 ‘Waggoner’ (due back in service in 2023 Q1)

(4) Hawthorn Leslie - W37 ‘Invincible’

 

Display or On Loan:

(1) Barclay ‘Ajax’ (on display)

(2) Hunslet Austerity - 3850 ‘JUNO’ (out on loan)

 

INFORMATION ON THE SUPPORT GROUP

Name of Support Group:

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £27.50 Senior: £25 Junior: £12.50 Family: £55

 

Benefits of membership:                                  

-          Free admission to Havenstreet Station, the museum and visitor areas during normal opening hours

-          Three free tickets each year for train travel

-          Quarterly Magazine, ‘Island Rail News’

 

How to Join:                                                 www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/get-involved/membership

 

What They Say About Volunteering:

Volunteers are the beating heart of our Railway. Our 400+ volunteers play a crucial role in looking after our visitors, maintaining our locomotives, carriages, stations and track in great condition, and operating the railway safely. Some of our volunteers have retired from full-time work and are seeking new ways to keep active and use their skills. Other spend time at the Railway at weekends or during holiday periods, and enjoy doing something completely different to their day job. We also welcome younger volunteers, generally from the age of 14.

 

How to Volunteer:                                   Go to www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/get-involved/volunteer

 

How to Donate:                                       Go to www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/get-involved/make-a-donation

 

WHY JOIN: With its large collection of locomotives and rolling stock, help is always needed to maintain this prestigious railway.


INFORMATION ON OTHER SOCIETIES WITH RELATED INTEREST

Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this

website:

 

Traditional Railway Societies:

- Southern Railways Group

                                                                               

Model Railway Clubs:

- Isle of Wight Area Group ‘N’ Gauge Society


bottom of page