History of the Islands Railways

This is not quite the end of the story: The steam railway continues to develop, adding new facilities and restoring further locomotives and carriages. Our Strategic Vision explains our future aspirations.

Today – The Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Today – The Isle of Wight Steam Railway 150 150 Isle of Wight Steam Railway

This is not quite the end of the story: The steam railway continues to develop, adding new facilities and restoring further locomotives and carriages. Our Strategic Vision explains our future…

read more

2014: Train Story

2014: Train Story 150 150 Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, our Train Story Discovery Centre opened in 2014, adding greatly to the facilities at Havenstreet station. As well as telling the story…

read more

1991 Smallbrook Junction Extension

1991 Smallbrook Junction Extension 150 150 Isle of Wight Steam Railway

With considerable help from Network SouthEast (then operators of the Ryde-Shanklin railway) and numerous other organisations and local authorities, the Steam Railway was able to rebuild over 3 miles of…

read more

1986 Wootton Station reopens

1986 Wootton Station reopens 150 150 Isle of Wight Steam Railway

The original station at Wootton, which closed in 1953, was situated in a cutting on the opposite side of the road. Volunteers attempted to re-build this but were thwarted by…

read more

1971 Isle of Wight Steam Railway

1971 Isle of Wight Steam Railway 550 400 Isle of Wight Steam Railway

After four years of storage at the closed Newport Station, the I.W.Steam Railway was founded on 24th January 1971. Preserved stock was hauled by rail with our own locomotive driven…

read more

1966 Steam Era Ends

1966 Steam Era Ends 150 150 Isle of Wight Steam Railway

December 31st 1966 saw the end of 104 years continuous operation of the Island’s railways by steam locomotive. Only the railway from Ryde Pier Head to Shanklin was left operational.…

read more

1966 Closure of lines to Ventnor and Cowes

1966 Closure of lines to Ventnor and Cowes 150 150 Isle of Wight Steam Railway

The Beeching Report proposed the closure of all the remaining lines on the island. Despite a spirited campaign, the line from Ryde to Cowes closed in February 1966, followed in…

read more

1952 to 1955 Branch line closures

1952 to 1955 Branch line closures 150 150 Isle of Wight Steam Railway

British Railways wasted no time in closing the loss-making lines to Ventnor West (1952), Bembridge (1953), Freshwater (1953) and between Newport and Sandown (1955). The lines from Ryde to Cowes…

read more

1948 Nationalisation

1948 Nationalisation 150 150 Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Following the Second World War in 1945, the railways generally were in a run down state. Heavy war traffic, lack of investment and manpower all taking their toll. As part…

read more

1923 Southern Railway

1923 Southern Railway 150 150 Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Britain’s numerous independent railways were grouped into four main companies on 1st January 1923. This was a Government measure in the early post First World War period to make the…

read more