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Brading

Brading station was opened by the Isle of Wight Railway on 23rd August 1864 when the line from Ryde St John's to Shanklin was opened and, at one time, could boast three platforms and a bay for unloading goods traffic. The station's importance had grown significantly with the opening of the short branch to Bembridge in 1882. Originally on a section of single-track line, the passing loop was extended south to Sandown by the Southern Railway in 1927. The closure of the Bembridge line in 1953 signalled the beginning of the station's decline and following the introduction of ticket machines for Guards in 1969 the station buildings became unused. Threatened with demolition in the late 1980s, the station buildings managed to survive through the efforts of the Brading Town Council and the Brading Town Trust. The signalbox was closed from 28th October 1988 and the passing loop lifted, leaving just one platform in use and ending the line's 30-minute interval service. The Trust took on responsibility for the buildings and the Council applied for listed buildings status, something that was achieved in 1989. The Council subsequently carried out a lot of renovation work during 2005, restoring the platform building, which today hosts a railway heritage exhibition and visitor centre, to its original condition.

 

Brading

The front of the station buildings in 1953.

photograph by Ron Hersey

 

Brading

The front of the renovated station buildings, seen here many years later on 22nd September 2010.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

 

Brading

Posters outside the station celebrating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, advertising cheap day tickts to Portsmouth and a revised timetable for the Bembridge branch from 2nd February 1953. The branch was to close later that year, on 21st September.

photograph by Ron Hersey

 

Brading

O2 Class Nº24 Calbourne arriving at Brading with a train for Ventnor. Note the station nameboard still showing the wartime white painted stripes to increase safety during the blackout.

photograph by Ron Hersey

 

Brading

Now O2 Class Nº14 Fishbourne is arriving at Brading with a train from the Bembridge branch. The engine isn't displaying a headcode disc, which should have been above the lefthand buffer, looking forward.

photograph by Ron Hersey

 

Brading

Looking north towards Ryde there is little sign of activity in this typical view of a 1950s station, just two passengers on the island platform, coaches for the Bembridge line wait in the bay platform whilst a Ryde train is signalled on the other side.

photograph by Ron Hersey

 

Brading

Now reduced to just a single line, showing the platform side of the main building and the renovated island platform building. No, that isn't a second line through the station, the rail is presumably there to contain the ballast.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Brading

Looking the other way through the station. The main platform on the right is used by Island Line electric trains. The far side of the island platform was used by trains on the short branch to St Helens and Bembridge.

A locked gate prevents access to the footbridge from the up platform, which is the only one in use.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Brading

The signalbox in early BR days, with O2 Class Nº14 Fishbourne arriving in the bay platform. The track immediately in front of the signalbox is the run-round loop for the branch engine, which also had a short siding off it immediately to the right of the 'box.

photograph by Ron Hersey

Brading

The restored signalbox, looking as if it is asleep, just awaiting the arrival of the Bobby to bring it back to life! It seems a long way back from the platform which is because the bay for the Bembridge branch, plus run-round road for the branch train's engine, were once here.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

This page was last updated 20 June 2021

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