We're temporarily closing the Island Line while we improve your trains for a smoother ride and more frequent service. Download our full replacement bus timetable to plan your journey.
Why is the Island Line being closed?
In September 2019, alongside the Department for Transport, we announced a major upgrade to Island Line, securing the long-term future of the line.
Funding provided by the Department for Transport, Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and the Isle of Wight Council, will see £26m invested into Island Line helping us to deliver a modern railway for the Isle of Wight.
As part of this project we will replace the existing 82-year-old Island Line fleet, with newer and reliable trains, the Class 484.
In keeping with Island Line’s tradition, these trains will be former London Underground trains, extensively refurbished by Vivarail in Long Marston. These newer trains will thoroughly modernise the customer experience on Island Line bringing new features such as free on-board Wi-Fi, improved passenger information, at seat charging points and wheelchair spaces.
With five trains in service, we will also be able to run longer trains at busier times, such as during the summer.
Take a look inside the Class 484
Visit the Vivarail website to take a look at the Class 484 train interiors.
This investment will also see us deliver upgrades to Island Line’s infrastructure, including a new passing loop at Brading, which will allow us to run regular 30-minute services improving connections with Wightlink ferries. The work to upgrade the track will also make journeys smoother, and upgrades to platforms to improve access to the Class 484 trains.
From January 4 2021, services on Island Line will be replaced by buses, whilst the work to upgrade the line’s infrastructure is carried out. Following these works, the Class 484 trains will be introduced into service, with the regular 30-minute service introduced when the line reopens.
We’re also making improvements to our stations, with free station Wi-Fi being rolled out across Island Line, and providing new ticket vending machines at Shanklin, Sandown and Ryde St Johns Road.
Planning your journey
Throughout these works, a replacement bus service will run between Shanklin and Ryde Esplanade to keep our passengers moving. Click the link below for the full bus replacement timetable.
A shuttle bus will operate twice an hour between Ryde Pier Head and Ryde Esplanade to link with Wightlink Ferries. Wightlink advise customers to be at the Pier Head a minimum of 15 mins prior to sailing departure times.
The 20 minute parking bay at Ryde Esplanade station will be closed until further notice to facilitate the shuttle bus operation.
Whilst Island line is upgraded, a replacement bus service to the Steam Railway will also be in operation from Ryde Esplanade to Havenstreet, on the hour, from 10:00 to 16:00.
replacement bus timetable
17 May saw another new train arrive by ferry onto the island. Unit 004 will be the second of the new train fleet to arrive, marking an important milestone on our project plan. Once at the Island Line depot in Ryde, further work on commissioning, testing and training will continue. While this is an important step in the right direction, the project still faces a number of complex challenges and everyone involved is working tirelessly to work through them.
Infrastructure work on Island Line is progressing well. With the line soon to be reenergised and training taking place, a period of snagging work will be completed as well as recertification of operational elements of the railway. Photos of the infrastructure progress are included in the engineering work gallery below
Also from the 17 of May, some of the old 483 trains are on the move. Unit 483007 leaves for the Isle of Wight steam railway, unit 483004 will travel to Hollier’s Park on the Isle of Wight where it will be transformed into a café, and unit 483008 will go across the to the mainland to be stored on behalf of the London Transport Group.
Work completed in Spring 2021
Engineering work gallery
See the latest images from the construction work taking place. Click the image to see it full-size in a new tab.
Providing level access at Lake station by raising the height of the platform