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The first of the new Class 484 trains set to operate on Island Line from 2021 has arrived on the Isle of Wight this afternoon (Thursday), marking a significant milestone in the delivery of a modern railway for the future.

Just 14 months after the announcement of a major £26million investment in the future of the Island’s railway – the biggest upgrade the network has seen in over 50 years – the first train has been transported across the Solent and is making its way to Sandown Train Station.

The train arrived on the 14:00 Wightlink ferry from Portsmouth and is expected to be placed onto the tracks at Sandown in due course.

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The Class 484s will operate between Ryde Pier Head and Shanklin and will replace the ageing 1938 former underground stock, which has been operating up and down the 8.5-mile track for the past 30 years. The new trains are in fact 42-years-old and previously operated on London’s District line, but have been completely overhauled by Warwickshire-based Vivarail and run on bogies from the 2000s. They are effectively brand new trains and will include free on-board WiFi, charging sockets and wheelchair spaces.

A total of 5x 2-car trains will be in the fleet by next Summer with the others arriving on the Island in the coming months. This is in stark contrast to the current 2 working trains, both of which are older than some of the steam trains running on the heritage steam railway.

Alongside the modern fleet, Island Line will soon benefit from a number of infrastructure and station improvements including the installation of a new passing loop at Brading, allowing for a service at regular 30-minute intervals, as well as track enhancement work to improve ride quality and adjustments to platform heights to improve accessibility.

WATCH: Live stream from Wightlink’s Fishbourne terminal as the first train arrives on the Island

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In order to complete these improvement works, Island Line will be closed from 4th January 2021 until 31st March 2021, with replacement buses operating instead. Following these works, the new trains will be introduced into service.

Mark Hopwood, Managing Director of South Western Railway, has said:

 “Island Line customers are going to notice a real improvement with the introduction of this new fleet, improving journeys for the future.

“The Class 483s have proven to be the workhorse of the railway, but these newer trains will help modernise the rail experience on the Isle of Wight for years to come.

“This is the first major step towards a better railway for the island, and we are now only a matter of months away before the trains enter service.”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton Harris said:

“It’s great to finally see this long-awaited, welcome improvement, that will bring the Island Line into the modern era.

“Passengers on the Island Line will benefit from the new fleet’s more comfortable and reliable services, whilst still being able to enjoy the unique charm that has become a hallmark of the island’s railway.”

It will be a while before passengers are welcomed on board, so a 360-degree virtual tour has been created on the interior of one of the new carriages. This can be viewed at

Earlier this week Island Echo reported that the Class 484s had been seen moving for the first time.

For more information on the improvements visit

Proposed Island Line Upgrade Programme (issued September 2019)

September 2019 Island Line investment announcement made at Brading ✅
Late 2019-2020 Build of new Vivarail Class 484 trains begins at Long Marston, Midlands ✅
Late 2019 onwards Design and planning work for Island Line infrastructure ✅
April 2020 Testing begins on first Class 484 Island Line unit ✅
Spring 2020 Wifi and Ticket Machines installed at stations ✅
Summer 2020 First Class 484 train arrives on the Isle of Wight for testing (delayed until November)
October/November 2020 More new Class 484 trains arrive on the Isle of Wight (now expected Q1 2021)
Winter 2020/2021 Disruption during infrastructure works – shuttle service in operation (Line will now be completely closed in January, February and March)
February 2021 Final new Class 484 carriages delivered
March 2021 Last 1938 stock Island Line train decommissioned
May 2021 Brand new timetable introduced with new trains

WATCH – £26million investment in Island Line announced in September 2019

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Helen Highwater

“They are effectively brand new trains” – no, they’re 50-year-old design on 20-year-old running gear. Look forward to a renewed litany of technical breakdowns.

Still, at least the Echo didn’t regurgitate Seely’s vacuous ramblings on the subject.


The electronics/motors etc are all brand new, it’s just the aluminium bodyshell and interior/wheels which are older though still in fantastic condition. Good for many, many decades to come.


You’re an idiot.


Very welcome news. Wonderful that the Island will be benefiting from the new trains.

Old Mike

Remarkable resemblence to O V S Bulleid’s ‘Leader’ steam locomotive, at first glance.

The cats fleas

Soon to resemble a down town train in Harlem soon. Smothered in graffiti if parked up at St Johns, and windows put through.

All aboard the ghetto express

Are you comparing inner-city New York to the outskirts of Ryde?

Amanda Ghost

My husband said the same, but I will have to take your word for such Mike. Least it should go without having the smuts.


Let’s hope the 1978 D stock rebuilds are not as big a failure as Bulleid’s Leader class

Ryde Reader

Come with free on board WiFi and charging sockets – hmm – just working would be good!


I am surprised with all the cutbacks they did not get ex Docklands Light Railways trains, they are driverless.


The 1986 Docklands light railway stock were bought by Essen, Germany. Lol
They are still working there on roadside tramways.


Begrudge people earning a living do you

Mop bucket

Driverless is fine, clueless is the real issue.


What an absolute waste of money nearly every week trains are cancelled because there is a shortage of staff. Why not use a pump action handcar as used in the St.Trinians train robbery.


I hope they weren’t refitted by the same crew who provided the new floating bridge??

Abs a

It’s a joke people


Having worked on the new old 1936 stock for several years when they arrived and experiencing regular breakdowns, i hope this new old stock lasts longer before defects start to appear.


Very nice and good for the environment recycling perfectly good older trains. Would be good if they made it easy to buy a ticket. Hopefully they will add ticket machines.

Have a word

Give you sad Whits something to run up and down the tracks for. just to get a glimpse of a 42 year old mutton dressed as lamb. If u go to M&S you can see them all day long.

Opinions Matter

Let’s keep everything crossed and hope the train is more reliable than the floating boat!


Hope they have measured the tunnel

Mop bucket

Looks familiar, not travelled on the district for about 25 years now.


The Caulkheads are getting new trains and they are still complaining !

Shows the Overners just what Island life is all about.


Daily stabbings, acid attacks and terrorism. Shows the Islanders what “overner” life is all about.


Welcome to 2020, It’s the norm in the North Island and it’s going to spread to Caulkhead land.

Most crime goes unreported in London, because it is happening so often

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