IoW steam railway

Water tower
Originally uploaded by fred pipes
The visit to the Isle of Wight steam railway was the climax of a very pleasant cycling holiday with the Clarion. We'd cycled 28 miles from Ryde to Totland youth hostel, a lot of the time on disused railway tracks - the one along the Yar valley being spectacular and teaming with wild life. And another undulating 18 miles to Wootton, where after lunch six of us headed to the station to put our bikes on the 2.31 train to Smallbrook Junction. Aren't guard's vans a good idea? We paid £5 for a single. The train was pulled by Hawthorn Leslie 'Invincible', an 0-4-0 industrial saddle tank. At the main station of Havenstreet, we had 15 minutes to dash round the museum, shop and shed. We saw Barclay 0-6-0T 'Ajax', Hunslet 0-6-0ST Austerity No. 92 'Waggoner' and British Rail Class 05 0-6-0DM No D2554 plus a few others in bits. No Terriers. The official website is here. Then it was on to Smallbrook Junction, which is no station at all - just an interchange to the Island Line, which uses old London tube train rolling stock - from which we got the tube to Ryde Pier head and the Fast Cat ferry. As we crossed the Solent, the sea mist closed in - we missed our train home and had to wait an hour for the next one. Smallbrook Junction has no way out and a woman volunteer, who was very impressed by Jim's ex-BR hi-viz jacket and whistle, was in charge of both platforms.

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