29 July 2020, 14:54
South Western Railway is looking for new homes for its soon to be retired Island Line fleet.
The 5 Class 483 trains, built in 1938 for the London Underground, have been serving the Isle of Wight since 1989. However, as announced in September 2019, following a £26m investment to secure the future of Island Line, the current fleet is due to be replaced by the Class 484 trains.
South Western Railway is looking for new homes for the trains as soon as possible, to make room for the arrival of the first Class 484s for testing this year. SWR has already received several expressions of interest from preservation groups, including the neighbouring Isle of Wight Steam Railway.
Organisations interested in adopting a soon to be former Island Line train will need to demonstrate the capacity and financial security to remove and look after the train, as well as a suitable long-term physical location for the train. They may also need to prepare a plan to manage potentially hazardous substances where these remain on the units, which will need to meet the satisfaction of the Office of Rail & Road and other statutory bodies.
The trains are also subject to a statutory Designation Notice following the decision of the Board of Trustees’ of the Science Museum on 4 March 2020. Prior to ownership transferring, SWR would need to ensure the future plans for some or all of the vehicles were acceptable to the Board of Trustees.
The trains are in varying states of repair, with two of them having been used largely for spares in recent years.
Mark Hopwood, Managing Director for South Western Railway said: “The Class 483 trains have been running for 82 years, serving passengers first on London Underground and most recently on the Isle of Wight. Despite their age our team at Ryde St John Depot has worked miracles keeping these trains going to provide a vital service for the island.
“With new trains arriving, now is the time for these trains to find new homes, for a well-deserved retirement.”.
Organisations interested in rehoming a former Island Line train should express their interest by emailing 484Project@swrailway.com. The deadline for expressing interest is Wednesday 12 August.
South Western Railway Press Office
Originally built in 1938, these trains operated London Underground’s Northern Line until they were withdrawn from service in the late 1980s.
In July 1989, the first of the 1938 stock, now the Class 483, arrived on the Isle of Wight to operate the 8.5-mile Island Line, from Ryde Pier Head to Shanklin.
The trains have now seen over 80 years of passenger service, 30 of which have been on Island Line
In September 2019, South Western Railway announced £26m of investment in Island Line that would see the Class 483 replaced by VivaRail’s Class 484 trains, as well as improvements in infrastructure allowing for a trains service at regular 30 minute intervals.
In keeping with Island Line’s tradition of former London Underground trains, the new trains will be refurbished former District Line trains, but with modern features including WiFi, passenger information screens and dedicated wheelchair spaces.
Operating over 1,500 services each weekday, SWR employs more than 5,000 people and provides commuter inter-urban, regional and long distance services to customers in South West London, the southern counties of England and the Isle of Wight.
As well as commuters and business travellers, SWR transports leisure travellers across the region, to many tourist and heritage sites, and the numerous major sporting and social events that take place along the route every year.
We provide easy and convenient mobility, improving quality of life by connecting people and communities.
FirstGroup is a leading provider of transport services in the UK and North America.
Whether for business, education, health, social or recreation – we get our customers where they want to be, when they want to be there. We create solutions that reduce complexity, making travel smoother and life easier.
MTR connects people and communities every day. As a recognised world-class operator of sustainable rail transport services, MTR is a leader in safety, reliability, customer service and efficiency.
MTR has extensive end-to-end railway expertise with more than 40 years of railway projects experience from design to planning and construction through to commissioning, maintenance and operations. Going beyond railway delivery and operation, MTR also creates and manages dynamic communities around its network through seamless integration of rail, commercial and property development.
With more than 40,000 dedicated staff, MTR carries over 12.7 million passenger journeys worldwide every weekday in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Macao and the Mainland of China. MTR strives to grow and connect communities for a better future.
For more information about MTR Corporation, please visit www.mtr.com.hk.