Yesterday marked the end of an era as Isle of Wight residents bid an emotional farewell to Island Line’s famed and beloved 82-year-old trains.
The final Class 483 train rolled out of the iconic Ryde Pier Head Station at 23.17 last night, closing a historic chapter for Island Line passengers and staff.
Every ending heralds a new beginning though, and Islanders can look forward to a major upgrade this spring with a new, fully refurbished fleet which will deliver a modern railway for the Isle of Wight.
In keeping with tradition, the fleet set to replace the retiring trains are also former London Underground stock which previously served the District Line. This upgrade will give a major boost to reliability, comfort and convenience, with the fully refurbished trains boasting modern features such as free on-board WiFi, improved passenger information, at-seat charging points and wheelchair spaces. The first new train was welcomed onto the Island last month.
The new trains form part of a £26 million investment in Island Line, which will deliver the installation of a new passing loop at Brading, allowing for a service at regular 30-minute intervals; track enhancement work to improve ride quality; and adjustments to platform heights to improve accessibility.
These major improvements will take place between 4 January and 31 March, during which time there will be no service on Island Line. A bus service will be replacing trains throughout the three months.