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    With our journey planner, you will be offered the cheapest fares and in some instances, the fastest journey. Please be aware that other journey options are available. To collect tickets purchased online you must present the same card used to make the booking.

    Island Line fact file

    Get all the facts and stats on the Isle of Wight’s only train line

    If you are looking to find out some interesting facts about our train line, want to impress in your next pub quiz or just drum up some extra excitement before your trip, we have you covered.

    The Isle of Wight is a beautiful island with a rich history and a strong sense of character. There is never a shortage of things to do on the island; from its quirky museums and dinosaur walks to its great walking and cycling opportunities.

    Island Line history

    The Island Line on the Isle of Wight operates between Ryde and Shanklin, serving Smallbrook Junction, Brading, Sandown and Lake intermediate stations.

    It has always been the Isle of Wight’s main line, even when the island boasted a complex 53-mile rail network with 36 stations and halts. The first services between Ryde (St Johns) and Shanklin, with intermediate stations at Brading and Sandown, ran on 23 August 1864.

    Fierce opposition from local landowners and the need to cut a 1,312 yard tunnel through St Boniface Down delayed the opening of a four-mile extension of the line to Wroxall and Ventnor, 11.5 miles from Ryde, until 15 September 1866. The Ryde to Ventnor Line, serving the developing seaside resorts along the Isle of Wight’s east coast, was an immediate success.

    Lines opened:

    Ryde St Johns Road – Shanklin: opened 23 August 1864

    Ryde St Johns Road – Ryde Esplanade: opened on 5 April 1880

    Ryde Esplanade – Ryde Pier Head: opened on 12 July 1880

    Lake station: opened on 11 May 1987

    Facts about the Island Line network 

    • Smallbrook Junction station opened on 20 July 1991
    • Steam powered - until 31 December 1966
    • Electrified - from January 1967 to March 1967
    • Electric powered - from 20 March 1967
    • Current train of choice - Class 483 Electric Multiple Unit (EMU)
    • Number of level crossings - none
    • Tunnels - Ryde. 391 yards
    • Number of freight crossings - none 

     

    Statistics

    Find out just how far the distance is between our stations:

    Route To Yards
    Ryde Pier Head Ryde Esplanade 704
    Ryde Esplanade Ryde St Johns Rd 418
    Ryde St Johns Road Smallbrook Junction 330
    Smallbrook Junction Brading 1210
    Brading Sandown 902
    Sandown Lake 604
    Lake Shanklin 616

    The Isle of Wight has some fascinating history associated with it, from it being the final home of Charles I before his execution, to it being one of the best spots to find dinosaur remains (about 25 different types of dinosaur so far!). The Island Line is not without its share of history, and our train line has notable facts at almost every stop along the network. Take a look at the map for some of the exciting facts about the history of our train line. 

    5 facts about the Isle of Wight

    The Isle of Wight is famed for its garlic growing prowess.

    The island is home to the extremely popular Isle of Wight festival, which has hosted Bob Dylan, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie over the years. 

    It is said to be the most haunted island in the world.

    The Richardson Brothers, the Kray Twins and Charles I have all been held prisoner at the island.

    The Isle of Wight has its very own eight wonders. These are:

     

    1. Cowes you cannot milk

    2. Freshwater you cannot drink

    3. Lake you can walk through and stay dry

    4. Needles you cannot thread

    5. Newport you cannot bottle

    6. Newtown which is old

    7. Ryde where you walk

    8. Winkle Street where there are no winkles

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