Island Line trip

trebor79

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8 Mar 2018
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Took my 6 year old to the IoW yesterday. We flew into Bembridge and walked to Brading, very pleasant walk other than the first quarter mile along the road.
The advertised 2 train service wasn't running, just one train in service but there was no way of knowing this at Brading. Allegedly there's a ticket machine there but I couldn't find it. After a short wait the train to Shanklin came in, it was pretty full and I debated waiting for the (non-existent) following service in 20 minutes. My son wanted to get to the pier ASAP, reasoning we might as well sit on the train and enjoy the ride we got on rather than wait 40 minutes. We stood until Sandown when some seats became available.
Arrived Shanklin, wandered to the ticket office. Ticket clerk seemed surprised we wanted to buy tickets, but no issue. Spotted sign saying only 1 train due to breakdown, clerk confirmed so hopped back on and rode to the Pier.
Lunch and ice cream on the sand at Ryde, then back to Esplanade to return to Brading. The signs at Esplanade said 1 train only due to staff sickness. My 6 year old son said "Maybe the person who fixes the broken train is ill".
Walked a different route back to Bembridge via the windmill (another fascination of my son) which though longer was very pleasant and avoided the road. I had to give him a piggy back for most of the way after he got a huge blister on his foot.
Flew home.

Observations.
1. Absolutely no revenue protection. It was busy and we were the only people I saw with or purchasing tickets. I didn't see anybody tap in with smart cards either. They must be losing a fortune in revenue.
2. Half of one car taped off so the guard wasn't having to work with lots of people around him. Reasonable in the current circumstances.
3. We loved the rock and roll ride, as did a number of other passengers. Train was being driven quite enthusiastically, with a lot of wheel spin at one point.
4. I'm amazed D Stock will fit through Ryde tunnel. The tunnel wall is very close at points as it is. But cleverer folk than me have checked it out.
5. Small yard at Sandown with some road rail machines. Hand operated points in the yard, no trap points on road that joins the main line?
6. A couple of ballast wagons in an overgrown siding near Ryde. I wonder when they last turned a wheel?

It must be a pretty dull day for the crew doing the exact same route over and over, day after day.

The whole thing is wonderfully anachronistic. Brading station, though nicely restored, is the definition of faded grandeur. I'm glad I made the effort to ride the 1938 stock while it's still (just) possible. If you're going to go, be aware I spotted some signs about weekend closures in August, though I can't find anything to that effect on the SWR website.
 
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trebor79

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8 Mar 2018
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Sounds like a great day out.

Just out of curiosity, where did you fly out from?
It was a great day, wanted to do the steam railway too but it wasn't operating yesterday. Just as well as I was already in trouble getting back well after son's tea and bedtime. Flew from a little strip in Suffolk, called Knettishall. About 5 miles east of Thetford.
 

route101

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16 May 2010
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Took the Island line week before last. Hourly service. Walked up to the Ryde Pier, only one who boarded there.
 

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