Get steaming down to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway from 27-29 May 2017 for the May Spring Gala. With an intensive passenger and goods train service, it gives a rare opportunity to see much of the rolling stock in operation.
As well as the nostalgia of watching all the passenger and goods trains, the May Spring Steam Gala gives visitors the opportunity to take a brake van ride round the sidings. You can also explore the Train Story Discovery Centre and learn more about the Victorian and Edwardian railway vehicles that made such a lasting impression on our lives!
There will also be a special exhibition from 27-29 May celebrating the Age of Steam on the Isle of Wight by Island Artist Ivan Berryman. It will showcase his unique collection of work portraying the Island's golden age of steam and is being held in support of the Railway's Ivatt Locomotive 41313 Appeal.
The Gala is expected to feature different combinations of locomotives and mixed livery trains, with special timetables in operation all weekend. The historic Island locos Calbourne and Newport and the newly restored Ivatt 2MT Class Locomotive 41298 will be in steam.
A Real Ale Bar will be open each day offering a range of Island ales, plus the Railway’s Refreshment Rooms (hot and cold food), shop, small exhibits museum, children’s play area, and the woodland walk will also be open for those fancying a stroll.
The Isle of Wight once boasted some 55 miles of steam-hauled railways lines, connecting all of the major towns and villages across the Island, but they were progressively closed from 1952 onwards until, by 1966, just two lines remained.
Of these the former Ryde-Newport-Cowes line (a section of which is now restored and still in use as The IW Steam Railway) was closed in February 1966 and in April that year the Shanklin to Ventnor line closed leaving just the Ryde to Shanklin section.
Steam traction on this line ceased on 31st December 1966 before it reopened as an electric line using former London Underground stock, in March 1967.
Find out more about the Isle of Wight Steam Railway
Getting to the May Spring Gala is easy from Southampton.
By car - catch the hourly car ferry to East Cowes and then head south on Dover Road. Follow the A3021, Park Road, Briddlesford Road, and then turn left into Combley Road. The journey will take about 13 minutes.
On foot - catch the Red Jet to West Cowes. From here, Southern Vectis operate frequent buses (service 1) to Newport where you can change at the bus station for service 9, alighting at Wootton station. From here you catch a train to Havenstreet station. Taxis are also available outside the West Cowes Red Jet terminal. For car hire, we recommend Enterprise - they will pick you-up from the Red Jet if you tell them your arrival time.
Address: Isle of Wight Steam Railway, The Railway Station, Havenstreet, Isle of Wight, PO33 4DS