HomeBusinessIsland swaps out its last old train to complete new fleet

Island swaps out its last old train to complete new fleet

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The Isle of Wight’s Island Line now has a full complement of Class 484 trains.

It was something of a revolving door operation that saw the end of this modernising project. On Wednesday (16 February), they brought in the new and final of the five 484 trains, as preparations were underway to say goodbye to the last 483.

The older train left the next day – headed to the London Traction Transport Group on the mainland.

The new two-car train went to Solent and then to Sandown, where it will be subject to several tests before serving customers.

The five new trains form a key part of last year’s £26 million Island Line upgrade. The improvements have seen the Class 484 trains running through improved stations and along enhanced infrastructure.

The new trains have improved the customer experience, with enhancements ranging from better interiors to plug sockets, free WiFi and wheelchair spaces.

The railway’s track has been improved, providing customer comfort, while a passing loop at Brading will usher in a new, regular 30-minute train service, aligned to the ferry timetable. At a number of stations, new ticket vending machines and Customer Information Screens have been installed.

Alex Foulds, SWR’s commercial projects director, said: “This week, the biggest transformation of the Island Line since 1967 takes another step forward as we welcome the final Class 484 and bid a fond farewell to the last Class 483.

“Combined with upgraded infrastructure and station improvements, these new trains are helping to deliver the modern, punctual and accessible railway that the Island’s residents and visitors expect and deserve.”

What are the Class 484 trains?

Class 484 trains might look a little bit familiar. That’s because they keep with the Island Line’s tradition of using ex London Underground trains. They are, to be exact, the existing bodyshells and bogies of D78 stock units.

The reason is these cater to some unique characteristics of the Island Line’s eight-and-a-half mile route – most notably in the Ryde Tunnel.

You would have to do a double-take, however, as Vivarail do a very extensive job of refurbishing them.

If you want to take a look around, you can without heading to the Isle of Wight. Vivarail has a full interactive 3D recreation on their website.

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