From superb archive film this programme provides a vividly memorable and important record of the fascinating Isle of Wight railway system under British Railways and beyond.
We start in 1966 by taking a journey from London Waterloo on board a "Nelson" electric unit to Portsmouth Harbour, seeing a number of the 4-COR units, before taking to the water aboard the classic paddle steamer "Sandown" to Ryde Pier. We watch operations on the railway at Pier Head station and then follow the line round to Cowes where we see the unusual performance of gravity shunting.
Then, in very rare colour archive footage, we travel back in time to the early 1950s to witness BR Crimson stock at work on the Bembridge branch, including the use of the tiny turntable there, and then go across country from Sandown to Newport to visit the little terminus at the end of the island at Freshwater.
Coming back into the 1960s we see O2s on goods trains at Newport and Ryde St Johns Road and follow the line down to Ventnor where there were more unusual workings. Wonderful scenes of O2s show the exquisite pre-grouping carriages in use until the end of steam workings.
The final days of BR in 1966 are also shown, as are the "new-old" ex-LT electric trains and their slightly newer replacements and, finally, the story takes us to the end of the 20th century with evocative scenes on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway in the 1990s.
Produced by - Unique Transport
Running time - 56 minutes approx
Released - May 2020