This year, the Isle of Wight celebrates the 150th anniversary of the opening of the railway between Ryde St. Johns Road and Shanklin. On Saturday 30th August, residents and visitors to the Island are invited to join in various celebrations that will be taking place at stations along the line.
These events will give people a chance to step back in time and travel through 150 years of rail transport and life on the Isle of Wight. Celebrations will include a vintage vehicle display at Ryde St Johns Road, as well a model railway exhibition, a steam roller and a live Wight Island radio broadcast at Sandown Station; there will also be some old railway photographs on display from Sandown Historical Association. Ryde Esplanade Travel Centre will host the IWR 150 Exhibition display and Brading Station will also be hosting a 1950s day which will include signal box tours as well as vintage and memorabilia stalls.Visitors to Shanklin station will be partying through 150 years with entertainment for all ages, wandering through a selection of local traders’ stalls and vintage vehicles whilst enjoying a refreshing drink in the Pimms tent or sampling some Rail Ale.
To ensure everybody can get involved with all of the festivities, the tickets include unlimited rail travel on all Island Line services, as well as unlimited travel on the Isle of Wight Steam railway and a return vintage bus ride between Shanklin and Ventnor Garden. Discounted admittance for Ventnor Botanic Garden is also included in the ticket. Tickets will be available to buy in advance for just £18.64 from 1st July 2014 from Ryde Esplanade or Shanklin ticket offices, as well as Wightlink’s Portsmouth Harbour ticket office. Advance online tickets will also be available from the 1st July at www.hovertravel.co.uk and www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk. There will be the opportunity to buy tickets on the day for £20.00. For anybody wanting to visit the island from the mainland for this anniversary, there will be the opportunity to purchase discounted ferry tickets from both Hovertravel and Wightlink.This event is supported by the Isle of Wight Rail Community Partnership which is made up of: Island Line, Southern Vectis, Hovertravel, Wightlink, Ryde Town Council and Sandown Town Council. Shanklin and Lake Town Councils are also involved with this celebration.