• Our booking engine at tickets.railforums.co.uk (powered by TrainSplit) helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase! Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

Did anyone else "of a certain age": essentially fail to make it to the "classic" Isle of Wight?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Calthrop

Established Member
Joined
6 Dec 2015
Messages
3,332
Am wondering whether out of those of us, now in or approaching our "twilight years", who were born sufficiently long ago to have known British Railways steam in regular service; and that before its very "last knockings" -- anyone other than myself, has the regret of not having witnessed first-hand: the scene on the Isle of Wight as it was up to early 1966 -- i.e., the Ryde -- Ventnor and Ryde -- Cowes lines, both active with class 02 0-4-4T's?

I can envisage people in that age-bracket who were born in parts of the country far distant from the south coast, simply not having been in a position to get to the IOW in that era. I (born 1948) don't have that justification: it would have been perfectly feasible for me in the last year of "Ventnor and Cowes", to reach the place "under my own steam" -- as it would have needed to be, with the Island not having been a holiday venue for our family; I lived not actually in the south-east, but not wildly far away. However, for what seemed to me at the time, sufficient and sense-making reasons (and with many competing rail attractions) -- I did not feel sufficiently keen about that scene, to make the effort. My first visit to the IOW was in November 1966, in the final weeks of steam, just Ryde to Shanklin: and that only through the prompting of a recently-made enthusiast friend -- without which I would have thought, "it's the miserable last dregs: not worth it"; and not gone even then. That was in fact, a depressing experience -- but woke me up to what a marvel at that late date, the "02" scene had been; and caused me to wish that I had gone there a year-plus earlier, and to wonder what had possessed me to lack sufficient interest to do so.

This has been for the past half-century-plus, one of my bitterest regrets as regards "misses" of mine on the British pre-1968 steam scene: the more so with its having been as described, "self-inflicted". From a misery-loves-company position, as it were: I'd be interested to know whether anyone else of a similar "vintage", might be similarly situated; be it through the thing's just not having been possible -- or like myself, from apathy which now in hindsight, feels amazingly foolish.
 
Last edited:
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

John Webb

Established Member
Joined
5 Jun 2010
Messages
3,107
Location
St Albans
I managed to not only travel behind steam on the IoW but got into St John's shed as well! I have a very few black and white photos. We had a number of family holidays at Totland Bay at the west end of the Island in the late 1950s, but it was easy to get a bus to Cowes or further afield. (Apologies if this adds to your miseries! ;) )
 

REVUpminster

Member
Joined
3 Jan 2021
Messages
746
Location
Paignton
The only time I have been to the Isle of Wight with my parents, long gone, and stuck my head out of the window and got gritty soot in my eye from the steam train.
 

UrieS15

Member
Joined
1 Feb 2020
Messages
69
Location
Whitby
Am wondering whether out of those of us, now in or approaching our "twilight years", who were born sufficiently long ago to have known British Railways steam in regular service; and that before its very "last knockings" -- anyone other than myself, has the regret of not having witnessed first-hand: the scene on the Isle of Wight as it was up to early 1966 -- i.e., the Ryde -- Ventnor and Ryde -- Cowes lines, both active with class 02 0-4-4T's?

I can envisage people in that age-bracket who were born in parts of the country far distant from the south coast, simply not having been in a position to get to the IOW in that era. I (born 1948) don't have that justification: it would have been perfectly feasible for me in the last year of "Ventnor and Cowes", to reach the place "under my own steam" -- as it would have needed to be, with the Island not having been a holiday venue for our family; I lived not actually in the south-east, but not wildly far away. However, for what seemed to me at the time, sufficient and sense-making reasons (and with many competing rail attractions) -- I did not feel sufficiently keen about that scene, to make the effort. My first visit to the IOW was in November 1966, in the final weeks of steam, just Ryde to Shanklin: and that only through the prompting of a recently-made enthusiast friend -- without which I would have thought, "it's the miserable last dregs: not worth it"; and not gone even then. That was in fact, a depressing experience -- but woke me up to what a marvel at that late date, the "02" scene had been; and caused me to wish that I had gone there a year-plus earlier, and to wonder what had possessed me to lack sufficient interest to do so.

