A very special model locomotive arrived at Havenstreet on Monday in readiness to take centre stage in the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s forthcoming new Train Story Discovery Centre which is due to open on 6th April.
Based on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s flagship locomotive W24 Calbourne, the model is part of a fascinating new interpretive display within the discovery centre, which will bring the locomotives and carriages to life, uncovering their impact on all our lives and showing what happened to them when no longer needed on the railways.
Train Story, which has been part-funded by a £1m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will now house many of the Steam Railway’s historic locomotives, carriages and wagons. The interpretive displays, including the model locomotive, have been designed by Richard Fowler Associates from Halifax and built by The Workhaus from York.
Chris Tagart, Interpretation Commissioner from the Steam Railway said:
“The idea for Train Story goes back many years, and now, thanks to the very generous Lottery funding, it’s nearing completion. We’re particularly pleased to have been able to bring in some of the best interpretive skills from within the UK to develop Train Story, and also to work with a number of local Island businesses, such as The Sign Company in Newport, to produce various elements of the displays”.
With a floor area extending to a massive 27,000 sq ft, Train Story is located adjacent to Havenstreet Station on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Due to open at the beginning of the Easter break on 6th April, it will then open every day and is expected to attract 100,000 visitors each year.
Peter Vail, the Railway’s General Manager said:
“The development of Train Story opens-up a whole new added experience for our visitors.
“In Train Story we will have a first class undercover attraction to thrill the many families that visit our Steam Railway.”
Photo: Di Hollander/IWSR