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Newly transformed Island Line railway reopens

Posted on 07 Dec 2021 and read 798 times
Newly transformed Island Line railway reopensThe Isle of Wight’s new and improved Island Line, ‘swung into action’ last month, with the very first Class 484 passenger train departing Ryde St John’s Road at 05:35, taking customers up to Ryde Pierhead before heading 8.5 miles south to Shanklin. The first train followed a £26 million transformation of the railway’s trains, stations and infrastructure as part of South Western Railway’s ‘Journey to Better’.

This project, which has been funded by the Department for Transport, Isle of Wight Council and Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, has seen the old 1938 tube trains, which had served the Island since 1989, retired from service and replaced by the new Class 484 fleet, which features upgraded interiors, wheelchair spaces and free Wi-Fi.

To complement the new trains, the Island’s rail infrastructure has been ‘drastically improved’, with upgraded tracks helping customers to enjoy a smoother ride, and raised platforms set to improve accessibility.

Claire Mann, South Western Railway’s managing director, said: “We are so excited to welcome our customers back onboard having completed the biggest upgrade to the Island Line in over 50 years. From new trains to improved stations, the long list of benefits that come with this upgrade will give a real boost to the Isle of Wight’s public transport infrastructure, connecting communities and making it easier for visitors to explore the Island.”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, added: “This investment totally transforms rail travel on the island, updating trains, stations for both resident and tourists alike, underlining our commitment to creating a railway that puts the priorities of passengers first — all part of our ambitious Plan for Rail.”