Island line set for transformation

Replacement trains and improved infrastructure are coming to the Isle of Wight’s railway, as PHILIP SHERRATT reports

The 8½-mile Island line between Ryde Pier Head and Shanklin on the Isle of Wight is one of the most characterful parts of the network. Indeed, the combination of eighty-year old ex-tube trains and a somewhat ageing infrastructure more than merits the descriptor unique.

The phrase ‘once in a generation’ is perhaps overused on the railway, but the upgrade being delivered by South Western Railway really is that. New Class 484 trains from Vivarail are being built at the company’s Long Marston base while a three-month closure early next year will usher in a range of infrastructure upgrades.

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