MP Bob Seely has confirmed dates for the multi-million-pound investment in Island Line, delivering the biggest transformation to the line’s infrastructure since it was electrified in 1967.
This work includes the construction of the passing loop at Brading, allowing for a regular 30-minute service, enhancements to the track to improve the quality of the ride, upgrade to the station platforms and the installation of new ticket vending machines at Shanklin, Sandown and Ryde St John’s Road.
MP Bob Seely said: "This is all part of getting a better deal for the Isle of Wight. Alongside with further investment in Ryde Pier, this represents a £46m boost which will guarantee the rail line for the next generation.”
Seely said that the feasibility study to re-open Island branch lines was also ongoing.
From 4 January 2021 until 31 March 2021, South Western Railway (SWR) will run no service on Island Line whilst work is carried out. A spokesperson from SWR has said: “Whist SWR do appreciate that this work will be disruptive, this investment in the Island Line will transform travel on the Isle of Wight.”
Once this work is completed, SWR will be introducing the Class 484 trains into service, providing modern spacious interiors, free onboard Wi-Fi, at-seat charging points, and dedicated wheelchair spaces. The passing loop at Brading will also allow regular services running as 30-minute intervals providing better connections to ferries to the mainland.
To ensure minimal disruption, buses will run between Shanklin and Ryde Esplanade calling at all stations, with a minibus operating along Ryde Pier to connect passengers with Wightlink ferries.
Seely has written to Network Rail to ask for details of the Ryde Railway Pier work.
MP Bob Seely said: “I look forward to continuing work with SWR, Network Rail and the DfT to ensure that this project is delivered in a timely manner, with minimal disruption. Island Line serves residents, commuters, visitors and students on a daily basis – I know how much these rail users will welcome this overdue announcement.”