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Ventnor

Following an initial failure to build a railway in 1852 a further attempt was made almost a decade later and this time, during 1860, a Bill promoting The Isle of Wight Railway from Ryde to Ventnor was successful and an Act was passed authorising the building of the line. Shanklin was reached by 1864 but then an impasse occurred with obstinate landowners successfully objecting to the proposed route through Luccombe and Bonchurch. Eventually the decision was made to approach Ventnor from the north, through Wroxall, which required the construction of a tunnel some 1312 yards long under St. Boniface Down and, despite delays, the line was completed through to Ventnor in 1866. The IWR prospered during its early years (unlike the other railways built on the Island) and ruled supreme in Ventnor until the Isle of Wight Central Railway’s Merstone-Ventnor branch arrived on the west side of Ventnor in 1900.

The line from Shanklin to Ventnor closed in 1966 and despite re-opening proposals in recent years seems doomed to remain a distant memory!

 

Ventnor

One side of a running in board at Ventnor, 294 feet above sea level. It was a long walk down from the station to the front!

photograph by Ron Hersey

 

Ventnor

O2 Class W24 Calbourne bursts out of the tunnel under St. Boniface Down to arrive at Ventnor.

photograph: John Bradshaw collection

 

Ventnor

The main platform at Ventnor.

photograph by Richard Neal

 

Ventnor

A busy moment at Ventnor. An unidentified O2 Class is just departing with set 500 whilst Nº20 Shanklin is about to take water whilst running round having recently arrived with the train now standing in the platform,

photograph by Ron Hersey

 

Ventnor

The lack of any footbridge or subway led to novel ways for passenger access to and from the island platform. It was not often that there were two trains at Ventnor at the same time, but when this did happen it was usual (in later years) for the first train to arrive at the outer face of the island platform. The engine would then run round, ready for departure, before the second train arrived in the main platform. Whilst the main platform road was empty, a wooden gangway was placed across to the island platform thus enabling passengers to cross and when the main platform road was occupied, then passengers simply used a convenient coach door to enter the train from the island platform and leave it on the main platform.

Although this was the usual arrangement in the later years (during Monday to Friday afternoons) there was no reason why the first train couldn't arrive in the main platform and, indeed, this did happen.

In this photograph the gangway is just visible to the immediate right of the supporting pillar on the island platform.

photograph by Ray Soper

 

Ventnor

The wooden gangway "parked" beside a trolley on the platform awaiting its next being required.

photograph by Ron Hersey

 

Ventnor

Ventnor station looking quite busy with W29 Alverstone ready for departure on the same date.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

 

Ventnor

O2 Class NºO2 NºW24 takes water during the run-round, having arrived with Set Nº492, one of the seven (490 - 494, 497 & 500) 6-sets allocated to the Ryde to Ventnor service in 1960. They all had an ex SECR brake at the Ryde end with an ex LBSCR one at the Ventnor end, as seen in the photograph. The vehicle is possibly S4165.

In the early years there was a small turntable here but this was replaced by a turnout and headshunt.

photograph: John Bradshaw collection

 

Ventnor

And makes its way to Nº1 siding. No sign any more of the height above sea level.

photograph: John Bradshaw collection

 

Ventnor

On a later occasion, with the weeds growing longer, an O2 and train depart Ventnor after a similar operation.

photograph: John Bradshaw collection

 

Ventnor

O2 Class NºW22 Brading at Ventnor on the final day of services, 17th April 1966.

photograph by Ray Soper

 

Ventnor

As NºW20 Shanklin and train arrive at Ventnor a small band of photographers rushes to capture the event for the last time.

photograph by Ray Soper

 

Ventnor

Whilst NºW20 takes water on the run round, for the last time at Ventnor, a small crowd has gathered to witness the proceedings whilst a small boy stands in wonder.

photograph by Ray Soper

 

Ventnor

The goods shed at Ventnor.

photograph by Ron Hersey

 

Ventnor Ventnor

Ventnor caves then..... ..... and now!.

 

Ventnor

Ventnor sidings.

 

Ventnor Ventnor

Ventnor tunnel then.....  ..... and now!.

 

Above five photographs by Richard Neal

This page was last updated 3 July 2010

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