Isle of Wight Steam Railway & Transport Rally

Posted by Chris Graham on 21st November 2020

Phil Barnes and his wife report from this year’s very enjoyable Isle of Wight Steam Railway & Transport Rally.

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Ivatt 2-6-2T (No. 41313) runs around the 13.15pm round-trip at Wootton, and is seen passing the recently-installed token catcher, which is similar to the one at Smallbrook Junction.

Part of our ‘staycation’ this year was spent visiting the Isle of Wight Steam Railway where, in early September, we enjoyed a couple of return journeys along the 5.5-mile line, and then the added bonus of a transport rally being organised in the field next to Haven Street station.

There was an interesting variety of vehicles on display at this rally, ranging from vintage cars, motorbikes and commercials, to a few custom cars, American cars and some Harley Davidsons! Not to be out done by all these internal combustion machines, road steam was represented by two rollers and a Sentinel steam wagon, which wasn’t in the best position for photography.

The two rollers bask in the sun; 1923 Aveling & Porter E-type (No. 10556) Majesty 10-ton roller, and 1927 10-ton Wallis & Steevens Advance (No.7935).

However, the two rollers were nicely sited against the side of the field, and were photographed basking in the afternoon sun. These machines were the 1923 Aveling & Porter 10-ton roller (No. 10556), Majesty, and the Wallis & Steevens Advance roller (No. 7935) dating from 1927. Interestingly, at the end of the day, the A&P was covered up where it had been displayed, while the Wallis was seen heading off south along Main Road.

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

This 1927 Wallis & Steevens Advance (No. 7935) was new to Shanklin Urban District Council.

Additionally, the steam waggon left the site, along with the Southern Vectis Bristol Lodekka LD6G (No. 563) which was caught on camera at the end of the day.

Moving back to the railway, and with a good array of compartment stock in use, it was very easy to social-distance in these Covid-19 times. Passengers were shown to – and escorted from – their allotted compartments by station staff. The service on the Sunday consisted of nine round trips, originating from Haven Street, and was worked by locomotives 41313 and W11.

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

LBSCR Terrier W11, dating from 1878, prepares to run around the 15.15pm round-trip at Wootton.

Fortunately, some of the other attractions were open, and these included the Train Story Discovery Centre, where Phil found a couple of real one-offs; E1, (No. W2) ‘Yarmouth’ of 1877 (formerly 110 Burgundy), and the 1911 electric tramcar body which was built by Pollards of Ryde, on an earlier chassis.

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

E1 0-6-0T (No. 2_ Yarmouth arrived at the IWSR in 2012, with the move from the East Somerset Railway being financed by a large legacy which also required the loco to be overhauled. With the boiler now removed, the engine is to have a new unit, and now carries a more original style of chimney.


The 1911, Pollard-built electric tramcar body, which sits on a new chassis, will form a part of the tram project. There are several information boards telling the story of the former Ryde Pier tramway, and the new tram project.

This vehicle came out of pier tramway service in 1927, but saw further use as a holiday chalet and chicken coop, before being rescued in 1978 and restored. It now forms part of a display advertising that a replica Drewry i/c railcar is being built at Alan Keef’s works, using parts of the original railcar number 2, to bring back to life the story of the pier tramway operation, which ceased in 1969.

Bristol Lodekka LD6G (No. 563) seen here leaving the site at Haven Street station.

In wrapping up, this event was very well attended with many staff on hand to ensure that visitors had a safe and enjoyable time.

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