A half century of Island tubes

DAVID STAINES marks the end of tube-sized rolling stock on the Isle of Wight after over 50 years

1960s modernisation: after the end of steam on 31 December 1966, the Island line was closed from January to March 1967 for engineering work to accept electric trains of reduced size rolling stock. On 20 March 1967 islanders clapped eyes on their ‘new’ trains – 44 cars of London Electric Railway 1920s ‘standard’ stock, the oldest of which had entered service on the Northern Line on 28 January 1924. Seven-car formations (the units were initially split into three-and four-car sets) were required to maintain a 20-minute headway in the summer season; even on Sundays full formations were required. Unit No 043 leads No 044 into Brading on Sunday 17 August 1980; the loop here will be reinstated during the three-month closure in early 2021.

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