09 June 2019 · Branch visit to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway

A dozen or so Chichester members went abroad on Sunday 09 June. Well almost! We visited the Isle of Wight Steam Railway on a lovely warm sunny day. Perfect weather to take up outside deck seats on the Wightlink ferry, for the short crossing to Ryde. Waiting for us on the Pier Head was one of the two car 1938 built London Underground trains for the short hop to Smallbrook Junction. Here we boarded an immaculately turned out rake hauled by one of the two Ivatt Class 2s on the Island. Destination Wootton, before returning to the railways headquarters at Havenstreet for lunch.


After lunch we were treated to a behind the scenes look at the engine shed area, our guide providing us with an array of anecdotes and historical detail. Fabulous to be up close, as the second Ivatt came off shed, to couple up and haul a special freight. We had plenty of time to visit the other attractions, including the much admired ‘Railway Story’ building. Not to mention the well-stocked book and gift shop and adjacent museum. The latter includes the original loco Nameplate ‘Ryde’ loaned for display with acknowledgement to the RCTS. Most of the group then moved on to the Brading Station Heritage Exhibition and Visitor Centre, before returning to the mainland having enjoyed a wonderful day out on the stunningly beautiful Isle of Wight.