Island Line Trains will see new timetable say South Western Railway

As well as revised timetables, we can look forward to replacement trains (not new, but newer) and the introduction of onboard wifi, charging ports, and more.

Island line train

Island Line’s oldest trains look set to be replaced within two years.

South Western Railway, which operates Island Line, said the 1938 London Underground trains would be replaced — not with brand new trains, but they will be ‘significantly newer’ than the current stock.

The announcement was made at yesterday’s (Thursday) meeting of the Isle of Wight Council’s policy and scrutiny committee for regeneration, planning, housing and the environment.

Modern transport experience
South Western Railway said:

“Although they are an interesting historic experience, we don’t think that they give proper, modern transport experience on the Island.”

Maintenance of the current trains has become increasingly difficult over recent years and South Western Railway said it wanted to provide a service that worked ‘all year round, not just during the summer’.

More improvements
Other improvements in the pipeline include the introduction of a new timetable, with trains every 30 minutes, onboard wifi and charging ports, information boards and new CCTV.

A new platform layout at Ryde Interchange would create improved access for Hovertravel passengers. The improvement plan will be put to the Department for Transport (DfT) at the end of May.

As part of the franchise agreement, the DfT must approve the plans before South Western can invest in the new fleet. The DfT will have until the end of the year to consider the plans.

If it agrees, it is hoped the old Island Line trains would be replaced by 2020.

This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed

Image: seattlecamera under CC BY 2.0

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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12 Comments on "Island Line Trains will see new timetable say South Western Railway"

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If this report is accurate, probably of most significance is the ‘trains every 30 minutes’ bit. Previous comment has suggested that to operate a rgular ’30-minute interval’ service, the passing loop at Brading needs to be re-instated. This in turn would mean the Island Line trains would only need one track from Smallbrook to Ryde St.Johns Road. This in turn could re-instate access to Ryde for the… Read more »

I believe this has been the informed thinking for a long time. I wonder why it is suddenly being re-visited? If implememnted it would make extension to Newport more interesting.

I’m guessing it’s a result of the new franchise. It’s also pretty much the only realistic option (short of a rail tunnel to the mainland) that gives the line long-term viability. a 30 minute frequency that works with the catamaran service would significantly increase ridership, and replacing the old trains and 3rd rail system would soon recoup the costs involved by simplified maintenance. To me an extension… Read more »

What are they proposing to replace them with? From all the past correspondence on this there is nothing out there that is suitable – too big, too long, wrong system. We need to know!
I for one will miss our rattly old trains . . .


Almost certainly old District Line trains, which a company called ‘Vivarail’ has stockpiled for converting to diesel/battery trains.

They are much nearer in size to ‘normal’ trains you’d find on the mainland network, but it seems still small enough to get through Ryde Tunnel.


longer taller so might fit But might not


According to the guy running Vivarail “they fit”

Well it is as well to remember that that man is in fact looking to sell the former D stock as stated might fit but might Not A gauging exercise would need to be completed, coupled with lowering the Ryde Tunel I do consider that this is the best option for continuing the use of the existing railway for a further Twenty years as always though Cost… Read more »

I understand a laser survey has been undertaken, so when he says “they fit” I see no reason to think otherwise.

Very interesting read, though sadly, not terribly suprising. However, I think the author does skip over how much of a passenger boost a 30 minute service interval would likely bring. There is significant commuter demand for the catamaran service, but due to the lack of connections, most people drive to the pier head, or park and walk up. The passing loop at Brading is one of the… Read more »

I suspect the Parry ‘flywheel’ concept, previously floated, has been ruled out on performance grounds – it’s hard to see how they could possibly achieve a two train half-hourly service. Even a conventional diesel would struggle.