Historic Wagons

With modern road transport it can be difficult to realise that until the 1950’s the railways were the major form of transport of goods

On the Isle of Wight a fleet of several hundred wagons were required to carry the traffic on offer. The majority were used for carrying coal from Medina Wharf to local merchants at many of the stations but wagons for cattle, chalk, coke, containers, horses, oil, road vehicles, sand and gravel, sugar beet, timber and general merchandise have all been required on the Island over the years.

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway collection reflects this diversity and in addition to ex-Island stock acquired in the early days has been supplemented with suitable vehicles from the mainland, either as representative of a type or for specific engineering requirements. The historical details of a selection of our more interesting vehicles can be found on this page.

6-Wheel Crane

This 5 ton crane was amongst a quantity of stock purchased by the Isle of Wight Central Railway from the Midland Railway in 1912. The match wagon is believed to be of London and South Western Railway origin, its date of construction is unknown. Both vehicles were acquired for the VECTRAIL scheme, when this foundered ownership passed to the Wight Locomotive Society in 1971. That this old crane, still having grease axelboxes, survived into preservation is remarkable. It saw much use during the early days of the Steam Railway being particularly active during the construction of Wootton Station. It has now been honourably retired from active use and is on display in our Train Story Discovery Centre.

Wagons and Departmental Stock 1

Midland Railway Crane 429S

10 ton Road Van

This Brake Van is designated a ‘Road Van’ as it is fitted with a pair of large hinged doors each side to enable light goods and parcels traffic to be carried. It was built in 1898 by the South Western Railway, a total of fourteen were transferred to the Island between 1925 and 1938. 56046 remained in BR service until December 1966 when it was acquired by the Wight Locomotive Society. It was moved by road from Ryde St Johns to Newport in July 1967 to join the remainder of the preserved rolling stock then in store at the old station. 56046 has seen extensive use on the Steam Railway and during 1997 was completely rebuilt in the Railways workshop at Havenstreet.

Wagons and Departmental Stock 2

LSWR Road Van 56046

10 ton Goods Van

One type of goods vehicle which saw extensive service on the Isle of Wight and which was not saved for preservation in 1966 was the LBSCR 10 ton goods van. No Island examples remain and only two mainland ones are known to exist. This example was bought from the Kent & East Sussex Railway to fill a gap in our collection. It was restored in 2014 and is now a regular feature on our historic goods train.

Wagons and Departmental Stock 3

LBSCR 10 ton Van 46923

46924 – 10 ton Cattle Wagon

Six LB&SCR cattle wagons were transferred to the Island between 1927 and 1929. Three were rebuilt in 1935 as Covered Goods by planking over the open portions of the sides and used principally for Passengers Luggage in Advance. 46924 was condemned in 1948 and transferred to the S & T Dept as stores van 1066S. It remained in this role until 1966 when it was secured for preservation along with three other goods vehicles. After transfer to the mainland it was held in store with other National Collection items. 46924 has now returned to the Island restored to Southern Railway livery, having been gifted to us by the National Railway Museum.

Wagons and Departmental Stock 4

LBSC 10 ton Cattle Van 46924

15 ton Goods Brake Vans

The main type of standard Southern Railway ‘Pillbox’ goods brake van had a tare weight of 25 tons but a small batch of fifty were built in 1934 with a tare weight of only 15 tons for lightly laid branches. Two of these were transferred to the Island following electrification of the Ryde-Shanklin line, the intention being that one could be marshalled at each end of any Engineers train. It was found that in practice only one was necessary so in 1984 DS55710 was purchased for use on the Steam Railway. DS55724 has now also been acquired and arrived at Havenstreet during July 2000.

Wagons and Departmental Stock 5

SR 15 ton Goods Brake Van 557924

10 ton Single Bolster Wagons

These wagons were originally built by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway between 1907 and 1911. Twenty examples of this type of wagon were transferred to the Island between 1928 and 1930, nine being for the specific use of the Engineers Department at Newport. Their final official use was to transport new conductor rails from Medina Wharf to the Ryde-Shanklin line and timber for renewal work to Ryde Pier. 59050 was fully restored in the Railways workshop at Havenstreet during the summer of 2000 and 59034 during 2002.

Wagons and Departmental Stock 6

Restored LBSCR Bolster wagons in the ‘Train Story’ building, 59045 in the lead.

13 ton Dropside High

These wagons were built in 1949 by British Railways at Ashford Works to a Southern Railway design. All were transferred to the Island in the early seventies as replacements for the ageing fleet of London, Brighton and South Coast Railway dropside wagons. In their turn these wagons were also made redundant and found their way to Havenstreet. Two have been repainted into Southern Railway livery and a third, 483700, has undergone a full restoration sponsored by the Railways Coal Merchants, Hocknulls of Cowes whose livery it now carries.

Wagons and Departmental Stock 7

BR 13 ton Dropside High 483700 in Hocknulls of Cowes livery. Hocknulls is the railway’s coal merchant and sponsored the restoration.

10 Ton Open Goods

10 Ton Open Goods No. 27730 was built by the Southern Railway in 1928 to a London, Brighton and South Coast Railway design. A need to replace the motley collection of life expired open wagons inherited from the old Island railway companies led the Southern Railway to transfer a batch of nearly new LBSCR 10 Ton Opens across to the Isle of Wight in the early 1930s, Eventually 475 wagons of this type, including 27730, made the journey across the Solent. Following withdrawl from service 27730 found a home on the Bluebell Railway where it remained until being donated to the IWSR for restoration. The work to rebuild the wagon was completed in the railway’s Heritage Lottery Funded Carriage & Wagon Workshop in 2007.

Wagons and Departmental Stock 8

LBSCR 10 ton Open 27730 is the vehicle next to the Road Van in this string of restored wagons.

27834 was built in 1925 to the same LBSCR design as 27730 by the Southern Railway in 1925 and transferred to the Isle of Wight in May 1927. Purchased on behalf of the ‘Vectrail’ scheme when withdrawn in 1967, ownership passed to the Wight Locomotive society when that project failed. Restored as the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s Heritage Wagon Group’s first project, the wooden frame of 27834 has been completely renewed using the original components as a pattern. Restoration work was completed in December 2011.

Wagons and Departmental Stock 9

LBSCR 10 ton Open 27834

10 Ton Road Car Truck

This type of wagon, commonly known as a Car Truck, could be used to carry a variety of loads. A total of nineteen were transferred to the Isle of Wight between 1928 and 1930. In 1960 the nine survivors were transferred to the Engineering Department and lasted in service until the end of steam. 60579 was condemned in 1968, purchased by Wight Locomotive Society members and moved by road to the society’s then base at Newport Station. Following many years of off-track storage, restoration of 60579 was started by the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s Heritage Wagon group in late 2011.

Wagons and Departmental Stock 10

CW_Wagons_Car_truck_60579 LBSCR 10 ton Car Truck 60579

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