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MON 23 OCT

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Spring Gala - W11 back in service!

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s Spring Bank Holiday ‘Dinosaurs of Island Steam Gala’ saw the much anticipated return to passenger service of 1878-built A1x ‘Terrier’ class locomotive W11 ‘Newport’,  which had been out of service for overhaul since August 2002.

 As part of an extensive work programme W11 has been fitted with a brand new boiler, the second that the railway has commissioned; sister engine W8 ‘Freshwater’ was re-boilered back in 1998.  The purchase of the two new 'Terrier' boilers, along with the extensive boiler overhaul received by W24 'Calbourne' and completed in 2010 with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, are all evidence of the railway's long-term commitment to keeping the historic locomotive fleet operational as far into the future as is possible.

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W11 starts away from Smallbrook Junction with a train of Victorian 4-wheeled coaches.  W11 is currently in early Southern Railway livery and so without her 'Newport' nameplates, which were not carried until 1930.
The railway’s two ‘Terriers’ were in steam for all three days of the gala, along with flagship locomotive O2 Class W24 ‘Calbourne’.  The intensive Gala timetable had the ‘Terriers’  taking turns at hauling a train of Victorian 4-wheel carriages and the heritage goods train whilst ‘Calbourne’ looked after the 4-coach train of LBSCR bogie carriages.

The ‘Dinosaurs of Island Steam Gala’, with the three Island locomotives in steam and hauling combinations of the railway’s unique rolling stock collection was another classic example of what the Isle of Wight Steam Railway does best - recreating the Island’s railway history with the right locomotives, carriages and wagons all working in the right environment.

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At the head of the heritage goods train, W11 approaches Woodhouse Crossing in the Wootton Section.  All but one of the goods vehicles in this train are wooden framed and all have been totally rebuilt in the Havenstreet Carriage & Wagon workshop, some from little more than matchwood!
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'Terriers' W8 'Freshwater' (left) and W11 'Newport' stand ready for their next duties outside the Mechanical Engineering workshop at Havenstreet.
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The Isle of Wight Steam Railway's flagship locomotive, O2 Class W24 'Calbourne', lifts a train of LBSCR coaches up the bank on the Wootton side of Havenstreet.
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W8 'Freshwater' midway between Havenstreet and Wootton.
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W11 climbs away from Havenstreet Station with a Wootton train.
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At the head of a goods train, W8 'Freshwater' runs into Havenstreet Station.
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W11 approaches Long Arch, Ashey, with a Smallbrook to Havenstreet service.
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W24 pulls away from Havenstreet Station.
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Approaching Woodhouse Crossing, W11 is at the head of a Down goods train for Wootton.
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W24 'Calbourne' runs round at Smallbrook Junction. The Island Line tracks are behind the fence on the right and the spire of All Saints Church, Ryde, is visible on the horizon.
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W11 waits for her next duty by the coal stage, W24 gets ready to depart for Smallbrook and, in the background, W8 arrives with a train bound for Wootton.
The ‘Dinosaurs of Island Steam Gala’ is one of a series of special events being staged at Havenstreet this summer.  Still to come are such highlights as Midsummer Jazz, the 1940s Experience and the August Bank Holiday Summer Steam Show; full details of these and our other special events can be found HERE.

All photographs on this page were taken by John Faulkner, except for the final picture which is from Tony Barry.