South Western Railway has today announced the dates of the engineering works that will be taking place on Island Line in advance of the introduction of the Class 484 trains in 2021.
From 4 January 2021 until 31 March 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, buses will run between Shanklin and Ryde Esplanade, with a minibus operating along Ryde Pier to connect passengers with Wightlink ferries. After asking for clarification of the bus service, this is the reply I got ‘The rail replacement bus service will call at all stations (except Smallbrook Junction) between Shanklin and Ryde Esplanade. There will be a separate minibus service from Ryde Esplanade to Ryde Pierhead to meet the Wightlink ferry’
Alan Penlington, Customer Experience Director, at South Western Railway said: “This is a very exciting project for Island Line and will transform travel on the Isle of Wight. 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.”