Prototype Modern mass transit? Ryde 2016

Discussion in 'Gallery' started by AJC, 29 June 2016.

  1. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Louise and I have just returned (in driving drizzle) from a few days on the Isle of Wight which, despite having been resident in Southampton for near enough a decade, is a place I hadn't been before. Despite our better judgement, having spent a very pleasant few hours on the Isle of Wight steam railway (of which more anon), we ended up in Ryde. It's fair to say that it's seen better decades and that this is abundantly clear just about everywhere. No where is this more apparent, perhaps, than at Ryde Esplanade, once the hub of one of those odd bits of national infrastructure that were almost exactly the same in 1960 as they were in about 1900. It's slightly sobering to realise that these superannuated tube trains, just a couple of cars long, are now older than the O2s and much of the stock they replaced when they were withdrawn.



    I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the steam railway carried more passengers yesterday: it was, in the form of Ivatt 2-6-2T 41298, using significantly more modern motive power!


  2. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Hi Adam.

    I couldn't agree more about Ryde. I'm very fond of the island and spent several very happy holidays there with my family in the early to mid 'fifties. I spent many hours on the pier, fishing, seeing the ships leave and arrive at Southampton and watching trains - a great uncle of mine, Ted Dale, was a driver and his son was a fireman. The tramway was running then as well.

    It's a huge shame that the buildings on the pier have been destroyed. It was a fine example of a Victorian pier and I have no doubt that, had it survived another fifteen - or even ten - years it would have been Grade 1 listed. But, I suppose, the same could be said about the steam hauled railway. The IOW steam railway is wonderful, but imagine the tourist interest if the steam hauled railway had been retained.

  3. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Possibly - the Esplanade station buildings remain of course (and are, if you look, very Southern Railway in style, partly because they're on a regime of fairly minimal maintenance) - but primarily, this is a transport system and not a museum and that is why it was "modernised" rather than closed. I can't help but think the locals, whose railway it is for much of the year, preferred something that worked and wasn't such an obvious anachronism. I also wonder why it is like it is. There's clearly investment in the public transport on the island - the Hovercraft terminal is newish, all the bus stations and buses we saw were tidy and often new while the hovercraft and ferries were in excellent order. It was the former tube trains and the Cowes chain ferry that were the exceptions. Why? I suspect the answers are fairly straightforward; there's minimal investment available for the trains (passenger numbers have declined sharply in the last three or four years though they're much higher than a decade ago according to Wikipedia) and the ferry - owned by the council - presumably suffers what most local authority infrastructure is currently feeling; chronic underinvestment.

  4. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Having written the above I remembered that I'd taken some photos, probably on the family box camera so the quality is truly abysmal.

    These are Ryde Pier in about 1955 - there's a train on the pier if you look carefully and one of the ferrie at the end of the pier - by the look of it I believe this my be "Sandown" - it doesn't appear to be one of the coal fired paddlers which were still in regular use. My favourite was "Ryde" which carried a plaque recording it's contribution to the Dunkirk evacuation. You can make out the fine buildings at the pier head.

    The third pic is "Queen Mary" of 1936, one of the succession of transatlantic liners one could see in the days before cruise ships became common currency.

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    Yorkshire Dave and AJC like this.
  5. steve1

    steve1 Western Thunderer

    I too am very fond of the Island and hve spent many a happy time there. From Youth Hostelling with a cousin in the early 1960s, via holidays with friends in 1970s and through to civilised cottage stays with wife Jean. On one of these trips with my mate Eric we slept in bus and beach shelters using sleeping bags. Our main purpose for being there was to sample the local ales (Burt's) and play darts :D

    In the 1960s I can clearly remember travelling behind steam in ancient carriages that I'm guessing at the time (1960s) would have been of Southern origin.

  6. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Almost all the steam stock was pre-grouping (or early post grouping rebuilds) from either the LB&SCR or the SECR (and predecessors). The steam railway has quite a good cross section of the bogie stock and the earlier stock it replaced. I think the most modern stock on the island in steam days were a handful of PMVs/CCTs!

  7. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    I remember a poster in the trains during the 1970's early 80's advertising the IOW steam railway as 'Travel as Grandad did'.

    Didn't need to go to the steam railway as we were travelling in 1923-35 standard tube stock........!!!
    AJC likes this.