One of the new trains for Island Line has been seen rolling along the tracks for the very first time ahead of its arrival on the Isle of Wight.
Mark Hopwood, Managing Director of South Western Railway, has shared a video of the refurbished 1978 former London District Line stock undergoing testing in Worcestershire.
The Class 484 trains will operate between Ryde Pier Head and Shanklin and will replace the ageing 1938 former underground stock. The new trains are 42-years-old but have been completely overhauled by Vivarail and run on bogies from the 2000s. They are effectively brand new trains with all the latest modern technology.
Once they are on the Island, the Class 484s will run off the third rail system. To overcome this in testing, Vivarail has used forklift batteries as an innovative way to move the carriages.
It’s understood that the new trains will begin to arrive on the Island from as early as this week. They will then undergo several hours of night testing before being introduced to the network full-time in Spring 2021. Island Line will be closed completely in January, February and March to allow for improvement works.
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 (now November)|
|October/November 2020||More new Class 484 carriages arrive on the Isle of Wight (expected 2021)|
|Winter 2020/2021||Disruption during infrastructure works – shuttle service in operation (Line now closed Jan/Feb/Mar)|
|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|