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No Trains Today

Sunday 22 March


At a number of locations around the Isle of Wight the grounded bodies of historic railway carriages can still be seen. Some sit in fields serving as farm outbuildings, others have been incorporated into bungalows and holiday homes. When they were no longer required for railway service these carriages were removed from their underframes and sold on to new owners to begin their new lives. In the early 1970's the Isle of Wight Steam Railway formulated a plan to acquire grounded bodies of carriages which had been either built for or purchased second-hand by the old Island railway companies or had been imported to the Island by the Southern Railway, for eventual return to passenger service. As they became available suitable examples have been purchased, or in a number of cases donated by their owners, and moved to Havenstreet to await restoration. Various underframes for use under these carriages have been acquired and, to date, six of these historic Victorian carriages have been fully restored and can be seen in regular service on the Steam Railway. When headed by one our two 'Terrier' class locomotives or O2 Class W24 'Calbourne' the Isle of Wight Steam Railway is able to present a unique recreation of Victorian rail travel.
An example of the challenge that faces our carriage restoration team.  This is part of the grounded body of LCDR 7-Compartment Third 2418.  The body was cut in half when it was sold out of service; the railway now owns both halves and they will eventually be reunited on a new underframe.

3-compartment Composite IWR No.10 Built 1864

One of 24 carriages built by the Oldbury Carriage and Wagon Company Ltd in readiness for the opening of the Isle of Wight Railway from Ryde to Shanklin. It has a large central First Class compartment flanked by two Second Class compartments. The roof profile was almost flat and lighting was by oil lamp. The carriage survived to be fitted with electric lights and was withdrawn in 1923. A new life as a garden chalet at Bembrige followed. It was donated to the Wight Locomotive Society and was moved to Havenstreet in 1983.

3-compartment First IWR No.21 Built 1864

Also one of the original carriages from the 1864 opening and with the same distinctive features. It has three equal size compartments which had bench seats against each partition. It became a workshop next to a bungalow at Cranmore and is thought to have arrived soon after the house was built in 1913. After donation to the Wight Locomotive Society it traveled to Havenstreet in September 1980.

Unidentified 4-compartment Second IWR Built 1864

Although not positively identified this carriage is believed to be one of the eight of this type ordered for the opening of the Isle of Wight Railway in 1864, built by the Oldbury Carriage and Wagon Company. After withdrawal from service it was grounded as a chalet at Thorness Bay around the start of the First World War and, over the years, had to be moved back from the cliff edge because of erosion. It arrived at Havenstreet in 1991.

4-compartment Composite IWR No.35 Built 1875

It has proved impossible so far to positively identify this vehicle. Although bearing all the hallmarks of an Oldbury-built vehicle it is unlike anything delivered new to the Isle of Wight Railway. For many years after its discovery at St Helens no clue as to its origin was known until it was identified in the background of a photograph taken at Bembrige. It is known that carriage No.35 was altered from a Second to a Composite at Ryde in 1883 for service on the Brading Harbour Railway and it is surmised that this body is of that vehicle. This carriage was generously donated to the Steam Railway in 1993.

3-compartment Composite IWR No.38 Built 1882

This is one of a pair of Composite First/Third carriages ordered from the Oldbury Carriage and Wagon Company, along with four Seconds and cost £352. It received Southern Railway livery and was renumbered 6335 in October 1924, remaining in service until March 1927. The body was discovered built into a bungalow on Hayling Island and in 1975 was moved to Havenstreet to await restoration.

4-compartment Second IWR No.39 Built 1882

This carriage was one of four Seconds delivered in 1882 along with two Composites which had a higher roof profile than the earlier Isle of Wight Railway stock. It survived to come under the ownership of the Southern Railway, receiving the number 2421 in 1924. Final withdrawal followed in 1927 when it migrated to Hayling Island, becoming part of a bungalow. After donation to the Steam Railway it was initially moved to a site at the Portsmouth Polytechnic and then in March 1978 it arrived back on the Isle of Wight.

7-compartment Third LCDR No.2418 Built 1895

This short bogie carriage was one of a batch of five built by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway at Long hedge, three of which came to the Isle of Wight. When originally built 2418 was fitted with Westinghouse air brakes which were subsequently replaced by those of the vacuum system. In 1933 air brakes were refitted for service on the Island. The coach was stored for most of the war years, finally being withdrawn from service in 1948. When scrapped the body was cut in two, both halves being grounded at Dodnor Farm, Newport. Both sections are now at Havenstreet, awaiting their turn for restoration.

5-compartment Brake Third LCDR No.4115 Built 1898

In 1898 Brown, Marshall of Birmingham built six Brake Thirds for the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, five of which were destined for service on the Isle of Wight. The coach was transferred to the Island in 1933. During its Island service its wood paneled exterior was covered over with steel sheet although the lined olive livery was applied to simulate the old style. After withdrawal from service in 1948 it was moved to Ash Hill Farm at Atherfield where it was used as a farm store and animal shelter. 4115 was the first carriage body to be rescued by the Wight Locomotive Society, being moved to Havenstreet in 1975.

Unidentified 8-compartment Third LCDR various

When withdrawn in 1948 and 1949 the bodies of many of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway bogie carriages were offered for sale. Besides the two Brake Thirds, one of which is already at Havenstreet (see 4115), all other known remaining bodies have been of "halves" of Thirds. The two portions of 2418 have been saved and additionally several parts of other bodies obtained. Most have not been in good enough condition to warrant retaining intact and have been dismantled to provide a source of spare parts., although two unidentified portions, consisting of two and three compartments, are retained as potential restoration project.

