Published On: September 2, 2017 9:48 pm
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Steam train day trips with lunch are a great day out for the family with plenty of distraction and refuelling to keep all engines running!


Steam train day trips with lunch on the Isle of Wight are a picturesque proposal for a family of any size.

Against the backdrop of the rural north eastern regions of the Adventure Isle, this steam railway has much character and uniqueness.

Steam trains have for sometime not been the fashion of railway travel, being overtaken by technological advances leading to electrically power trains.

Isle of Wight also has an electric railway line running along the eastern portion of the Island, between Shanklin and Ryde Pier, intersecting the steam railway at Smallbrook Junction.

A little about the Isle of Wight steam railway

Founded in 1971, today the operation is owned (and operated primarily by volunteers) via it’s parent company Isle of Wight Railway Co. Ltd.

Starting off at Smallbrook Junction, where this heritage line connects to the Island Line, the 5.5 mile journey through to Wooton goes 5 stops.  One of the stops, Havenstreet, is a village where the steam railway is headquartered.

Whilst being run predominantly between April to September, this limited annual schedule (due to resource constraint) is an effort to maximise the operations’ profits with tourist trade.

Occasional steam galas attract ‘mainland imported’ diversification of train stock. These rare railway antiquities are shipped in over the Solent and presented to crowds who enjoy an interesting mix of historically significant showpieces.

Self-catering planning for steam train day trips with lunch

Timing is key.

If you are self-catering on a steam train, you’ll want to ensure that you plan it such that the duration of the trip and your lunch coincide beautifully and orchestrated to a ‘T’.

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway full run through takes a little over an hour on average.

This is shorter than most UK heritage steam railway lines by comparison and thus a little more vigilance is required to align the end of your lite lunch with the arrival at terminus.

What are the ideal types of foods to munch on your steam train day trips with lunch?

Quick, tidy, finger foods, with condiment for added dimension of flavour will go down well on a steam train day trip.

The important focus is preparation and thinking it through to ensure time spent…is well spent.

Also, as a matter of consideration for other guests on the train, it is imperative that you make this menu a cold foods selection. You certainly don’t want to make fellow passengers either nauseous or hungry with your luncheon experience.

Ideal homemade finger foods for such a journey could be:Steam Train Day Trip Buffet

  • Sandwich buffet
    • Example deli selection of fillings:
      • Salami
      • Chicken mayo
      • Prawn mayo
      • Corned beef
      • Ploughman’s
  • Afternoon tea / Cream Tea
    • Example cream tea ingredients (non-staining condiments):
      • Scones made with succulent apple pieces, currants and dates
      • Rodda’s cream
      • Honey
      • Coulis
  • Fruit basket
    • Example fruits for a fruit basket (ideal minus stones, skins or messy cores):
      • Figs
      • Grapes
      • Strawberries
      • Blueberries

Avoiding foods that leave behind greasy residues, or heaps of crumbs will be best. Otherwise, you’ll most probably leave your hosts with a messy job of cleaning up after you with stains and debris left behind.

Essential accessories for your steam train day trips with lunch

You’ll want to ensure that as quick as your set-up and your eating time is, equally you make a quick and clean getaway.

So the following will be a prudent line-up (in no particular order):

  • A backpack with decent capacity
  • Bin bags
  • Napkins
  • Disposable¬†cutlery
  • Moist wipes
  • Foil for wrapping up leftovers
  • Flasks rather than disposable bottles or cups (no leak)

Once done, exit leaving nothing behind!

Did we leave anything out? Please feel free to comment below.

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