The Isle of Wight Steam Railway has one of the most magnificent collections of historic railway vehicles to be seen on any heritage railway today. Passengers on the railway are guaranteed to be travelling in a carriage at least ninety years old, the most modern carriage in regular service having been built in 1924 and the oldest in 1864!
Three bogie carriages of London, Brighton and South Coast Railway and three of South Eastern and Chatham Railway origin were acquired by the Wight Locomotive Society, along with a variety of wagons, at the end of British Railways steam services on the Isle of Wight in 1966. Initial restoration took place at Newport Station, following the move to Havenstreet and the establishment of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway in 1971, a restoration and maintenance programme commenced which continues to the present day. Three of the original coaches are at present in regular service on the Steam Railway.
In the early 1970's a plan was formulated to acquire grounded carriage bodies which had been either built for or purchased second-hand by the old Island railway companies or had been imported to the Island by the Southern Railway, for eventual return to passenger service. Various underframes for use under these historic carriages have been acquired and, to date, seven vehicles have been fully restored and can be seen in service on the Steam Railway.
Initially restoration was carried out in the shared Loco works, but since 2004 all of the restoration and maintenance work on our historic carriages and wagons has taken place in our own purpose-built Carriage and Wagon workshop at Havenstreet. The workshop was built with the aid of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and was opened by Her Majesty the Queen in June 2004. Three full time members of staff are employed on carriage and wagon maintenance duties, assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers who carry out all of the restoration work on all carriages and wagons. The team can be found at work on weekdays, most Tuesday and Thursday evenings and weekends . Our workforce varies from the highly skilled ex railway fitter to those with no particular skill but who just enjoy being part of a small and friendly team. For information on how to join us please visit our Volunteer Information page
For up todate news of the progress of carriage and wagon restoration on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway visit the latest Carriage & Wagon Update page
. Photographic updates can be seen on Gary Walker’s (C&W Supervisor) Flickr site
For more details of our historic carriage and wagon stock visit the following pages: