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Island Line to re-open this autumn

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South Western Railway has said that the Island Line is set to reopen on 1 November.

The upgraded line’s reopening is subject to a final round of safety tests.

The £26 million upgrade will see newly refurbished trains running on smoother tracks and stopping at better stations. The trains will have modern interiors, power sockets, free Wi-Fi and wheelchair space.

Various factors have delayed the line’s original reopening date, including train testing complications, the pandemic and even flash flooding which engulfed the Isle of Wight earlier this summer.

The Isle of Wight’s railway is due to reopen on 1 November 2021.

During testing, the new Class 484 Island Line trains had been affected by software issues, which SWR and train supplier Vivarail have made good progress in solving through further testing.

Claire Mann, SWR.

Claire Mann, managing director of South Western Railway, said: “We are really pleased that the Island Line is set to reopen on 1 November, providing that a final round of testing allows us to safely introduce our new trains into passenger service.

“It goes without saying that the safety of our customers and colleagues is the absolute priority for us, which is why it’s so important to get these final preparations right.

“When the Island Line reopens, the new trains and upgraded infrastructure will give a real boost to the customer experience, delivering the modern, punctual and accessible railway that people expect and deserve.

“We are sorry that this project has taken longer to deliver than we first hoped, with a series of complications sadly delaying re-opening. However, we are confident that the transformed Island Line will be worth wait, and we are so excited to welcome locals and visitors back onboard!”

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