Future of Island Line revealed!
The future of the Isle of Wight’s railway network will include new rolling stock and a passing loop at Brading thanks to a £26million investment, it has been announced by the Minister of State for Transport Yesterday.
Addressing stakeholders and the press at Brading Train Station this morning, Chris Heaton-Harris MP explained how the Isle of Wight can expect more punctual, reliable trains and better connections to cross-Solent services, supporting local residents, businesses and tourism.
The new trains, which will continue to run on a third rail system, will be refurbished former London Underground stock from 1978 – Vivarail Class 484. They will provide more capacity, better accessibility, passenger information systems and wifi.
A total of 5x 2-car trains have been ordered with the first carriages expected to arrive on test from the Vivarail facility in the Midlands in early summer 2020. Track improvement works will follow during the winter of 2020/2021.
As well as new rolling stock, a new passing loop is to be created at Brading to help improve the connectivity of the trains with cross-Solent sailings. The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership has contributed £1million to fund this new loop.
There has been no announcement made about plans to extend the Isle of Wight Steam Railway to Ryde St John’s, as rumoured for several months.