South Western Railway has confirmed that for almost 3 months no trains will operate between Ryde Pier Head and Shanklin whilst work is undertaken to transform the line, including the introduction of a new passing loop at Brading.
During the service suspension work will also be undertaken to improve the track, improve platform access and install new ticket machines.
Rail replacement buses will be in operation and a minibus will operate up and down Ryde Pier – which will be particularly important during the wet months.
Alan Penlington, Customer Experience Director, at South Western Railway, has said:
“This is a very exciting project for Island Line and will transform travel on the Isle of Wight. Whilst this work will be disruptive, we will keep our customers moving with replacement buses.
“Upon completion of this critical work, we will be introducing the Class 484 trains into service, providing modern spacious interiors, free on-board Wi-Fi, at seat charging points, and dedicated wheelchair spaces.
“The new passing loop at Brading will also allow us to run a service at regular 30-minute intervals, providing better connections to ferries to the mainland.”
As reported by Island Echo this morning, the first photos of the new Class 484 trains have been released.
Calling the trains ‘new’ may be a bit of a stretch as they are, technically, 42-years-old. The 1978 former London District Line stock has been completely overhauled by Vivarail and run on bogies from the 2000s. This is a stark contrast to the current trains being used on the Isle of Wight which are older than some of the trains running on the heritage steam railway.
The new trains will provide more capacity, better accessibility, USB charging, passenger information systems and onboard wifi. They will also allow the guard to easily pass between carriages to collect fares. As photographed above, the new trains have been fitted with a snow plough to clear debris from the tracks.