Ryde Pier Head railway station

Ryde Pier Head railway station is one of three stations in the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Situated at the end of the town's pier, it is adjacent to the terminal for the Wightlink fast catamaran service connecting the island with Portsmouth on the UK mainland. Passengers can use this to connect with the rest of the National Rail network at Portsmouth Harbour station, which is adjacent to the Portsmouth terminal. Through rail tickets for travel via Pier Head station are available to and from other stations on the Isle of Wight. These include travel on the catamaran service to or from Portsmouth as appropriate.

Trains run down the eastern coast of the Isle of Wight to Shanklin (the Island Line), the last remnant of a network of railways on the island. Because of the restricted loading gauge, particularly through the tunnel under Ryde, services are operated by Class 483s (London Underground 1938 Stock).

The ticket office at the station is run by Wightlink[1] and not Island Line.

Ryde Pier Head National Rail
Ryde Pier Head Station, IW, UK
Local authorityIsle of Wight
Grid referenceSZ593935
Station codeRYP
Managed byIsland Line
Number of platforms1 (plus 1 disused)
DfT categoryE
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Decrease 0.210 million
2014/15Increase 0.218 million
2015/16Steady 0.218 million
2016/17Decrease 0.210 million
2017/18Increase 0.212 million
– Interchange Increase 0.152 million
Key datesOpened 12 July 1880
Original companyPortsmouth and Ryde Joint Railway
Pre-groupingPortsmouth and Ryde Joint Railway
Post-groupingSouthern Railway
National Rail – UK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Ryde Pier Head from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Ryde map 1945
A 1945 Ordnance Survey of Ryde showing the location of the Ryde Pier Head, Ryde Esplanade and Ryde St John's Road stations


In 1880 the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) and London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) agreed to open a jointly-owned line north from Ryde St John's Road. Under the direction of LBSCR Chief Engineer Frederick Banister,[2] the construction of the extension included a new tunnel and a third Ryde Pier to enable the line to reach a new station at Ryde Pier Head, which provided a connection with the companies' ferry services.

When the LBSC/LSWR joint line opened, it was as a double track section from Ryde St John's Road station through to Ryde Pier Head. There was a scissors crossover situated on Ryde Pier to allow trains to access all platforms. Sets of crossovers were installed at St John's Road to enable trains to change from the joint line's left-hand running to the single-track sections on the Isle of Wight Central Railway's Newport line and the Isle of Wight Railway's Shanklin line (now known as the Island Line).[3]

The station originally consisted of three platforms in the form of a pair of islands; a fourth track was added later, opening in 1933.[4] The station was rebuilt on electrification of the remaining line in 1967, and the new layout consisted of two tracks with three platform faces. One of these tracks is now out of use, so only one platform currently operates. This is the track which runs along the western side of the pier; a double track section commences immediately to the south of Ryde Esplanade railway station.


Trains run to Shanklin twice per hour during most of the day. This is reduced to hourly on Sunday mornings off-season, very early mornings and late evenings. Certain trains only travel as far as St John's Road. There are no overnight trains. Because of the location of passing loops on the Island Line, services run at 20/40 minute intervals.

Wightlink passenger ferry services run every 30 minutes for most of the day, but are reduced to hourly intervals in the early afternoons and off-season Sunday mornings.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Ryde Esplanade   Island Line
"boat icon" Ferry services
Terminus   Wightlink
high-speed catamaran
  Portsmouth Harbour


Ryde Pier IOW with Steam train and electric tramcar geograph-2658644-by-Ben-Brooksbank

Steam train and electric tramcar in 1965


Familiar Dome


Car park behind

PDino trn76

Dinosaur train at Ryde Pier Head

2007 1002 IoW Train

Dinosaur train at Ryde Pier Head


Looking towards Esplanade station


Eastern view



Train approaching Ryde Pier Head station in 1969

Class 485 Unit 042 in 1969


  1. ^ "National Rail Enquiries - Station Facilities for Ryde Pier Head". Retrieved 28 November 2008.
  2. ^ "Federick Dale Banister". GracesGuide.co.uk. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  3. ^ Hardy 2003, p. 9.
  4. ^ Maycock, R.J.; Silsbury, R. (2006). The Isle of Wight Railways from 1923 onwards. Oakwood Press. p. . ISBN 0-85361-656-6.

External links

Coordinates: 50°44′20″N 1°09′36″W / 50.739°N 1.160°W

British Rail Classes 485 and 486

The British Rail Class 485 (or 4Vec, later 5Vec) and British Rail Class 486 (or 3Tis, later 2Tis) electrical multiple units were originally built for the London Electric Railway from 1923-31 as its 'Standard' tube stock. They were purchased by British Rail in 1967 and transported to the Isle of Wight to work 'mainline' services on the newly electrified Ryde to Shanklin line, where they worked for an additional quarter of a century. At the time of their purchase the units had already worked for over 40 years on the London Underground, but their introduction allowed the last steam locomotives on the line to be withdrawn.

Ryde Pier

Ryde Pier is an early 19th century pier serving the town of Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. It is the world's oldest seaside pleasure pier.

Ryde St John's Road railway station

Ryde St John's Road is a railway station on the Island Line, and serves the town of Ryde, Isle of Wight. The station is 1.25 mi (2 km) south of Ryde Pier Head—the Island Line's northern terminus. When the station opened in 1864, it was known as Ryde railway station, as it was the northern terminus of the Isle of Wight Railway at the time. Rather than a railway, a tramway continued northwards to where the current Ryde Pier Head railway station stands; the railway was extended to Ryde Pier in 1880.

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