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Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Freshwater, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Absolutely, but Paul is right too. Every instance of WIBN (apart from non-serious ones suggested only for fun, of which not a few appear on here) should be followed by an assessment (a) of feasibility in principle and (b) of practicality, taking into account costs, market, regulatory issues, availability of manpower, timescales, etc. Many projects have succeeded and some more are making reasonable progress, but some that are proposed in all seriousness are hare-brained in reality.
     
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  2. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Alternatively, there are three buses per hour from Ryde to Wootton station. Longer but more interesting journey. Free if you have bus pass.
    Island Line has been generous with various bits and pieces
     
  3. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Well-Known Member

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    Are we doing this discussion again :D ?

    Let's remember that the Islandline and IWSR are two fundamentally different railways in terms of ownership, funding, customer base, engineering standards, operating rules and many other respects.

    Spa Valley have proved it is possible to run heritage alongside national rail, and the NYMR have proven it is possible to run from a heritage line on to the national system.

    For it to make any sense at all it would need a substantial market, and the base heritage section to be able to prosper on its own terms alongside the 'extended' services. Also remember that to run on to the national system, you have to follow the national rules and fit in with the other users. Whether small engines, small water capacities, wooden coaches and all of the other issues that would apply on the Island would ever fit in is highly questionable.

    Perhaps we can park it now.
     
  4. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Kindly do note mine was merely a general comment, without specific reference to the latest iteration of an awfully familiar suggestion. :)
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Having a lot of involvement with the NYMR and running over Network Rail, I have one word of advice. Don’t.
     
  6. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I hope so as I only mentioned it in passing but I have to say that were it not for Smallbrook the IoWSR would be really cut off. Bus to Wootton from Ryde is not my idea of a good time even if the No.9 only takes about fifteen minutes.

    As I said, greater harmony between Island trains and IoWSR trains would be a help. A wet day at Smallbrook waiting for a connection is not my idea of a good time either!
     
  7. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps it is a bit remote, although most people will arrive by car. I know at least one chap who ebikes it!

    I think we will go to Ryde in the fullness of time. I'd like to see it. At some point the island line signalling will need renewing and at that point perhaps.

    Just to add the steam line goes out of its way to help anyone stuck, a few years ago I remember we had put the engine on shed and almost filled the boiler up when we went back out, hooked on again and ran to small brook to pick up those left behind by a points failure. Quite a cheer when we rolled in!
     
  8. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Wooden carriages with swing doors alongside third rail electrification? Unlikely to be allowed.
     
  9. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure why the carriage material makes much difference. One would assume locking the doors on that side would be a reasonably practicable control measure.

    But in truth I'm not up for debating this one again either!
     
  10. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    The answer is not to revive it then.
     
  11. nanstallon

    nanstallon Part of the furniture

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    My wife and I enjoyed the gala last Saturday. We got to Wootton by bus no. 9 (Ryde to Newport), and it was no problem at all. They run every 20 minutes during the day; you just have to make sure you get the no.9 that goes via Wootton station, because the service is every 10 minutes, with alternate ones going via the station. A short walk through the car park and down to the station.

    There used to be a bus service to Haven Street, but I was told that hadn't run for several years.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
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  12. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    Bit late to the party in talking about this, but here goes.

    Me along with a friend had our first visit to the IoWSR last Sunday during the Spring Gala, and have to say I was most impressed. The staff were helpful and polite, with the whole operation running very efficiently, train running to time with regular loco switching at Havenstreet.

    Highlight for me was riding in the carriages (both 4 wheel and bogie) as up till then I had only ever ridden in ever common BR Mark 1 stock, so to able to experience rolling-stock from the Victorian/Edwardian period was brilliant. All the carriages were beautifully well maintained, with the seats (while a bit worn from all the usage they've had) were pretty comfortable to sit on. The 4 wheel coaches were certainly bouncy and swaying about at times, but I rather liked that as it made the journey all the more exciting and memorable. Can't deny either, being not the most socialite of a person, it was so nice having compartments predominantly to ourselves. I always thought pre-nationalisation was the more appropriate and attractive rolling-stock if railways could have them, but now I'd certainly say so for the experience in riding in them too.

    The views a lot of the time were pretty stunning too, though with this being my first ever visit to the island, I'd say that's a common theme across the whole Isle of Wight really. A beautiful place.

    Train Story was another great highlight, with plenty to interact with and videos to watch on the history of the railway. My friend, who's not an railway enthusiast like myself, even seemed to enjoy it and found it all pretty interesting. Certainly we were both impressed by the amount of work that goes into restoring the carriages based on the railway to working order, as their were a few example of carriages on display in that were in a real sorry state, and really opens your eyes to how much time, money and effort is required to rebuild these carriages into the state in which we can enjoy them now.

    So all in all then, a I had a brilliant day, and most certainly intend to visit again. The only downside to the day was purely down to the weather being atrocious to start off with, but even that improved steadily over the day, and didn't put an dampening in my enjoyment of the visit at all.

    Highly recommend the Isle of Wight Steam railway (and indeed the island as a whole) any day. Fantastic place.

    Yes I saw your message on here about that Andy, thanks for the heads up, was great to see a Terrier up close and personal.

