The Freshwater, Yarmouth & Newport Railway
This is the third book in the history of the railways of the Isle of Wight by the authors, in what is building into the definitive history of the railways of the Island. It might be thought that there was little to say about a 12 mile single line railway that was worked for most of its life by another company. However, the history of the Isle of Wight railways has often been not what it seemed and the Freshwater, Yarmouth & Newport Railway was no exception. Railways were late in coming to West Wight as it was not until 1880 that the Freshwater company was formed and another nine years before its railway opened to passenger traffic. By then the company's finances were in a parlous state, thoughts of extensions were given up and it was only a matter of time before a receiver was appointed. The poor state of the railway matched the company's finances and the Board of Trade had to intervene before improvements were made.
Soon afterwards the promoters of the abortive Solent Tunnel scheme purchased the undertaking. Relations with the Isle of Wight Central Railway, which worked the Freshwater line, were never good and there was constant friction between the two companies. The well-publicised break took place in 1913 when the Freshwater company took over the operation of its railway albeit in the hands of a Receiver for a second time. In this form the railway survived until its purchase by the Southern Railway in 1923.
As in previous books in this series, the history of the company has been described in detail. Maps and the few surviving drawings have been reproduced accompanied by a series of photographs of the railway prior to 1923.
Softback, 176 pages with more than 110 photographs, maps and plans etc.
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Updated: 29 December 2021