This has been for the past half-century-plus, one of my bitterest regrets as regards "misses" of mine on the British pre-1968 steam scene: the more so with its having been as described, "self-inflicted". From a misery-loves-company position, as it were: I'd be interested to know whether anyone else of a similar "vintage", might be similarly situated; be it through the thing's just not having been possible -- or like myself, from apathy which now in hindsight, feels amazingly foolish.
Yes indeed, although I did manage to see the Isle of Wight system in its 02 days and ride the little pier tramway at Ryde. I also took b+w pictures which I seem to have lost. My greatest 'missed' regrets were the Wenford Bridge tanks and the numerous industrial systems particularly the Kettering narrow gauge. My only consolation is that many we forget, were heavily guarded against trespass and so it wasn't altogether our dilatoriness. As a young teenage I recall seeing small red locos dotted across the quarry face at Llanberis and wishing I could persuade my parent to get a bit closer, but it was not to be.
 

delt1c

Established Member
Joined
4 Apr 2008
Messages
2,125
Got to IOW in 1977 and travelled on the 4 VEC and 3 TIS units , also saw 05.001.
alao in the early 70’s managed to visit the Vale Of Rheidol and travel when the coaches and loco’s were in BR blue with the double arrow symbols
 

Dr Hoo

Established Member
Joined
10 Nov 2015
Messages
4,023
Location
Hope Valley
I was taken on holiday to the Isle of Wight when very young (in 1957) and was taken for a trip on the stream train.

The frustrating thing (with hindsight) was that it was from Shanklin to Ryde Pier Head. If only we had been staying somewhere else on the island that was still open. Doh!
 

RT4038

Established Member
Joined
22 Feb 2014
Messages
4,260
I was taken on holiday to the Isle of Wight when very young (in 1957) and was taken for a trip on the stream train.

The frustrating thing (with hindsight) was that it was from Shanklin to Ryde Pier Head. If only we had been staying somewhere else on the island that was still open. Doh!
I was taken to the IoW for a day, as a boy, in 1965 to see the steam trains. Also only rode from Pier Head to Sandown and back. Doh!
 

Journeyman

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2014
Messages
6,295
I was taken to the IoW for a day, as a boy, in 1965 to see the steam trains. Also only rode from Pier Head to Sandown and back. Doh!
That's why that section survived, and the rest didn't - it was the one everyone used!
 

GRALISTAIR

Established Member
Joined
11 Apr 2012
Messages
7,930
Location
Dalton GA USA & Preston Lancs
To answer the OP - no. However, would go almost every year in the 1970s when I was a spotter to get the Class 05 shunter 05001 - as I always used to see how many locos I could spot in a year. 483 no steam for me.
 

Clarence Yard

Established Member
Joined
18 Dec 2014
Messages
2,521
Regrettably, my family decided to holiday elsewhere in the early to mid sixties so I missed any childhood visits to the Island.

One of my friends had family on the island and was a frequent visitor in those days and remembers the 02 tanks with affection. A few years ago one of her aunts went into a home at Haven Street so she came over on the cat to visit. She thought it was great that she was travelling by 02 on a “real” journey in the 21st century and when she sat in the coach and heard the Westo pump going, she was transported straight back to her childhood!

I have to say managing to travel behind “Calbourne” in 2012 was one off my railway bucket list. If you haven’t done this line, go for it - it is special.
 

Journeyman

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2014
Messages
6,295
Regrettably, my family decided to holiday elsewhere in the early to mid sixties so I missed any childhood visits to the Island.

One of my friends had family on the island and was a frequent visitor in those days and remembers the 02 tanks with affection. A few years ago one of her aunts went into a home at Haven Street so she came over on the cat to visit. She thought it was great that she was travelling by 02 on a “real” journey in the 21st century and when she sat in the coach and heard the Westo pump going, she was transported straight back to her childhood!

I have to say managing to travel behind “Calbourne” in 2012 was one off my railway bucket list. If you haven’t done this line, go for it - it is special.
Very much agree, the IoWSR is a great experience, and the coaching stock in particular gives the line an atmosphere you won't find anywhere else - there's not a single Mark 1 in sight!

Sadly I've never seen Calbourne in action, but the Terriers are very authentic representatives of a slightly earlier period of the island's railways. I'm particularly fond of Ashey station, a beautiful peaceful spot to watch the trains.
 

Harvester

Established Member
Joined
9 Nov 2020
Messages
1,315
Location
Notts
I have only been once. We were on holiday at Bournemouth in 1980, and had an enjoyable day out to the Isle of Wight. Travelled by rail to Lymington and then across to the Isle by ferry. Saw the Class 02 No W24, and two Terriers (W8 ex BR 32646, and W11 ex BR 32640) at Havenstreet.
 

