Heritage Railway


The early years of the new millennium saw members of the Royal Family travel on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway on two separate occasions.

The first occurred on August 20, 2001, when the Duke of Edinburgh drove W24 Calbourne from Havenstreet to Wootton and back again. The Queen travelled on May 19, 2002, from Wootton to Havenstreet behind W8 Freshwater in a first class compartment of LCDR carriage No. 6369, and formally opened the £700,000 carriage and wagon workshop, part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Has any other achieved this honour?

There was one example of an Isle of Wight locomotive missing on the railway – an E4. The Bluebell Railway’s LBSCR 0-6-2T Birch Grove visited in 2003 and again in Southern livery in 2011.

The year 2005 was yet another busy and notable one. The Army, always enthused by the Havenstreet locomotive department and crews, led to its Hunslet 0-6-0ST No. 192 Waggoner arriving on loan on February 26 that year.

Peter Vail started employment at Havenstreet on April 21, 2005, becoming general manager on January 1, 2006, before retiring in June 2019. The Calbourne Room opened, vastly extending the railway’s catering offer.

Barclay 0-6-0T No. W38 Ajax has only worked for one boiler ticket so far in preservation and this started in June 2005, in steam after a 37 year gap! Waggoner entered revenue earning service on May 27, 2006, and these locomotives considerably relieved the pressure on the veteran locomotive fleet.

John Suggett retired after 17 years as chairman at the end of 2007 and Steve Oates took over. Steve is now CEO at the Heritage Railway Association, the industry’s trade body.

Being on an island, the need for volunteer quarters was

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