Photo: Ben Rue Photography


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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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Am I reading this right? After all the self-congratulations and MP photo opportunities, they still don’t know for certain that these new, improved trains will fit through the tunnel? I just hope that the same team involved with the floating bridge were nowhere near this project.

Mop bucket

They will fit, though i did read the track bed was raised once upon a time. The loading gauge is what matters, after all, the coaches on the steam railway used the tunnel in their day.

Amanda Ghost

The issue being they had to remove material from under the bridges to give more height for trains to pass under the tunnels. Yet by doing so, have then created a lower area which then floods in heavy rain. So when Ryde is built to ruination, and thousands of litres of extra water fill the Monkton Mead brook hourly, then as the railway runs close by in Ryde, issues will occur, as electricity and water disagree. Vote this greedy council out who are intent on destroying the quality of life for those already here and paying their wages, by them… Read more »

Gentle-man farmer

steam be best
sumit fur torusts to do an all
counsill just build on every thin

get shot of them all


Your uncle is your brother too, isn’t he.

Gentle-man farmer

yo nos me famlee
drup in wen yos pasin
eed lick to se yo i spect

Lady Dunstanding

Dear Sir,
I really love all your top-notch yokel stuff! You even imitate perfectly the Oisle o’ Woite drawl, some from England find it so hard to perfect. Nine families in my road all pretending to live here just now! You stick to your guns, mate, and I shall dig out the pitchforks!


The 1978 trains are not just higher than the tube stock but also longer. The track in the tunnel will probably have to be singled as well as lowered.
The Welsh government have bought battery operated versions of the 1978 trains that can operate on non electrified lines, which are Class 230. The Welsh versions are original 3 car formations.
Unfortunately decisions as regards Island Line and Southern Vectis are not made by local people with local knowledge.


I hope you’re not right about those extra gallons. We already get the Brook bursting its banks at times in Winter, at the bottom of our gardens.

Tim C

I think its great to see new (referbished) trains on the track!! Nice to get an upgrade on the island! And so shiny too! Lowering tracks through the tunnel is not that bog of deal if needed, we should all be pleased for them.


It will be a ‘bog of a deal’ when it floods!

John Vectis

Nice to see a good comment, not the continuous complaints.

Fred Nurke

I’ve always understood that the Ryde tunnel floods according to the tides.
They raised the track to keep it dry, as electrified rails are not good underwater.
Now they’ve brought over trains that are potentially too tall to operate at full tide.
Who thinks up these ideas?


This was my understanding too. Why the steam can’t run to Ryde Esplanade anymore. Which is a shame. Not sure why it was not an issue when they first built the tunnel.

Helen Highwater

Sea level rise?

The cats fleas

This is what the ghost is saying.

And when Ryde is concreted over, the water run off instead of soaking into the earth, will run into water courses which flow into the Monkton Mead river. As the railway at Simeon street is prone to flood without such massive extra water, then with it, chaos.

But all is not lost, as the top councillors don’t travel by train, nor their loved ones, as all furnished with huge cars, private parking etc.

So as they don’t care for us, we ought to return the favour by voting them OUT next given chance.


fascinating. the standard of knowledge on this island astounds me, even now. since when did councillors decide on what network rail decide to do?

but then, there are some folks who want to blame the IWC for the fact it gets cold in winter and dark at night…..etc.


Urban Myth! It’s tight, but these *will* fit through the tunnel. The problem was two overbridges in Ryde, Rink Road and Smallbrook Lane, which each needed one of the tracks lowered back in August. The tunnel was built with surprisingly generous headroom compared to the rest of the Island network, which they used in the 60s to lay proper drainage under the track. This was all proved in the mid 80s when local staff squeezed a newly arrived diesel loco, slightly larger than these new trains, through the tunnel both ways… but on the way back to St Johns it… Read more »


Since nuclear Fred (Which is now at Havenstreet)hit the bridge and tunnel, the tunnel was rebuilt with a lot of steel where it passes under the roundabout by the Castle Hotel. This was done for the introduction of 44ton lorries.

Helen Highwater

One of the very, very few benefits of Brexit could be that we don’t have to accept ever heavier axle weights. Unfortunately Island infrastucture is under the expert guidance of that consummate engineering genius Cllr Ian Ward, so don’t expect any sensible decisions.


Interesting comment!


The track bed in Ryde tunnel was lifted many years ago, but there are pumps that kick in to try to keep the tunnel dry. On a couple of occasions the pumps didn’t work and trains couldn’t go through.

If they do have to lower the track bed to allow the new oldie trains through, those pumps will have to work longer each time they are required.


Hopefully they’ll keep hold of the original 1930s carriages. If these new ones will be anything like the floating bridge then they’ll need all the replacements they can get


here we go again…..

Daniel Nash (LTTG Secretary)

I am sure that some readers here care about the future of the current Class 483 trains. The London Transport Traction Group has received positive news from South Western Railway regarding their application to take one of the trains into preservation on the mainland. There will be two units preserved on the Island, but we are planning to return ours to former London Underground territory at the Epping Ongar Railway in Essex. We are also the only group looking to run one of these trains under its own power in preservation. To find out more, please visit our website, which… Read more »


I thought the Ryde tunnel is the one that floods… if so, and they dig deeper, … are these new trains waterproof ?? Maybe they could go along the sea floor..


We have Railway Stations in the UK not the American version of train station, Yes I am being pedantic but I get fed up with seeing English becoming more and more americanised . It will be a pity to see the older stock go hoepfully they will be preserved and may be could run on special days

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