Station Name: YARMOUTH

[Source: Nick Catford]
Date opened: 20.7.1889
Location: At the end of Victoria Road
Company on opening: Freshwater Yarmouth & Newport Railway
Date closed to passengers: 21.9.1953
Date closed completely: 21.9.1953
Company on closing: British Railways (Southern Region)
Present state: The station has (2013/4) been restored to a high standard; this includes the addition of a replica station building at the north end of the original building. There is also an imitation signal box on the platform which is used as a bird hide. The station now houses a cafe/restaurant. There are numerous items of railway memorabilia on display.
County: Isle of Wight
OS Grid Ref: SZ358895
Date of visit: October 1967, June 1977 & 4.1.2005

Notes: The station originally had a long passing loop with a second platform; the loop was disused by the 1920's and later removed. Unusually the two platforms were staggered due to a stream that passed under the line near the end of the up platform. There was a 320' single line siding serving a small goods yard behind the up platform.

The first railway to be built on the Isle of Wight opened between Cowes and Newport in 1862. In 1868 there was a proposal to build a line from Newport to Freshwater at the western end of the island. This initial proposal came to nothing but in 1880 the Freshwater, Yarmouth and Newport Railway Company were authorised by act of parliament to build a 12 mile single track line with three passing places from the Isle of Wight Central Railway's station at Newport to Freshwater.

Construction started at the western end in 1886 with the line finally reaching Yarmouth two years later. The railway opened to goods traffic on 10th September 1888. There were some passenger excursions but the line didn't officially open to passenger traffic on 20th July 1889.

Intermediate stations were at Carisbrooke, Calbourne, Ningwood and Yarmouth and in July 1889 a private station was opened at Watchingwell for Sir. John Simeon of Swainston. Eventually this became a public station and first appeared in a public timetable in August 1923.

From the start the service was provided by the Isle of Wight Central Railway who provided the staff and the rolling stock while the FYN was responsible for maintaining the line. This did not prove to be a satisfactory arrangement and after bankruptcy in 1896 the partnership was eventually dissolved in 1913 when the FYN bought its own locomotives and rolling stock. The company also built its own station 200 yards west of the IWC station at Newport. Initially transferring passengers had to walk between the two stations but by June 1914 trains were allowed to run between the two stations saving passengers the walk.

The line was not financially successful with the company operating in bankruptcy until 1923 when it was taken over by the Southern Railway as part of the general grouping.
Shortly after the takeover the FYN station at Newport closed with all trains running in to the IWC station. Improvements were made with some through trains running between Freshwater and Ventnor but following nationalisation in 1947 the lines days were numbered. In 1952 it was proposed to close the line and following a public inquiry, closure was approved with the last train running on 20th September 1953.

Many of the islands other disused lines have now been given a new lease of life as public footpaths and cycleways, these include Newport - Sandown (Perowne Way), Newport - Cowes, Wootton - Newport and Brading - Bembridge.

Click here for selected reading

Other web sites: The Freshwater Yarmouth and Newport Railway (Steve Holden) web site.

To see the other stations on the Freshwater, Yarmouth & Newport Railway line click on the station name: Newport, Carisbrooke, Watchingwell,
Calbourne & Shalfleet, Ningwood & Freshwater

Click here for Isle of Wight station index

Yarmouth Station in 1953
Photo by J. L. Smith

1897 1:2,500 OS map shows the layout of Yarmouth station with its goods yard behind the platform. There is a cattle dock to the rear of the platform at the north end. There appears to be an unnecessary amount of sidings, perhaps some are contractor's sidings left over from the construction of the line.

1909 1:2,500 OS map shows the goods yard has now been simplified with the removal of the unnecessary sidings. There are now two sidings, one end on to the dock and one passing alongside it. At this time the yard had a 5-ton capacity crane but its position is not shown. The stagger between the two platformsw is clearly seen# there is only a small amount of overlap. A waiting room is shown on the down platform.

Yarmouth station in 1953
Photo by J. L. Smith

Yarmouth station looking south-west c.1964.
Photo by Bill Rawlinson

Yarmouth Station in September 1967
Photo by John Hulse

Yarmouth Station in June 1977
Photo by Nick Catford

Yarmouth station in February 1978. The Isle of Wight had the heaviest snow for some years that winter. Photo by Alan Young

Yarmouth Station in June 2005
Photo by Nick Catford

During 2013/4 Yarmouth station has been restored as a tourist attraction. The youth hostel building at the north end of the platform has been demolished and replaced by an extension to the station building in the form of a replica of the original building, including a canopy. A tall imitation wooden signal box has been built on the platform at the north end. This is, in fact, a bird hide. All the work has been carried out to a high standard. The centre of the building is now a restaurant/cafe and there is much old railway memorabilia on view.
Photo by David Cramp

Yarmouth station looking south-west in August 2014. The imitation signal box which is actually a bird hide is seen on the platform.
Photo by David Cramp













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[Source: Nick Catford

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