Isle of Wight 29th June – 2nd July 2012
During our stay on the Isle of Wight the only sets in use on the Island Line Railway were 007 (127/227) and 009 (129/229). Sets 004, 008 and two unidentified sets were seen on the shed at Ryde St Johns Road.
A day rover on the Island Line Railway costs £5.50 and is good value considering the return fare from Shanklin to Ryde is a little over £4. Those wishing to do the Isle of Wight Steam Railway as well can purchase an Island Liner Day Rover which allows unlimited travel on both the Island Line & Steam Railway for £14, which is equally as good when a day rover on the Steam Railway is £12 in its own right (on event days at least – it was a 1940’s weekend when we were there).
The Island Line Railway is very photogenic, especially at Ryde, where the little pink trains bobble along the pier between Esplanade & Pier Head stations with the footpath following alongside. For the sunshine photographers the sun is best from the footpath in the afternoon.
There are two crossing points on the line at Sandown & Ryde St Johns Road. Unless you’re in first you won’t make the opposite train, unless the conductor is still in the opposite end of his set chinging people up as you arrive……
Stepping inside the trains themselves is like going back in time, for those that can remember the older London Underground stock anyway. The sets appear to be very well maintained inside and seem just as well respected by the Island Line’s users too, with no vandalism, graffiti or internal damage evident on either of the sets we had.
Even for non-cranks a ride on the Island Line Railway is a must during a visit to the Isle of Wight, just for the sheer hell of the experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my trips on it.