Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Freshwater, Nov 12, 2013.
That still leaves the Ashey racecourse and chalk pit branch
Tom (ducks and runs for cover...)
Has an estimate ever been put on the cost of a Newport extension? Unlikely to happen until I win the euromillions, but would be interesting to know the figures involved.
I cannot remember exact figures but it is considerable. Unstable formation at Wootton, utilities in the trackbed, no natural station site at Newport without a new formation. Etc
Surely all that is needed is a slight deviation in the tunnel under the Fairlee/Staplers road junction, a little ole viaduct cum bridge over the Coppins bridge roundaboutee/ total #ockup and terminal station on that spare land alongside the Fire Station...... simples ha ha.
What is this fixation about "extensions"? Is it a bloke thing?...."Mine's bigger than yours" - never understood it myself. Re the non-availability of Edmondsons, as pointed out above, plenty of places can produce them including the JHMD narrow gauge railway in the Czech Republic. Wackypedia even knows about it: "Since 1999 ČD stopped ordering these tickets and production stopped. In 1999, the new private narrow-gauge railway company Jindřichohradecké místní dráhy (JHMD, Local Railways of Jindřichův Hradec surroundings) bought the machine accessories from Prague and since 2000 it has run its own printing house at Kamenice nad Lipou, for its own use and for nostalgic trips on ČD and a number of museum railways. JHMD has one of two extant Goebl printing machines from 1895 in the world, together with four newer machines.["
The strategic vision still mentions an extension to Newport if practical.
Bob Seely talks about it being linked to the Newport harbour regeneration.
Now the Island line is sorted with a Ryde extension out of the equation, maybe the next step is a costing excercise with public consultation and to source some funding (if we possibly remain in the EU might be a source). It will bring many benefits for the IoW and jobs for young people, but others are saying likely change the IOWSR from a museum to a more 7 day commercial operation?
Here we go again. The same old "wouldn't it be nice"(W.I.B.N) self delusion which never lets reality get in the way. Gricers and politicians are vulnerable to it alike. The two uses are fundamentally incompatible as previous similar exercises in wishful thinking elsewhere have shown.
Everyone should just look at the route of the former Ryde to Newport line and note how it manages to avoid all principal settlements between the two towns. Then think!
I have to say Paul, that your bashing of W.I.B.N is rediculous. Every time someone comes up with any idea, raises a point or view, or dare i say endulges in fantasy, you immediatly jump on them. W.I.B.N is the whole reason anything gets done to start with before being developed into a rational idea. Not all ideas make it but they have to start somewhere. Without ideas or passion or W.I.B.N we wouldnt have any preservation movement at all, let alone the incredible success we have all over the country. There have been railways with issues and that have over stretched, but im not the only one that would rather have them than they not have bothered
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only if it was 1st class only
Lets be honest here, Any extension now is just going to be firmly in the too difficult/ to expensive bracket, and should never happen, but you have to look at the bigger picture, utilities in the track bed etc, who decided we will use a disused track bed, but one that might at a future date be relaid? that, if a track bed is part of a possible reopening scheme it should have been protected, or if there are cables laid, to the side away from the actual trackbed .
To start with this is not a preservation scheme as such and has to be judged upon how it would help with a perceived problem. It would do nothing for inhabitants of upper Ryde, Binstead or Wootton Bridge, the only intermediate settlements of any consequence. If the "solution" has to be rail based then it would need to be a purpose built light rail one at amazing expense. Using the old, long ago failed, rail route would involve the loss of a visitor attraction which pumps millions of pounds p.a. into the local economy. Even if this were not the case, this proposal is daft.
As for W.I.B.N. , railway preservation has been going for seventy years and there was every excuse for wishful thinking then. No-one had any experience. Now there is no excuse whatsoever for naivety. In addition, last year saw several lines post significant losses and there are reports of services having to be cancelled because of shortage of volunteers.
Surely if a railway has problems with having enough volunteers to operate its published timetable, the railway its self needs to look at where and why, and address those reasons, it don't matter what you run behind an engine, be it a Terrier, or MN, or if you run 3, 0r 8 coaches, without a signaller, Fireman , driver and guard, that train is not going any where.
