Closure to facilitate introduction of new rolling stock

Vivarail is currently working on the first Class 484 for Island Line at its Long Marston workshops

South Western Railway has announced the Island Line network will close in January for almost three months in advance of the introduction of new rolling stock in 2021.

From January 4 until March 31, 2021, no service will run on Island Line whilst work is carried out to deliver the biggest transformation to the line’s infrastructure since the line was electrified in 1967.

This work includes the construction of a new passing loop at Brading allowing for a regular 30-minute service, enhancements to the track to improve the quality of the ride, upgrade to platforms to improve access to the Class 484 trains, and the installation of new ticket vending machines at Shanklin, Sandown and Ryde St John’s Road.

To keep passengers moving, the train operator says buses will run between Shanklin and Ryde Esplanade, with a minibus operating along Ryde Pier to connect passengers with Wightlink ferries.

“This is a very exciting project for Island Line and will transform travel on the Isle of Wight,” said Alan Penlington, SWR’s customer experience director. “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.”

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