2021-06-25 081 K3 86994-edit-2


A special event on Sunday 23rd January will mark the anniversary of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s move from Newport to Havenstreet, as well as the public launch of the newly rebuilt Ryde Pier Tram.

Back in January 1971, the preservation society were given just a few days’ notice to move their precious locomotive, carriages and wagons from Newport station. There were significant obstacles to overcome: the line to Havenstreet had laid disused and overgrown for 5 years and a section of badly distorted track had to be negotiated at Wootton.

On the day of the move, crowds of wellwishers lined the route with a lucky few being able to travel aboard the last trains from Newport station. The society’s sole locomotive, W24 Calbourne, hauled 4 trains, with the motorised chassis of the Ryde Pier Tram being used to move water and equipment.

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51 years later, supporters will be able to remember this significant day in the Railway’s history with a guided walk along the old trackbed and a special event at Havenstreet station. The society’s original locomotive and carriages will be in action.

24 Jan 1971 Newport Station
24 Jan 1971 Newport Station

The anniversary event will also see the public launch of the newly rebuilt Ryde Pier Tram.

Drewry Railcar No. 2 was built in 1927 for the Ryde Pier Tramway. With its accompanying trailer car, it spent its entire working life shuttling between Ryde Esplanade and the Pier Head. A curious feature was that there was only one driving position, with the tram reversed up the pier, guided only by a wing mirror – buffer stop collisions were not unknown.

The pier tramway ceased operation in January 1969 and No. 2 was purchased by the Island Vintage Transport Group and stripped down to the chassis to facilitate its removal from the pier. It then played a key role in the Steam Railway’s move to Havenstreet in 1971 and early passengers were able to ride on this very curious open-topped vehicle. However, with significant repairs needed, the tram was abandoned in a field for 40 years.

Interest re-surfaced in 2011 with the aim of re-creating this unique piece of Island rail heritage. Having been extensively rebuilt over the last decade, it is now resplendent in its original Southern Railway livery, and able to carry passengers along the Steam Railway’s 5-mile line. Meticulous research ensured that the completed vehicle is an accurate recreation of the original.

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Riding onboard is a unique experience for the 20 passengers who can each enjoy panoramic views up and down the line from the large windows at each end of the vehicle.

The rolling chassis of the replica trailer car has also been constructed, and the next phase of the project will see the body added so that the tram can operate as a 2-car set.

Find out more about the event by visiting https://iwsteamrailway.co.uk/event/the-last-train/.

1971 Havenstreet
1971 Havenstreet

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Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
7 days ago

They had a verticle pole beside the driver which rose up, driven by a linside ramp, which told the driver that he was nearing the buffer stops.


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