    283357344_2752275534905144_2916900973565502670_n.jpg
     

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  13. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    This Saturday I saw the IOWSR in a way I had never before, from Ryde Tram No2 which was making one of its relatively early public passenger trips. Being a Railcar fan myself it is of course my new favourite item of operational IOW stock!

    I would highly recommend it to anyone fortunate enough to be around when it is running, it really is the observation car that the railway has never had! The drivers eye view is excellent from both the front and back, and gives a far superior view from the traditional steam hauled compartment stock, not surprising given the vehicle is nearly all glass.

    The vehicle was surprisingly well riding considering it is a 4-wheeler and has small diameter wheels. The restoration quality, inside and out, is excellent and what we have all come to expect from the railway.

    Probably the least attractive element is the wooden slatted seats which after two trips are a little hard - but this is no criticism of the restoration of course given the seating is an exact replica of the original!

    Whilst it is obvious that the tram is not going to be replacing the excellent and familiar steam offering, nevertheless the railway now have a fantastic extra offering to run on select days that were previously 1 train service. It was clearly somewhat of a delightful novelty to the dozen other passengers who rode with us, shuttling to Ashley and getting off for 5 minutes for a photo and getting back on. It had the cosy feel of an almost private charter, which is the kind of experience in short supply at the moment given the necessary squeezing margins of heritage railways.

    I really hope it proves to be a success for the railway, in its own small way, as I for one got some good added value to an otherwise "standard" visit on a June Saturday. IMG_20220625_152231454.jpg IMG_20220625_150243832.jpg

    Sent from my moto g(8) power using Tapatalk
     
  14. Britfoamer

    Britfoamer Well-Known Member

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    Autumn Gala was over the 17/18 September weekend, got rail rovers for the event and grabbed the shots. Interesting to see theA1X Terrier in push-pull mode going as far as Ashey and doing run pasts before returning. Great time, wonderfully friendly bunch here. P1150212.JPG P1150215.JPG P1150216.JPG P1150218.JPG P1150237.JPG P1150240.JPG P1150245.JPG P1150246.JPG P1150254.JPG
     
  15. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    After our booked caravan stank of drains and the replacement was filthy with no gas safety certificate, our second accommodation disaster on The Island this year we headed back for home on Tuesday 25th October via the IOWSR, having spent a night on the Island instead of the planned four. If this is what the Islands holiday industry is becoming,, something that should worry both the IoWSR & more importantly anyone responsible for the Islands economy.

    There were two booking clerks on duty issuing tickets at a fair rate but it might have been better to have a single queue rather than two.

    Middle son & I were very pleased to see that he next train would be Calbourne and the 4 wheelers and it was good to be given a pre booked compartment, in this case the brake on the Ventnor West Push Pull set.

    The set was clean both inside and out and well maintained.

    After our round trip we headed for lunch, the range of food on offer was good and my wife was impressed with the operation.

    Then we went round Train Story, and were amused to go through the 38 stock I had travelled on a few years ago with middle son.

    What was good was the notices that said that exhibits were not climbing frames, BUT that there was one outside and where it was.

    So, a very good visit, more importantly one that my wife - no fan of trains enjoyed and considered good value.

    What was also very clear is that the IOWSR is about as close as you can get in the UK to a museum railway with its rolling stock - not loco's though being all from The Island and because of its rural location self contained unlike most lines which start or finish in towns with a variety of attractions to attract you away for food etc
     
  16. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    The Isle of wight, and IOWSR are probably my favourite destinations, mostly because it's an adventure in itself getting there, how many day outs less than 100 miles from london involve a passage over the sea? Whilst the bus may run every 20 mins between Ryde and Wotton, your restricted if you have a buggy, or wheelchair user in your party, as the buses can only carry a very small number of buggies, or wheelchairs, the interchange with Island line, needs to be better, a 45 min wait, for your connection needs to be improved, The IOWSR, it's self can't be criticised, Running to Ryde, Why? it's not needed as long as Island line improves the connection time. between the two lines. The only case for steam running beyond Smallbrook would be if Island line were closed, and that's hardly going to happen now.
     
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  17. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Sadly, this may well be true. ''Heritage railway'' can be little more than wishful thinking.
     
  18. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The Isle of Man don't do so bad. Even when they do try and stick a new diesel up front, it's not guaranteed to stay there! ;)
     
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  19. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    To my mind, the major weakness of the IoWSR is that it lacks any real "destination" at the Wootton end. It also makes the line less accessible if travelling from the west. When I used to live in Southampton I once tried getting the ferry to Cowes, then a bus to Wootton. But I got off at the wrong stop and then got hopelessly lost - I ended up walking all the way to Havenstreet!

    Whilst I know an extension towards Newport would be MUCH more difficult and expensive than going to Ryde it would also be more worthwhile, IMHO.

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  20. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Leaving aside the geology lurking just beyond the buffer stops at Wootton, which is "on the challenging side of interesting", problem is the old RNR line passes a bit too far south of Osborne House to be attractive to foot passengers. Any advance towards Newport would have to land the line a ways short of the site of the (long demolished) lifting bridge which brought the line to the former (and subsequently redeveloped) station site. Smallbrook - Ryde, as was mentioned earlier, is already covered by Island Line services.
     
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