The railway runs five miles from Smallbrook Junction through Ashey and Havenstreet to Wootton. We will start our tour of the line at Smallbrook Junction and take you to Wootton; stopping at all stations along the way – your train ticket is valid for unlimited travel on the day of ticket issue, so please ride as much as you wish! You can stay on the train for the complete trip or break your journey at the station of your choice by clicking on the station name on the map above.
Passengers visiting the railway by ‘Island Line’ electric train arrive at Smallbrook Junction Station, the point at which the lines from Ryde to Ventnor and Ryde to Newport diverged. The two platforms of this station, which may be reached only by rail, are situated on the site of the original junction and the concrete foundations of the former signal box can be seen in the undergrowth between the two platforms. The station itself is only a recent addition to the Island’s railway map. It was built by the former Network South East in 1990-91 and provides an interchange for passengers between the Island’s two railway systems. The station’s platforms vary in height, the Island Line’s being noticeably lower – this is necessary to cater for the ex-London Underground 1938 Tube Stock units that form their trains.
On the Isle of Wight Steam Railway side of the station there is a run round loop, having spring operated points at the Ryde end and a two lever ground frame, locked by the Single Line Token, at the Newport end. The ground frame is sheltered by a timber building, parts of which originally formed Whitwell Signal Box on the Ventnor West route, closed in 1952.
The station building was completed in July 2012 and is built in the traditional Southern Railway style with ticket office, waiting room and an eco friendly composting toilet.
As the train waits for departure time the leisurely panting of the Westinghouse Air Brake Pump on the locomotive can be clearly heard, providing compressed air to operate the brakes on the locomotive and coaches. The railways of the Isle of Wight remained loyal to the air brake system until the end of steam, while the majority of mainland railways adopted the vacuum brake system.