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In pictures: the Isle of Wight’s iconic trains retire after 82 years of service

By Ilaria Grasso Macola 04 Jan 2021 (Last Updated January 4th, 2021 14:14)

After 82 years of service, the Isle of Wight’s Island Line trains have retired, with the Final Class 483 leaving Ryde Pier Head station – one of the three railway stations in the town of Ryde – on 3 January at 11.17 pm.

In pictures: the Isle of Wight’s iconic trains retire after 82 years of service
The trains are estimated to have run for over three million miles in 82 years. Credit: South Western Railway.

After 82 years of service, the Isle of Wight’s Island Line trains have retired, with the Final Class 483 leaving Ryde Pier Head station – one of the three railway stations in the town of Ryde – on 3 January at 11.17 pm.

The fleet, which was built in 1938 to serve the London Underground network before being moved to Wight, was estimated to have travelled more than three million miles in 82 years.

“Today we’re saying goodbye to a truly iconic train fleet which is held in great affection by people living on the Island and elsewhere,” commented South Western Railway managing director Mark Hopwood. “These trains had already been carrying passengers for half a century by the time they arrived on the Island in 1989 […] but they have served our customers well – even if they have on occasion shown their age.

“While this may be an emotional end to one era, it’s also the start of an exciting new one. The £26m being invested in new trains and major infrastructure upgrades will help to deliver a railway fit for 2021, with performance and customer experience both set to be transformed.”

Within the fleet, one of the trains will be preserved by the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, the island’s heritage railway company. Isle of Wight Steam Railway general manager Steve Backhouse commented: “The 1938 stock have been an iconic feature of the Isle of Wight for the last 30 years and we’re delighted that a unit will be preserved at Havenstreet so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.”

Another unit will go to the London Traction Transport Group, which was formed in May 2020 to preserve the trains. The group has been in negotiations with the Epping Ongar railway – a heritage railway running in south-west Essex – to run the train on the railway using on-board batteries.

“80 years after delivery to London Transport, we’re excited to be bringing unit 483006 back to a former tube line at the Epping Ongar Railway,” said London Transport Action Group secretary Daniel Nash. “We hope that enthusiasts who have not been able to make it to the Island today due to the current restrictions will support us and help us to keep one of these trains running in preservation.

“Although they have finished on the Island Line, this will not be the last chance to ride on one of the trains.”

As mentioned by Hopwood, the fleet will be replaced by new trains and infrastructures worth £26m.

The investment affects the Island Line – which connects Ryde Pier Head station to the east coast of the island – will focus on improving the service, bringing it to every 30 minutes, as well as track enhancement and increased accessibility works.

The new operation begins today and lasts until 31 March.

Credit: South Western Railway.

 

Credit: South Western Railway.

 

Credit: South Western Railway.

 

Credit: South Western Railway.