The Isle of Wight Steam Railway grew from the early commitment and enthusiasm of a small group of individuals determined to save a few relics from the Island’s once extensive network of 55 miles of railway lines and stations.
Following the end of steam in December 1966, all the old steam engines, carriages and wagons were broken up, except for the few precious items saved for preservation by the Wight Locomotive Society, the forerunner of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. After four years of storage at the closed Newport Station, the Isle of Wight Steam Railway was founded on Sunday 24th January 1971 when the one saved steam locomotive hauled an assortment of rolling stock and equipment to the then semi-derelict station at Havenstreet to begin their new life.
Read about the history of ‘the Move’
Terry Hastings and Richard Newman describe the early history of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, and their memories of 24th January 1971: see HERE.
You can also see a fantastic 6 minute film, using footage shot on the day, on the Quay Arts website HERE
Memories from 1971
Watch videos of volunteers Iain Whitlam and John Woodhams telling their stories of their role in ‘the Move’
Calbourne’s Return to Steam
Our flagship locomotive, number 24 Calbourne played a central role on 24th January 1971, moving our carriages and wagons from Havenstreet. As the sole surviving Class O2 locomotive, and the first to be preserved, she has iconic status at our railway. Discover more about Calbourne’s history HERE, and discover more about her recent overhaul and return to steam HERE.
Watch this video of Calbourne steaming around Havenstreet station on 24th January 2021, the 50th anniversary of ‘the Move’ from Newport
Off the Rails exhibition
Visit the virtual ‘Off the Rails’ exhibition at the Quay Arts Centre, featuring a collection of artifacts and videos from ‘the Move’ and artworks inspired by the Island’s railways: see HERE.