Isle of Wight Railway
Ventnor station was the most southerly terminus of the Isle of Wight Railways. One of four companies which operated on the island, opened on September 10th 1866 and was absorbed by the southern after the big four amalgamation in 1923. The line closed from Shanklin on April 18th 1966.
The station’s site was a disused chalk pit blasted out of the side of Boniface Down in the shape of a horseshoe and is 168ft above sea level. The approach to the platforms is via a 1,312 yards (1,199m) long tunnel through the Downs, with a falling gradient of 1 in 173 ft.
This model can only be a truncated impression, because of limited space and is nowhere near to scale. The layout has been researched and built from photographs (no drawings being available) by two long serving members of Newhaven and District Model Railway Club.
Research started some years ago, the construction began about 10 years ago and the layout has now been extended to the next station, Wroxall.
At Ventnor, the good shed, signal box and adjoining hut are scratch built along with several other sundry details. The station buildings are partly scratch built and utilise parts from card kits. Wroxall is entirely scratch built, except for the cottages which are card kits. My colleague built the chalk pit cliffs, Boniface Down with tunnel and all the scenery and electric wiring to the extension as well as most of the wiring at Ventnor. He has also hand made all the produce for the allotments.
Rolling stock is very limited and may not be correct to period or area this we hope to rectify in the future.
The caves were used by coal merchants as offices and stores, they still exist but the station site is now industrial. At Wroxall, all the station area has gone, except for the hotel which is now flats. The cottages and three arch bridge remain today.
The uncoupling of stock is by electromagnetic ramps. Communication between operator is by bell code.