Final Class 484 arrives on the Isle of Wight

The Island Line has taken delivery of its fifth and final Class 484 ex-London Underground train. 

Its arrival on the island on February 16 had been delayed, because parts from the Vivarail train had been ‘borrowed’ to ensure the four other two-car trains could enter passenger service.

The two carriages of 484005 were taken by Wightlink ferry to Fishbourne, and then by road to Sandown. There will be a period of testing before it carries passengers.

Although the bodyshells from London Underground D-stock are 40 years old, and the refurbished bogies are 20 years old, almost everything else on the trains is new. There are passenger information screens and USB charging points, WiFi, and wheelchair spaces.

The Island Line had closed in January 2021 for a planned three-month £26 million upgrade, but services did not resume for ten months as work to both trains and track ran into a succession of problems. Buses ran instead. 

Since then, half the promised timetable has run along the 8.5-mile route between Ryde and Shanklin, with one train an hour instead of two.

The operator has yet to confirm a date for a return to full service, which would entail a half-hour clockface schedule using a new passing loop at Brading station. This would enable trains to match the ferry timetable between Ryde Pierhead and Portsmouth Harbour station.

Last year, signalling was upgraded and the track refurbished to improve the infamously bumpy ride quality. Platforms at stations had to be raised to provide level access to the replacement trains. 

To read the full story, see RAIL 952.



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