Ryde Esplanade railway station serves the town of Ryde
on the Isle of Wight
, and forms part of the Ryde Transport Interchange
. Located on the sea front, it is the most convenient station for the majority of the town. Ryde Esplanade is also the location of the principal ticket office and all lost property facilities for the Island Line
. The larger St John's Road station
houses the area office and is next to Ryde depot
, where all in-house maintenance for the line takes place.
A station has existed on the site since 29 August 1864, when a horse-drawn tram service began operation along the new Ryde Pier
This service, and the line it ran along, pre-dates both the railway line and the current facilities on the site. The tramway was extended to St John's Road
in August 1871, but in 1880 this service was replaced by the railway line and current station. The station was originally known as ''Pier Gate''. Trams continued running under various power sources until after the Grouping of Britain's railways
in 1923, right up to January 1969.
The tram lines and the remaining terminus platforms for them are still visible at the western end of platform 1.
There are two tracks through the station, and therefore two platform faces. The southern platform 1 is used for all regular passenger services, meaning that on departure trains may run in either direction. Platform 2 has previously been used for additional shuttle trains from the Esplanade to the Pier Head
, but has fallen into disuse. Part of this second platform was due to be demolished in March 2007 under a separate Network Rail
project. Access between the two platforms was by means of a subway. This subway is no longer open to the public and is regularly flooded to a depth of several metres. There is a canopy over platform one, while platform two has a simple shelter over the subway entrance. All passenger facilities, including the ticket office and access to Ryde bus station
, are found next to platform one on the south side of the site.
As of November 2008, there are two trains per hour to all destinations on the line, except Smallbrook Junction
which is not always open to passengers. Due to the placement of passing loop
s on the mainly single-track line, trains cannot currently run at even 30-minute intervals. Instead, in each direction, each hour there is one train followed by a gap of 20 minutes, then another train followed by a gap of 40 minutes. In exceptionally busy periods, 3 trains per hour have previously run at even 20-minute intervals. "Clockface" 30-minute intervals between departures are expected after upgrade work on the line, scheduled for Winter 2020-2021.
File:Ryde map 1945.jpg|A 1945 Ordnance Survey map of Ryde showing the location of the Ryde Pier Head, Ryde Esplanade and Ryde St John's Road stations
File:Ryde Esp 8 64385 1.jpg|Ryde Esplanade station, August 1964
File:Ryde Esplanade Railway station 1971.jpg|Ryde Esplanade in 1971.
File:Class 483 at Ryde Esplanade 2006.jpg|Train leaving Ryde Esplanade, heading towards Ryde Pier Head
Category:Railway stations on the Isle of Wight
Category:Former Portsmouth and Ryde Joint Railway stations
Category:Railway stations in Great Britain opened in 1880
Category:Railway stations served by South Western Railway
Category:Railway stations serving harbours and ports in the United Kingdom