46 ‘Newington’ as Southern Railway W8 ‘Freshwater’ on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

The former ‘Hayling Billy’ LB&SCR No:46 ‘Newington’ is seen here in the 1980’s at Havenstreet, proudly carrying its Southern Railway (IoW) identity W8 ‘Freshwater’. About to depart for Smallbrook Junction, where its passengers will be able to connect with British Rail, Network South-East services to Ryde, Brading, Sandown and Shanklin. Itself formed of vintage former London Transport ‘1938 Tube Stock’.

The first carriage of the train also has something of a Hayling Island pedigree, having originally been built in Dickensian times as a bone-shaking 4-wheeler, for service on the North London Line between Richmond and Broad Street. Before sale to the former Isle of Wight Railway, which operated the lines from Ryde Pier Head to Ventnor and the Brading to Bembridge branch line, which served the rail connected port of St.Helens. Terminus of the short-lived train ferry service from Langston.

When it was withdrawn by the Southern Railway in the mid 1920’s, it was returned to the mainland for disposal, transported no doubt on the deck of the Southampton Docks floating crane that had been used to deliver replacement ‘bogie’ carriages. Hence its survival into the 1970’s minus wheels and underframe, as a bungalow on Hayling Island. From whence it passed into preservation and back into passenger service, ingeniously rebuilt by volunteers at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, using the frames and wheels of a redundant S.R. parcels van. (Photo by Ian Edwards).

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Ian Edwards
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