User Submitted Stories

The Whippingham ghost train

In the mid 1970s we holidayed with my Gran, whose house backed onto the old railway line at Fairlee Road, Newport. Allowed to pack up sandwiches and go off for adventures without adult cares of Health and Safety, my brother Stephen and I explored the track, up past Whippingham, towards Havenstreet.

We reached the mouth of the tunnel and the air got colder, the trees pressing inwards and for the first time we felt scared. Out of nowhere came the screech of a steamtrain whistle and the noise of an engine getting nearer and nearer. Stephen and I turned and ran, for what we felt was our lives! Turning, we were relieved and surprised to see......nothing apart from the dark entrance of the tunnel.

When we got home we were told off for being late and going so far, and our tale of the engine was laughed off and put down to being one of the steam trains from Havenstreet that we had heard, as the steam train stopped on the other side of the tunnel. My Gran laughed all evening about our Ghost Train ......but we had the last laugh. Going to Havenstreet Station the next day, we were told that no trains had been running the previous day, due to line problems.......and then for good measure we were told off for tresspassing!

Now when I visit with my son, we freewheel down the cyclepath (once the old railway line) to Newport on our bikes, but occasionally, as the trees blow, I look back over my shoulder, just in case!


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