30907

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
18,240
Location
Airedale
Got there in summer 1965 (but only Ryde to Shanklin) - but I missed the 483s completely owing to lockdowns, and I am headed there next month so no 484s either :(
 

Ostrich

Member
Joined
15 Jul 2010
Messages
239
I had a couple of family holidays on the Isle of Wight back in the mid-1960's and we travelled from Birmingham (presumably Snow Hill) to Portsmouth Harbour (direct?), across on the ferry to Pierhead, and on down to Sandown with O2 haulage. Being a spotter and old enough to be let loose on my own, I did travel on the IoW railway extensively including the Ryde - Newport line which was still open at the time, but six O2s still evaded me! (15 Cowes, 19 Osborne, 23 Totland, 25 Godshill, 34 Newport, 36 Carisbrooke). Did any other spotters "of a certain age" manage to claim those? :smile:

I also recall crossing back to the mainland to spot at Portsmouth and seeing D2554 (later 05001) trundling along the main line near Fratton, presumably just before getting transferred to the island.

As for "regrets" from that era, I never got to see Eastern Region steam in action - A1s through to A4s ....... :'(
 
Last edited:

Calthrop

Established Member
Joined
6 Dec 2015
Messages
3,332
Feel gratified at the volume of response -- thanks, everyone !

I blame what I now see as my utter stupidity in scorning the Isle of Wight up-to-early-1966 rail scene: on the Ordnance Survey ! -- more particularly, on the circa 1945 copy of its "Solent / IOW" sheet, which we had at home in my childhood (and which I still own). As mentioned: my parents never had the Island in their sights as a holiday destination, and to the best of my knowledge had never been there -- other relatives had taken a holiday there in the late 1940s, I believe; best guess is the map which they got then for the purpose, somehow landing up with us. At all events: I aged seven or so, circa 1955, discovered this map and pored over it -- its date was such that it featured the Island's entire rail system, lines labelled as "Southern Railway", all busily operating with passenger services: this struck me as an enchanting, dense little self-contained system of interconnecting branches. I dreamed briefly, of seeing this wondrous scene first-hand at some future time; then was truly grieved to learn -- IIRC via the Railway Magazine, which my parents very kindly got for me monthly, from an early age (I became early, an avid reader) -- that the Ventnor West, Freshwater, and Bembridge lines had been abandoned a handful of years previously; and, that Newport -- Sandown had just followed them, or was just about to (early '56). This left a mere two routes: the hitherto superb little system thus reduced -- in my juvenile eyes -- to a pitiful remnant, basically no longer worth bothering with.

And that's how I continued to feel, for the next decade. An attitude on my part which now amazes me -- how I could be thus left cold by a pair of busy routes, operated routinely day in, day out in what had come to be an, unintentional, amazing working museum using aged four-coupled tank locos and ancient coaches... but thus it was with me. (Things so fell out that my childhood-and-adolescent "railwaying" was mostly solitary, lacking in first-hand-real-life kindred spirits: no "real person" who might have gee'd me up as regards what a wonder the IOW lines were.) As said -- I've been kicking myself re this omission, ever since.

Yes indeed, although I did manage to see the Isle of Wight system in its 02 days and ride the little pier tramway at Ryde. I also took b+w pictures which I seem to have lost. My greatest 'missed' regrets were the Wenford Bridge tanks and the numerous industrial systems particularly the Kettering narrow gauge. My only consolation is that many we forget, were heavily guarded against trespass and so it wasn't altogether our dilatoriness. As a young teenage I recall seeing small red locos dotted across the quarry face at Llanberis and wishing I could persuade my parent to get a but closer, but it was not to be.

(My bolding) -- yes, parents: they absolutely didn't get it, did they? In fairness, mine were more understanding / tolerant / supportive re my railway-mania than, I would think, the average "parental unit"; but in this, they stayed well on what the world in general would regard as the "sane" side of the line.


I was taken on holiday to the Isle of Wight when very young (in 1957) and was taken for a trip on the stream train.

The frustrating thing (with hindsight) was that it was from Shanklin to Ryde Pier Head. If only we had been staying somewhere else on the island that was still open. Doh!
I was taken to the IoW for a day, as a boy, in 1965 to see the steam trains. Also only rode from Pier Head to Sandown and back. Doh!
That's why that section survived, and the rest didn't - it was the one everyone used!
To answer the OP - no. However, would go almost every year in the 1970s when I was a spotter to get the Class 05 shunter 05001 - as I always used to see how many locos I could spot in a year. 483 no steam for me.
(Re 05001 -- I've always been tickled by the island railwaymens' nicknaming this loco "Nuclear Fred".)