5-compartment Brake Third LCDR No.4116 Built 1898

Built by Brown Marshall of Birmingham, one of six ordered, and delivered to the LCDR on 28th February 1898 as No 1189. In October 1906 it was renumbered SECR 3415, at which time it lost the Westinghouse brake fitted from new. The Southern Railway renumbered it 3251 at Ashford on 11th November 1924, and again to 4116 on 16th May 1933 at Eastleigh after it had been selected for further service on the Isle of Wight, at which time the vacuum brakes were removed and Westinghouse refitted.

It was transferred to the Island on 23rd June 1933 as part of 4-Set No 496. During its time on the Island the wooden panelling was completed replaced with galvanised steel sheet, painted to simulate panels. Withdrawn on 8th May 1948, the body was bought by Mr Chiverton and delivered to Fairfields Farm in the summer of 1948 and transferred to Havenstreet in November 2001. 4116 is a sister vehicle to 4115, already in the railway's ownership. These are the only two complete examples of LCDR bogie coaches known, others on the Island having been cut in half when sold off after withdrawal, and therefore of historical significance.

4-compartment Brake Third LCDR 4134

Built at Longhedge Works during the third quarter of 1898 as a 6-wheel, 5-compartment Third and allocated number 232 in the Third Class series, it was renumbered 666 before entering service. The SECR renumbered it 3186 on 17 July 1906 and at some stage the Westinghouse brakes were replaced with Vacuum. In 1914 it was rebuilt as a 3-compartment Brake Third without renumbering, being further modified in 1920 by having the centre pair of wheels removed. Chosen for service on the Isle of Wight it was rebuilt again, this time to become a 4-compartment Brake Third and renumbered 4134 on 30 April 1927, also regaining Westinghouse brakes. It was shipped to the Island in early May 1927 as part of Set 507 but only lasted six years, being withdrawn on 19 August 1933. The carriage body was sold and then grounded at Cliff Farm, Gurnard, where it gained the name 'Serena'. 4134 was donated to the IWSR by its owner, Mr Downer, and moved to Havenstreet during November 2011.

4-compartment MSJ&AR composite, FYN No.6

Built c.1880 for the Manchester South Junction & Altrincham Railway, later Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway and then part of the Great Central Railway. 26' 9" long, 8' 0" wide, body height 7' 3". Built as a 4-compartment Second Class vehicle, it was one of seven purchased by the Freshwater Yarmouth & Newport Railway late in 1912 but not transferred to the Island until 25 June 1913. For the FYN it was retrimmed to provide two First class and two Third class compartments, the Thirds at each end. Livery remained GCR varnished teak with the company initials altered to FYN. It retained the vacuum brakes and could only work with locomotive FYN No.2 (the preserved "Terrier", No.8 Freshwater). On 30 April 1924 it became SR No.6359 and was withdrawn on 31 December 1930. The body was sold off and, with a sister vehicle, was grounded in 1931 at Wootton where it first became a chalet and later a yachtsman's store.

Ryde Pier Tram No.2

Car No.2 was built by Drewry and Company in 1927, one of two delivered to the Southern Railway as replacements for the electric motor cars used on Ryde Pier until that time. The car, powered by a petrol engine, was shipped to the Island in sections and re-erected at Ryde Works before being driven to Ryde Esplanade where it was jacked over the platforms onto the adjacent tramway pier. Car No.2 spent most of its life on the western track, although it was possible to transfer stock from one track to the other until the crossover was removed in the late 1940s. The original petrol engine was replaced by a diesel in 1959. In 1967/8 an inspection of the tramway pier and the two cars resulted in the system being condemned, the tramway finally closing on 26th January 1969. Purchased by the Island Vintage Transport Group, it remained on the pier for some months until it was removed by road to Newport Station, where the Wight Locomotive Society and it's rolling stock was then based.  In preparation for the move the bodywork was removed, unfortunately it was found to be in such poor condition that most of it had to be scrapped. The powered chassis of Car No.2 was used to move water tanks and other stores from Newport to Havenstreet Station when the Wight Locomotive Society moved to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway's present base on 21st January 1971. Car No.2's underframe, stored off-track, and the remains of the bodywork and internal fittings, are now the focus of a restoration scheme under the banner of 'The Ryde Pier Tram Project.


During the 1980s, as vehicles with underframes suitable for use in our project to return historic carriages to use became available, they were purchased from British Railway and moved to the Island. The following bodies have been grounded at Havenstreet and their underframes re-used:

 ADS70014  Tool van   LSWR 1924 - Built 1924
Accommodation Underframe

S210 Van B    SR   Built  1939
Wood store

4589 Scenery van SR Built  1938
Donor underframe

4600 Scenery van BR Built 1949
Donor underframe

4605  Scenery van BR Built 1949
Underframe for 2403

1048   PMV   SR   Built 1943
Underframe for 4112

S1533   PMV   SR   Built 1947
Underframe for 6369

S1617   PMV   BR   Built 1950
Underframe for 2343

S1497   PMV   BR   Built 1950
Underframe for 2515

S1750   CCT   SR   Built 1938
Underframe for 6336

S1783   PMV   SR   Built 1942
Underframe for 6378

S1669  PMV   BR    Built 1950

Underframe for 4115

Click HERE to return to the Stock List or HERE to see details of our Wagons and Departmental Stock





Give Mum a relaxing treat for Mother's Day!

22 March 2020


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