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’.
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