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1930s Coal Train Project

PRESS RELEASE
3 MARCH 2017
1930’s COAL TRAIN PROJECT

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway has completed the restoration of 4 vintage wagons and on Sunday 9 April 2017 will recreate a typical Island coal train of the 1930’s. 
Coal was always the most significant freight product carried on the Island Railways.  Indeed, towards the end of steam, it was virtually the only freight product.  After the railway grouping in 1923, to cope with this demand the Southern Railway transferred several hundred ex LBSCR open wagons to the Island.  

The Steam Railway acquired several and managed to restore two of them.  Unfortunately other examples gradually decayed and almost disappeared into the undergrowth.
In 2012 the Railway acquired a rare surviving Stroudley E1 locomotive of a type that was used on the Island between 1932 and 1960, primarily for hauling coal trains. This was the prompt to restore two further wagons and work commenced to raise a sum approaching £30,000.

Successful grant applications were made to the Arts Council Prism fund the Peall Railway Trust.  Supplemented by many private donations, work on the two wagons started in mid-2015.

Peter Vail. General Manager of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway said “So much of our effort goes into the important restoration of vintage locomotives and carriages that generate passenger carrying revenue. However, as a Registered Educational Charity our objective is to save and restore all aspects of railways on the Island. We are particularly proud of the craftsmanship that has returned these wagons to pristine condition. Perhaps the only disappointing element is the fact that it will be some years before it can be hauled by the E1 locomotive.”

The first run of the coal train hauled by a genuine Island steam locomotive is planned for Sunday 9th April and key people who assisted this valuable project will be at Havenstreet to witness the long awaited inaugural run. 

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