Isle of Wight Steam Railway

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway is a heritage railway on the Isle of Wight. The railway passes through 5 12 miles (9 km) of countryside from Smallbrook Junction[1] to Wootton station,[2] passing through the small village of Havenstreet, where the line has a station, headquarters and a depot. At Smallbrook Junction, the steam railway connects with the Island Line.

Isle of Wight Steam Railway
Southern Railway Class A1X W11 Wootton
Southern Railway 0-6-0T Class A1X W11 'Newport' runs round the train at Wootton Station
LocaleIsle of Wight
TerminusSmallbrook Junction
Commercial operations
Original gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Owned byIsle of Wight Railway Co. Ltd.
Operated byIsle of Wight Railway Co. Ltd.
Length5 12 miles (9 km)
Preserved gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Preservation history
HeadquartersHavenstreet depot
Havenstreet railway station 2
Havenstreet Station


The railway is owned and operated by the Isle of Wight Railway Co. Ltd. and run largely by volunteers. Services are operated on most days from June to September, together with selected days in April, May, and October and public holidays. The railway is popular with tourists, attracting people to its original steam locomotive and railway cafe. Over each August Bank Holiday weekend, the railway organises the Island Steam Show, which combines an intensive service on the railway with displays of various sorts of steam power including traction engines and steam fair equipment, together with other attractions that vary year by year. For events like steam galas and Day out with Thomas events, engines from the mainland have to be brought in by boat and then transferred to Havenstreet.

Rolling stock

The railway has several steam locomotives and a small series of diesel shunters, four of which have had notable careers on the island. To complement the collection, numerous examples of pre-grouping carriages have been recovered and restored. The oldest of these were built in 1864 and the last in 1924. There are also more than 45 units of freight rolling stock, the oldest of which dates from circa 1860.

Carriage shed

To allow the railway's collection of Victorian and Edwardian carriages to be kept undercover, away from the effects of weather and vandals, a rolling stock storage and display building has been built at Havenstreet. A four-road shed, with each road capable of storing four bogie coaches or their equivalent, amounting to a total size of 75 by 25 metres[3] has been built, and track work is currently being completed. By December 2008, £71,000 had been raised by the railway, and as of May 2012, the railway was awaiting information to see if a grant application from the Heritage Lottery towards the £815,000 cost was successful. This was successful and the shed is now operational with public access to see the stock inside.


The first railway on the Isle of Wight opened in 1862, linking Newport and Cowes. It became the nucleus of the Isle of Wight Central Railway. The line from Ryde to Newport was opened in 1875 and by 1890 the island was served by an extensive network of lines. However most of these lines were relatively poorly maintained and had a low level of traffic, reflecting the general isolation and poverty of the island.

These factors meant that the island's railways could rarely afford to acquire new locomotives or rolling stock and instead relied on using already elderly equipment transferred from the mainland. Much of the equipment currently used on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, and particularly the passenger coaching stock, falls into this category, representing usage on the island in the early twentieth century but also the mid to late nineteenth century on the mainland. This is of particular historic interest as representing an earlier era than almost all other preserved railways in Britain. The steam locomotives used include examples well over 100 years old, but also some more modern types.

The first railway closures on the Island were in 1952. Then in 1966 the RydeNewportCowes and ShanklinVentnor lines were closed. The last steam services on the island ran on the remaining Ryde to Shanklin line on 31 December 1966. However a small group of rail enthusiasts formed the Wight Locomotive Society and raised funds to preserve one of the last steam locomotives, W24 Calbourne, and a number of the remaining carriages. Then, in 1971, the Isle of Wight Railway Co. Ltd. was formed to buy the 1 12-mile (2 km) length of track between Wootton and Havenstreet. From that early beginning, the railway has been gradually extended from Havenstreet towards Ryde. In 1991 this extension reached Smallbrook Junction on the Ryde – Shanklin line, where a new interchange station was built there allowing passengers to interchange with Island Line trains.

An extension of the line westwards from Wootton to Newport has been suggested in the past. It is unlikely that the full extent will ever be restored as there is now a road on the site of Newport station and houses have been built on another part of the former line. However a stretch of trackbed from Wootton to the outskirts of Newport at Halberry Lane is still free from development and could in theory be used in the future. Another possible extension is one from Smallbrook Junction to Ryde St John's Road station,[4] using one of the two Island Line tracks on this stretch.

Within the grounds of Havenstreet railway station is the Haven Falconry Bird of Prey Centre.


