A new group has been formed with the aim of securing one of the current Island Line trains for operational preservation on the mainland as South Western Railway look to offload the current stock in the coming months.
The London Transport Traction Group (LTTG) is hoping to secure a complete Class 483 train for operational preservation on a suitable heritage railway. If successful, the train will be converted so that it can operate under its own power, i.e. using batteries, rather than by picking up power via an electrified third rail.
Conversations are currently underway with the Epping Ongar Railway in Essex, with a view to storing and operating the former London Underground train there following conversion to being self-powered.
The Epping Ongar line was part of London Underground’s Central Line until 1994, so it provides the ideal mainland home for one of these historic 1938 stock tube trains.
A spokesman from the Epping Ongar Railway has said:
“Given our strong links with the Underground we’re very excited about the possibility of seeing a unit like this run under its own. We’ve had informal discussions with the LTTG and look forward to seeing more details soon. Though we’re some way away the concept of bringing tubes back to our line is something that we support – after all we did just that in 2014!”
The London Transport Traction Group has begun opening up fundraising channels in response to South Western Railway’s announcement regarding the disposal of these trains. More information can be found at http://www.lttractiongroup.co.uk/pledges-and-fundraising.html.
It has been suggested that the Isle of Wight Steam Railway may also be looking at preserving one of the Island Line trains.
If you are interested in publishing a news piece on our group’s plans to return one of these trains to a former London Underground line, we would be delighted to hear from you! We cannot, however, provide information on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s preservation plans.