Photo credit: James Pilbeam Photography

The new and improved Island Line swung into action this week, with the very first passenger train departing Ryde St John’s Road early on Monday (November 1st).  

To the delight of a gathering of people both at the station and onboard, the new Vivarail Class 484 train set off at 05:35 – taking customers up to Ryde Pierhead before heading 8.5 miles south to Shanklin.  

The first train follows a £26 million transformation of the railway’s trains, stations and infrastructure as part of South Western Railway’s Journey to Better.

SWR Vivarail Island Line

Photo credit: South Western Railway

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, eased into a well-earned retirement.  

These trains have been replaced with the new Class 484 fleet, which are set to transform the customer experience, with upgraded interiors, wheelchair spaces and free WiFi.  

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.

Read full article here – RailBusinessDaily