British Railways Class O2 W24 Calbourne

The railway's flagship locomotive, British Railways 0-4-4T W24 'Calbourne' runs round the train at Wootton

06I10I2013 Autumn Steam Gala H5

Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST WD198 'Royal Engineer' runs round the train at Wootton

British Railways Class Ivatt Two No 41298

British Railways 2-6-2T Class Ivatt Two No. 41298 runs round the train at Wootton


Map showing Steam Railway running broadly East-West

Isle of Wight railway system showing closed lines and stations, open lines and reopened lines

Isle of Wight railways diagram, showing closed and reopened lines and new stations

The Isle of Wight RJD 135

A 1914 Railway Clearing House map of lines around the Isle of Wight

See also


  1. ^ 50°42′40″N 1°09′18″W / 50.711°N 1.155°W
  2. ^ 50°43′05″N 1°14′42″W / 50.71798°N 1.24495°W
  3. ^ "Planning Application – TCP/30792, P/01529/11". Isle of Wight Council. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  4. ^ Isle of Wight steam train comes to the rescue, Isle of Wight Radio
  • Historical information from BBC website, retrieved 24 August 2004

External links

Route map:


Havenstreet is a village on the Isle of Wight, located about 2 miles southwest of Ryde, in the civil parish of Havenstreet and Ashley.

Havenstreet railway station

Havenstreet railway station opened in 1875 and was an intermediate stop on (successively) the Ryde and Newport Railway, Isle of Wight Central Railway, Southern Railway and British Rail-being renamed Havenstreet in 1958. It closed on 21 February 1966 but re-opened as the headquarters of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway in 1971.

Developments since re-opening have included the construction of a locomotive works, carriage and wagon repair works, additional sidings and a café. Additionally, the former gasworks has been opened to the public as a shop and museum, the water tower formerly at Newport was re-erected at Havenstreet in 1971, and money is being raised for the construction of a carriage storage shed.

LMS Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T

The London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T is a class of light 'mixed-traffic' steam locomotive introduced in 1946.

LSWR O2 Class W24 Calbourne

W24 Calbourne is an example of the Adams LSWR O2 Class 0-4-4T, which is based at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. It is the sole survivor of its class.

Lake railway station

Lake railway station is a station on the Isle of Wight serving the village of Lake, situated in a quiet residential area not far from Lake Cliff Gardens and the beach at Sandown Bay. Until the construction of an interchange station with the Isle of Wight Steam Railway at Smallbrook Junction in 1991, this station was the newest on the island having opened by British Rail in 1987. The Station is formed of only a single wooden platform with a shelter. The trains that serve this station are Class 483s (London Underground 1938 Stock).

List of Isle of Wight Steam Railway locomotives and rolling stock

This is a comprehensive list of rolling stock of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway at Havenstreet, Isle of Wight.

Railways on the Isle of Wight

There once existed a 55 1⁄2-mile (89.3 km) network of railway lines on the Isle of Wight. They were opened by several companies between 1862 and 1901, and all but the 8 1⁄2-mile-long (13.7 km) Island Line closed between 1952 and 1966. A further 5 1⁄2 miles (8.9 km) have reopened as the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

Wootton railway station

Wootton railway station is former railway station, and now a recreated heritage station, at Wootton on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. The original station, on the Newport-to-Ryde line, opened in 1875, and was an intermediate stop on (successively) the Ryde and Newport Railway, Isle of Wight Central Railway, Southern Railway and British Railways. The original station closed on 21 September 1953, and the line itself closed in 1966. Part of the line was re-opened as the heritage Isle of Wight Steam Railway in 1971. A new station at Wootton, about two hundred yards to the south east of the original, was opened in August 1986, and is now recreated in the style of an Isle of Wight Central Railway-era station.The Railway received a grant from the LEADER project in November 2011 for a rebuild of Wootton station, which involved extending the platform, extending the headshunt to accommodate the Ivatt tank locomotives, build a replica of the original wooden station building that was at Havenstreet, install new toilets and construct the base for the signal box, which will be relocated to the platform.

Isle of Wight
Steam Railway
Island Line
Smallbrook Junction National Rail
Monktonmead Brook
Island Line
Nunwell Trail
Ashey Road
Deacons Lane
Ashey Racecourse
Rowlands Lane
Chillingwood Brook
Havenstreet Main Road
Havenstreet depot
Packsfield Lane
Station Road
Closed line to Cowes
Heritage railways and railway museums in England


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