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South Western Railway’s Island Line depot team are celebrating success at the prestigious National Rail Awards 2020 as they have been Highly Commended in the Fleet Excellence category.

The commendation is fitting recognition of the extraordinary work of the small team at Ryde St Johns depot who have kept services running for the 140,000 Islanders and millions of visitors.

The depot team are widely respected throughout SWR for their ingenuity and hardwork, learning new skills, and embracing innovation and technology, to provide a reliable service for customers. The commendation also reflects their great relationship with local suppliers on the Island, for example in helping to source parts that are no longer manufactured for the former London Underground trains.

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After more than 8 decades of service – both on the mainland and more recently on the Island – the units are about to embark on a well-earned retirement, with newer trains set to take their place. Following a £26million investment, the current fleet, which entered service on the Isle of Wight in the 1970s, will be replaced by the Class 484 trains from Vivarail.

How the new Island Line trains will look

The Sustainable Business Award was also awarded to SWR for the key role the emissions reduction technology plays in promoting a sustainable transport system and helping the industry face up to climate change.

Mark Hopwood, South Western Railway’s Managing Director said:

“We’re committed to improving the railway for the communities we serve, but we can only deliver first rate journeys thanks to the innovative ideas and hard work of our colleagues.

“Our success at the prestigious National Rail Awards show how we’re not only helping to deliver a sustainable, safe, modern and accessible railway for all, but we’re willing to work with others to achieve this by implementing great ideas.

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“I want to congratulate everyone on their success.”

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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Fred Nurke

Well deserved. These engineers have performed wonders, to keep those old trains running. having to re-engineer parts, fabricate new ones, invent alternatives and more, through hard work, skill and ingenuity.
Those trains are older than some of Havenstreet’s preserved steam locos.
Well done.

Paul Raven-Hill

The current 2-car Class 483 ex-London Transport 1938 Tube Stock entered service on the IOW Island Line between 1990 and 1992, not in the 1970s, replacing previous LT trains dating from 1923 to 1934. Well done to the Ryde Depot team – they deserve it for keeping the 1938 stock running for over 39 years on the IOW. I enjoyed having a trip on the Island Line a few weeks ago and it was a privilege to ride on these venerable old trains. Shame about some of them having been hit by graffiti vandals.

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