(And with @30907's mention of visiting the Island in summer '65, but doing Ryde -- Shanklin only.)


History and its ironies ! -- and if only we had the gift of prophecy -- with, as per @Journeyman, the "chicken-and-egg" absurd side to the situation, that people would of course tend to travel on the busiest bit, which would be that most likely to stay in commercial use in some form; shame, though, that none of the above posters chanced to get a ride on the Newport and Cowes route !
Regrettably, my family decided to holiday elsewhere in the early to mid sixties so I missed any childhood visits to the Island.

One of my friends had family on the island and was a frequent visitor in those days and remembers the 02 tanks with affection. A few years ago one of her aunts went into a home at Haven Street so she came over on the cat to visit. She thought it was great that she was travelling by 02 on a “real” journey in the 21st century and when she sat in the coach and heard the Westo pump going, she was transported straight back to her childhood!

Love this story of your friend's experience -- it's come to my notice when visiting the IOW, that Haven Street village is not on any regular bus route -- a mile-plus from the nearest. Your friend's trip is the first instance I've actually heard of, of someone using the steam railway for a "real person" journey to go somewhere to which they required to go: but with the Haven Street situation as it is, I'd think that for sure, it can't have been the only one !

I have to say managing to travel behind “Calbourne” in 2012 was one off my railway bucket list. If you haven’t done this line, go for it - it is special.
(And re @Journeyman's commendation of the IoWSR)

I admit to being a miserable negative so-and-so where rail preservation is concerned: in principle I'm glad that it has happened and is happening; but in fact and with "gut-feeling", the majority of it strikes me as in a greater or lesser degree, phony and for me, limited in appeal. I have in the past couple of decades, become extremely fond of the Isle of Wight; but this for a combination of largely non-railway reasons. The steam railway is nice -- I'm glad that what has been saved here, has been; and I belong to the society which supports it -- from feelings of loyalty which I now harbour re the Island in general, plus an element of penitence for my foolishness in setting the Island's rail lines at naught as I did many years ago: but must confess not being able to feel that the IoWSR is all that wonderful. Feel that if it had been / were possible for it to extend westward to Newport -- better still, on thence to Cowes as well -- that would be terrific; but things have thus worked out that mega-miracles aside, that is out of the question.
 

52290

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2015
Messages
556
IMG_20210515_095600.jpg
In the summer of 1965 I spent a week in Ventnor. The owner of the B&B where I stayed was involved with the campaign to save the railway.
Standing on Ventnor station I was surprised when this train emerged from the tunnel behind two locos.
 

Arglwydd Golau

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2011
Messages
1,422
-- anyone other than myself, has the regret of not having witnessed first-hand: the scene on the Isle of Wight as it was up to early 1966 -- i.e., the Ryde -- Ventnor and Ryde -- Cowes lines, both active with class 02 0-4-4T's?
Yes, me! Although totally dependent on my father for railway expeditions in the 1960's I'm surprised that we never made it to the IoW. It ticked all Dad's boxes...ancient locos and stock etc and what makes it even more surprising is that we had relatives who lived near Southampton where we stayed every summer for a holiday. One year - 1962 - we went on the Hayling Island branch - and the same year made a special trip from home to the nascent Bluebell Railway....looking back this was a wasted effort and we really should have gone to the IoW, probably one of Dad's regrets too, but I'll never know.
 

Dr_Paul

Established Member
Joined
3 Sep 2013
Messages
1,376
My parents visited the Isle of Wight around 1950, and they travelled every line except Newport to Fishwater. There was a rail ticket that gave unlimited travel for a week. My dad always liked the IoW as it inherited archaic locos and rolling stock that everyone else wanted to get rid of (that tradition still endures on the stump that remains, with ancient LT stock).
 

