FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Isle of Wight Steam Railway – 40th Anniversary Gala

Posted in Isle of Wight by folkestonejack on May 29, 2011

An outing to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway for their 40th Anniversary Gala provided an enjoyable way to spend the day and learn a bit more about the preserved line (which opened in 1971) and the past history of the railway lines on the island. I knew very little about the network so it was fascinating to read about the failed attempt to keep the line from Ryde to Cowes in operation, the early days of the steam railway and their future hopes to run into Ryde St John’s Road.

The railway itself is a lovely operation with beautiful stations (particularly the set up at Ashey), locomotives (with additional visitors for the gala) and carriages (which were quite wonderful in their own right). The sheer enthusiasm on display all around us was hard to resist. At the end of the day we made a point of leaving the stations behind and taking to the local footpaths with an OS map to hand, in order to get a different perspective, albeit with quite a blustery wind taking the upper hand by this point!

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