Alteration at the Victoria Pier
Tunnel used for the first time
Isle of Wight Observer February 1880
On Thursday the round house at the entrance of the Victoria pier was demolished by Messrs Perry’s men in a very hurried manner. Orders came the previous evening that it was to come down before 1 o’clock the next day, and it was demolished in post haste with the pick, to the no small imjury to the various parts. It is difficult to learn exactly what the house was pulled down for, but we ahve been informed that it was to make a clear road to the slip, the Town Council having at the visit of the Government Inspector insisted on the approaches being properly made, and the other necessary work being carried out. There were several matters in dispute, but at a meeting on Thursday morning between the representatives of the town and the Railway Companies, we understand that matters were amicably arranged, and there is every probability of the line being opened by the first of March as originally intended.
LOCOMOTIVE ON THE PIER – On Friday a locomotive ran from the St John’s-road station through the newly-constructed tunnel to the end of the finished portion of the pier for the first time. Col Yolland, the Government Inspector, was present, and made his official inspection of the line. Among the other visitors were the Mayor and ex-Mayor of Ryde, Mr Dashwood, and Mr F Newman, borough engineer. Col Yolland expressed himself satisfied with the work, and with the exception of a few matters of dispute between the Corporation and the Joint Railway Companies everything passed off agreeably. The train ran the whole of the distance from the pier gates to St John’s under two minutes, and did the return journey in about two and a half minutes. The signals and points have been put down efficiently by Messrs Saxby and Farmer, of London, and no doubt the line will be opened on the 1st of March or shortly afterwards. A certain portion of the staff has been appointed by the superintendent of the two companies to conduct the business on the Ryde pier side, but we learn with regret that many of the Pier Company’s employes will not be continued in appointments which they have held for many years, and the duties of which they have efficiently discharged.
The photograph shows the reinforcement of the railway tunnel being carried out in 2006.