Gloster

Established Member
Joined
4 Sep 2020
Messages
8,580
Location
Up the creek
but six O2s still evaded me! (15 Cowes, 19 Osborne, 23 Totland, 25 Godshill, 34 Newport, 36 Carisbrooke). Did any other spotters "of a certain age" manage to claim those? :smile:
Four of these had gone following the mid-1950s closures, but Godshill lasted until 1962 and Carisbrooke until 1964.
 

steamybrian

Established Member
Joined
26 Nov 2010
Messages
1,751
Location
Kent
I made several visits to the IOW to travel behind the O2s in the last two months of operation November/December 1966. It was quite an experience travelling in the Victorian non-corridor coaches. I remember also travelling on the petrol (?) driven tramway along Ryde Pier. A few years later travelled to Newport station to see the line of withdrawn O2s and Victorian carriages which the Isle of Wight Railway could only afford to purchase a few of them.
 

WesternLancer

Established Member
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
7,291
Am wondering whether out of those of us, now in or approaching our "twilight years", who were born sufficiently long ago to have known British Railways steam in regular service; and that before its very "last knockings" -- anyone other than myself, has the regret of not having witnessed first-hand: the scene on the Isle of Wight as it was up to early 1966 -- i.e., the Ryde -- Ventnor and Ryde -- Cowes lines, both active with class 02 0-4-4T's?

I can envisage people in that age-bracket who were born in parts of the country far distant from the south coast, simply not having been in a position to get to the IOW in that era. I (born 1948) don't have that justification: it would have been perfectly feasible for me in the last year of "Ventnor and Cowes", to reach the place "under my own steam" -- as it would have needed to be, with the Island not having been a holiday venue for our family; I lived not actually in the south-east, but not wildly far away. However, for what seemed to me at the time, sufficient and sense-making reasons (and with many competing rail attractions) -- I did not feel sufficiently keen about that scene, to make the effort. My first visit to the IOW was in November 1966, in the final weeks of steam, just Ryde to Shanklin: and that only through the prompting of a recently-made enthusiast friend -- without which I would have thought, "it's the miserable last dregs: not worth it"; and not gone even then. That was in fact, a depressing experience -- but woke me up to what a marvel at that late date, the "02" scene had been; and caused me to wish that I had gone there a year-plus earlier, and to wonder what had possessed me to lack sufficient interest to do so.

This has been for the past half-century-plus, one of my bitterest regrets as regards "misses" of mine on the British pre-1968 steam scene: the more so with its having been as described, "self-inflicted". From a misery-loves-company position, as it were: I'd be interested to know whether anyone else of a similar "vintage", might be similarly situated; be it through the thing's just not having been possible -- or like myself, from apathy which now in hindsight, feels amazingly foolish.
This is an excellent thread - thanks for starting it - very much enjoyed reading about things from before I was around to have enjoyed them! No doubt we all have regrets of things we could easily have done but didn't for one reason or another.... mind you, I have very much enjoyed a few visits over the last 20 years or so to the IoW steam railway - as mentioned, a superb operation and very enjoyable.
 

Gloster

Established Member
Joined
4 Sep 2020
Messages
8,580
Location
Up the creek
A slight counterweight to the above. I have been on the island eighteen years and can hear the trains from my living room, but have not visited the IoWSR since I was a teenager living on the mainland in the 1970s.
 

Ostrich

Member
Joined
15 Jul 2010
Messages
239
Four of these had gone following the mid-1950s closures, but Godshill lasted until 1962 and Carisbrooke until 1964.
Many thanks for that! :D I have all my old steam sightings from my "yoof" consolidated into a re-issued Ian Allen 1955 Combined Volume, and I had no idea of actual withdrawal dates.
 

Calthrop

Established Member
Joined
6 Dec 2015
Messages
3,332
Yes, me! Although totally dependent on my father for railway expeditions in the 1960's I'm surprised that we never made it to the IoW. It ticked all Dad's boxes...ancient locos and stock etc and what makes it even more surprising is that we had relatives who lived near Southampton where we stayed every summer for a holiday. One year - 1962 - we went on the Hayling Island branch - and the same year made a special trip from home to the nascent Bluebell Railway....looking back this was a wasted effort and we really should have gone to the IoW, probably one of Dad's regrets too, but I'll never know.

One might wonder: could it perhaps be that your father's not "doing" the IOW with you in the 1960s, would be for the same sort of reasons as mine as told of in my OP -- only in his case, with much greater justification? ... in the shape of, his having perhaps been -- pre-fatherhood -- to the IOW before the 1952 beginning of closures on its system: and having actually known first-hand, the glories of that scene; causing him to reckon a miserable two remaining lines of it, as something a visit to which would -- given his memories of pre-September 1952 to compare it with -- not be enjoyable?


