The 13.7km-long Island Line on the Isle of Wight in the UK will be closed for nearly three months next year for engineering works.

Line operator South Western Railway announced that the services will remain closed from 4 January to 31 March.

The scope of the engineering works will include the construction of a new passing loop at Brading to enable a regular 30-minute service, track enhancement works, and the installation of new ticket vending machines at Shanklin, Sandown and Ryde St John’s Road.

The station platforms will also be upgraded to improve access to the Class 484 trains, which are slated to be introduced on the Island Line next year.

Class 483 Electric Multiple Units (EMU) currently operate on the line.

South Western Railway customer experience director Alan Penlington said: “This is a very exciting project for Island Line and will transform travel on the Isle of Wight. Whilst this work will be disruptive, we will keep our customers moving with replacement buses.

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“Upon completion of this critical work, we will be introducing the Class 484 trains into service, providing modern spacious interiors, free on-board Wi-Fi, at-seat charging points and dedicated wheelchair spaces.

“The new passing loop at Brading will also allow us to run a service at regular 30-minute intervals, providing better connections to ferries to the mainland.”

Electrified in 1967, the Island Line stretches from Ryde to Shanklin passing through Smallbrook Junction, Brading, Sandown and Lake stations.

South Western Railway took over the franchise in 2017.