Not just the Ryde - Newport line. In West Wight, the FYN route (a comparatively late arrival on the scene) managed to pass Yarmouth on the landward side, thereby effectively putting the kybosh on the line's usefulness to traffic from the Lymington ferry from Day One. Finances dictated the eventual choice of route, of course, but you can't help thinking the fate of the Island's railways might've been very different, given healthier passenger figures in the far west.
Cowes Station (on the west side of The Medina ... East Cowes never was directly connected to the rail network) was none too well placed for ferry passengers either, being quite a climb from the terminal, with a final substantial set of steps to access the trains. Not exactly ideal when simultaneously herding one's children and humping heavy suitcases.
Initial proposals for the IoW (leaving an interesting 3ft gauge scheme aside) were for a cruciform network (main spine Cowes-Newport-Ventnor, with branches heading east and west), under a single company. This scheme very much dated from 'pastoral' days, before the east coast towns were really towns and failed due to the opposition of a still near-fuedal landed gentry, as much as lack of capital.
It's notable that, right up to the cessation of freight services, no-one thought it worthwhile to develop any train ferry capable of taking through freight wagons, which obviously meant the Island's network needed it's own fleet in order to experience the old bogey of transshipment for each and every freight movement crossing the Solent - in either direction.
Once road transport became a practical proposition, post WWI, just about the only significant freight remaining was coal, aggregates and cement (mainly to/from Medina Wharf on the Newport - Cowes line) .... as a quick glance at photos of grass grown goods yards dotted around the system all too clearly show.
Despite it's original development by the impressively titled 'Brading Harbour Improvement and Railway Company', the other principal rail connected landing place, on the Bembridge branch, diminished in importance post-grouping (after significant investment rebuilding Medina Wharf) and seems to have become little more than a convenient over-wintering store for the 'off season', or a place to dump redundant stock for scrapping, until the branch closed in 1953. T'is said that the passenger service on the branch just about broke even, but the state of the track meant the investment needed to bring the PW up to standard couldn't be justified.
Another important factor with any extension through in the Newport direction is that the present Wootton station site had to be excavated to reduce the gradient to an acceptable one. Although digging out the bridge hole would probably provide enough spoil to bring the level back. Where would then be an acceptable site for Wootton Station as the IOWSR Wootton Station site would be no more! The original Station was sited near or at the unstable slipper clay bed.
Out of interest, does anything survive of the original Wootton Station?
The original rooms were in the arches of the over bridge but I think were dismantled long before the Railway closed. Not sure about the platform, it’s remains may still be under the infill.
The museum has an enamel nameplate in indifferent condition which, apart from the buried roadbridge, is about it.
..... though not necessarily still on the original alignment (see @gwalkeriow's post #454) !!
Of interest, does anyone have a postable copy of the photo of Calbourne bringing stock from Newport on the very last departure, through the bridge at Wootton? I seem to recall speed was severely curtailed due to track movement.
there was photos taken at the time of 24 passing the sea of mud that was Wotton, with one of the trains from Newport , done under caution at walking pace as regards the station, bare in mind it closed in 1953, or thereabouts, and the platform was cut back because of the slippage, I think that a short section may have remained, but I doubt there would be anything but rubble now, digging out the cutting would expose the bridge, that has been buried for many years, and god only knows what state the bridge will be in, or will need doing, then the only suitable site would be on the Whippingham side beyond the cutting, had the Whippingham station been available back in 1976, or when the railway opened and the line saved as far as there, I dare say the old station at Wotton would have been cut back and a retaining wall built to protect the track , but the section available was only between Wotton and A point beyond Havenstreet Station. its certainly an interesting what may have been, given the closeness of Osbourne house.
Having seen a photo of Wootton, around the time of it's closure, count me amazed they could actually find the platform beneath the rampant vegitation to cut it back! The Island's geology certainly makes for a challenge for transport, as much for roads as for rail. The Ventnor area seems especially prone to subsidence. From the bbc website, this is the road near St.Lawrence a few years back:
Between porous chalk, slippery clays and marls, add an often high water table and ongoing coastal erosion to the list of problems. On the Island Line, towards it's southern end, the sea is much closer to the railway than when the line was constructed.
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