My parents visited the Isle of Wight around 1950, and they travelled every line except Newport to Fishwater. There was a rail ticket that gave unlimited travel for a week. My dad always liked the IoW as it inherited archaic locos and rolling stock that everyone else wanted to get rid of (that tradition still endures on the stump that remains, with ancient LT stock).

The kind of experience which fills me with envy -- of course, I was then, basically, in infancy: even had I been to the Island just before the first closure, Merstone -- Ventnor West, in September 1952; I'd have been (only just) four, and realistically would now remember very little, or maybe nothing at all, of the experience. A pity -- one feels -- that your parents didn't, on their visit, do the Freshwater line; which was abandoned a very few years later (end of Sep. 1953) -- but I'd imagine that as at 1950, vague portents of closure plans would have been floating around, but with no particular lines singled out as certain "targets"; and not everyone who is interested in railways, is a 100%-fixated line-basher.

On these general themes: there's a chap (still with us, I believe) who has a -- greatly envied by me -- dozen years on me as regards birth-date; he intensively pursued and relished normal-service steam in Great Britain throughout its last three decades, and has had published several books on the theme. In one such book, he mentions his visiting the Isle of Wight aged seventeen, in summer 1953 -- thus, there in the very last weeks of the Freshwater and Bembridge branches. No expansive account of this given -- he allows basically a paragraph for his IOW experience: but reading between the lines, it would seem sure that he didn't travel on these doomed sections (possibly witnessed action on them, without travelling). It's plain from the book, that he was a loco-spotter rather than a line-basher: and he was very young, and cash-strapped -- his IOW trip was via bicycle: he lived in the Midlands, and per the book, from a very early age, got where he wanted to go, most usually by cycling there; often covering very long distances. Quite possible that on this Wight trip, he did no train-travelling on the Island: if I'd been him, I would of course have handled things differently -- but "as it isn't, it ain't".


A slight counterweight to the above. I have been on the island eighteen years and can hear the trains from my living room, but have not visited the IoWSR since I was a teenager living on the mainland in the 1970s.

At the risk of coming across as nosy (so please "disregard if appropriate"): re the above, I'm wondering whether like me, you are far from being preservation's greatest fan -- one would infer in fact, substantially less of one, than even me; or would it just be the present-day Isle of Wight Steam Railway, which you find a complete turn-off?
 

grumpyxch

Member
Joined
22 Apr 2015
Messages
49
I got there once before electrification (August 1966). Managed to get a footplate ride on W28 Ashey from Pier Head to St. Johns Road.
 

Calthrop

Established Member
Joined
6 Dec 2015
Messages
3,332
I got there once before electrification (August 1966). Managed to get a footplate ride on W28 Ashey from Pier Head to St. Johns Road.

Beat me by about three months. If only I'd had the sense to go there before Feb. '66, pre-which both lines were still running: but as the guy wrote, "of all sad words of tongue or pen..."
 

Gloster

Established Member
Joined
4 Sep 2020
Messages
8,580
Location
Up the creek
At the risk of coming across as nosy (so please "disregard if appropriate"): re the above, I'm wondering whether like me, you are far from being preservation's greatest fan -- one would infer in fact, substantially less of one, than even me; or would it just be the present-day Isle of Wight Steam Railway, which you find a complete turn-off?
As a teenager in the 1970s I was into just about all aspects of railways, including preservation and the ‘Glory of Steam’. Nine years of working on BR, with some of those I worked with having started work in the 1930s, cured me of any illusions about steam. My interests soon moved towards railways as a progressive means of transport, but also railways abroad and historical research, often more on the operating and place in society sides.

I will stop and look at a steam engine if one happens to be passing, but I have no interest in travelling to a steam railway. I also suspect that I would be looking at everything with the attitude of being critical of historical or other inaccuries. I would probably find the IoWSR less of a disappointment than many lines: a couple of oddly painted Mark 1 behind an industrial tank is really of no interest at all.
 

Calthrop

Established Member
Joined
6 Dec 2015
Messages
3,332
Thanks. I sentimentally love steam traction on rail -- especially in a day-to-day commercial context (now 99.95%, if not totally, vanished from the planet) -- but "see with head" what an extremely sub-optimal means of haulage it is, in practical terms. Thank goodness that railway enthusiasm is a democracy / "broad church", accommodating all manner of preferences -- where those with different outlooks, may in the main regard each other as "a bit funny"; but the great majority of the time, there's mutual tolerance.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top