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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

on 27 September 2012
I bought this book primarily because of my love for all things Isle of Wight.

Having lived on the Isle of Wight all my life, I commute almost daily along the cycletrack from Sandown to Newport, this runs along the old rail route, I have also spent many years using the Cowes to Newport route.

I have ridden literally thousands of miles over the years and am never happier than when riding my bike along the 'track' on a summers day.

I think it is such a shame that the trains no longer run along these tracks, the lines run through some of the most beautiful countryside the island has to offer and I am sure that if they were still operating people would travel from all other the world to enjoy the experience.


Anyway, on to the book 'Southern Rails on the Isle of Wight - Volume One', this first volume (of a two volume set) has a subtitle of 'The Central and Freshwater Lines'.

To start with it is a beautiful publication, tightly bound, very thick and strong covers, fantastic glossy pages and literally hundreds of pictures; the dimensions of the book are 250mm by 190mm and it is 156 pages long.

The contents of the book are:

1. Foreword

2. The Railways of the Isle of Wight: An Overview

3. The Railways of the Isle of Wight: Origins

4. The Cowes & Newport Railway
- Cowes
- Mill Hill
- Medina Wharf
- Cement Mills
- Newport

5. The Isle of Wight (Newport Junction) Railway
- Alverstone
- Newchurch
- Horringford
- Merstone
- Blackwater
- Shide

6. The Ryde & Newport Railway
- Ashey
- Haven Street
- Wootton
- Whippingham

7. The Freshwater, Yarmouth & Newport Railway
- Freshwater
- Yarmouth
- Ningwood
- Calbourne & Shalfleet
- Watchingwell
- Carisbrooke
- Newport (FYN)

8. The Newport, Godshill & St Lawrence Railway
- Godshill
- Whitwell
- St Lawrence
- Ventnor West

9. Bibliography

Along with the photographs there are overhead maps (old and present), gradient maps and even pictures of original tickets; there are both colour and black & white photographs from when the lines were running and from more recent times (looking very much like the ones I ride along!).

There are some beautiful photographs, from all eras of the lines and I particularly like the ones where I can clearly see landmarks that are still in existence today.

The accompanying volume : Southern Rails on the Isle of Wight: v.2: The Ventnor and Bembridge Lines, is equally as impressive.

It is once more beautifully produced, with the same dimensions as the first volume but this time with 176 pages.

The contents on this second volume are:

1. Foreword

2. The Isle of Wight Railway
- Ryde Pier Head
- Ryde Esplanade
- Ryde St John's Road
- Smallbrook Junction
- Brading
- Sandown
- Shanklin
- Wroxall
- Ventnor

3. The Bembridge Branch
- Bembridge
- St Helens Quay
- St Helens

4. The End of Steam

5. Locomotives
- Part One: Pre Grouping
- Part Two: Southern and British Railways

6. Rolling Stock
- Part One: Passenger Stock
- Part Two: Goods Stock

7. Electrification

8. Ryde Pier Tramway

9. The Isle of Wight Steam Railway

10. Bibliography

I have to admit that I don't refer to this seond volume as much as the first, but this is simply because the first one is more relevant to my life and not because it is a lesser publication; it has the same level of content and once more has hundreds of beautifully reproduced photographs.

The combined cost of the two volumes is quite high, but when you take into account the quality and the amount of information then I think they offer good value.

Highly recommended for anyone who has an interest in not just locomotives, but also historical photographs and of course the Isle of Wight!
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on 20 January 2015
Bought for my husband now have a very happy husband. He would now like one that mentioned staff on the I O W,as his grand father helped build the line to freshwater then lived at two stations,ah! who knows. Thank you fir helping get the right gift and being so quick. 104margaret/Margaret smart
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on 11 February 2018
very good thank you
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on 13 August 2010
I have many books about railways on the Isle of Wight and this is easily the best one I have ever seen. I cannot recommend it highly enough !!
I am looking forward to Volume 2. In addition I gather that the publisher is going produce books that will eventually cover the whole of the Southern Region of British Rail. If that is the case roll on the day that the volume about the Tonbridge-Redhill-Guildford-Reading line hits the bookshelves !!
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on 1 January 2010
This new publisher has introduced some novel ideas to depict the railways of the Isle of Wight, with colour maps and illustrated station diagrams that help to place the pictures he has gathered together. The book is arranged into various sections which helpfully have coloured page edging to make it easy to flick through to a bit you want to find out about. There's loads of interesting photos with helpful captions that make this a fascinating read.
Southern Rails on the Isle of Wight: v. 1: The Central and Freshwater Lines
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on 25 July 2010
Got this book whilst on the IoW at Havenstreet. It stood out head and shoulders above all the competing titles in terms of the way the content is laid out and printed. Makes the M&P titles look like something out of the dark ages! Very enjoyable read, great photos and plans. Can't comment on the accuracy of the content as it's not my area. Highly recommended. Can't wait for Volume 2.
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