The Isle of Wight Steam Railway passes through five miles of unspoiled Island countryside between Wootton, Havenstreet, Ashey and Smallbrook, recapturing the days of the branch line railway. Brought to life again are those perky tank engines and quaint, wooden-bodied carriages which were once such a familiar sight when, up until the 1950’s, the Island boasted some 55 miles of railway lines connecting the Island’s towns and villages … But it’s not just the trains that are preserved, for here too is all the associated infrastructure, from traditional operating practices and equipment through to old railway buildings recovered from long-closed lines.
For more than a century the Island’s railways operated with near life expired locomotives and carriages sent over from mainland railways. As a result the Island became a repository for a magnificent collection of 19th and 20th century steam locomotives and carriages. After extensive and skilful restoration, a number of these vehicles are again back in service with the IW Steam Railway.
Operated by a dedicated team of volunteers backed by a full-time workforce of twenty, the Railway has received several prestigious awards including ‘Independent Railway of the Year’ on no less than three occasions, despite fierce competition from a hundred or so other preserved railways throughout the country. Film and television crews have used the line extensively for programmes ranging from period dramas to documentaries.
Your visit to The Award-Winning Isle of Wight Steam Railway will engage, inspire and excite you … The sight of powerful majestic steam engines, the charm of quiet rural stations, and the friendliness of traditionally uniformed staff, will leave you with some enduring memories of a special day out.
For the family and casual visitor, we offer a unique and exciting day out, as you step back to a bygone era when steam power was the order of the day. We are one of Britain’s Heritage Railways and a registered educational charity, but we’re also much more besides.