The new Island Line trains have been successfully moved from Sandown to Ryde St John’s, completing their first ever journey on the network.
Under the cover of darkness late last night, the first carriages were taken from the sidings at Sandown Train Station onto the main line, passing through Brading and Smallbrook Junction to arrive at the Ryde maintenance depot.
It’s understood that fork lift batteries were used to move the trains under their own power – eliminating the need to use the third rail system. The third rail will be used in the future though.
As previously reported by Island Echo, the first of the Class 484 trains arrived on the Isle of Wight on Thursday afternoon. They were transported across the Solent via Wightlink ferry and then by road through Wootton and Arreton to Sandown, where they were unloaded.
A video of the train shows that it sits slightly higher than the platform at Brading Station. However, works will be taking place in the first 3 months of 2021 to adjust the network for the larger, more modern Class 484s.
Island Line’s new train moves for the first time on the island railway, here she is passing through Brading station on her way to Ryde St.John’s station #islandline #vivarail #isleofwight @SW_Help @iwightradio @iwcponline @islandecho @onthewight @Vivarail @wightlinkferry pic.twitter.com/HgblXfcFDE
— Ben Rue Photography (@PhotographyRue) November 21, 2020
Although the train successfully passed through bridges at Marshcombe Lane, Quay Lane, Rowborough, Harding Shute and Smallbrook, it’s unclear what the clearance is like at Ryde Tunnel. It’s thought the track will have to be lowered to allow the former London Underground trains to pass.
The first train consists of 2 carriages, with another 4 trains (8 carriages) due to arrive on the Island over the next few months.
The existing 1938 stock will cease operations on 3rd January 2021 and are expected to return for a short period in April before being replaced by the 484s in May.