[UK / Expert] Vivarail Class 484 trains for the Isle of Wight under construction

In September 2019, Railcolor introduced you to the unique Island Line on the Isle of Wight. For this line, operator South Western Railway (SWR) has refurbished Vivarail D-Trains on order.

D -Trains are refurbished former London Underground units type D78, which will succeed the former metro trains of Class 483 on the Island Line.

The new 2-car trains will form Class 484 and the plan is to introduce them in May 2021 – right after a three-month period of engineering works.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is likely that this date will be pushed back. The arrival of the first Class 484 on the Isle of Wight for testing, planned for this summer, has already been postponed until September.

SWR’s unit 484 001  at Vivarail’s premises in Long Marston – Photo: South Western Railway

Infra upgrade; a three-month break

SWR won’t operate trains between Ryde Pier Head and Shanklin for a period of three months in 2021 as the line’s tracks will be upgraded, platform access will be improved, and installation of new ticket machines will take place. This is the biggest transformation to the line since it was electrified in 1967.

Instead of trains, buses, and even minibusses up and down the Ryde Pier, will be operated during this period.

Class 484 interior – Photo: South Western Railway

The new trains under construction

Meanwhile, the first photos of the new Class 484 trains have been released. These show a new interior with higher capacity and better accessibility, featuring USB chargers, passenger information systems, and onboard Wi-Fi.

Guards can pass between carriages, and dedicated wheelchair spaces will be available. The biggest exterior change, apart from the new livery, is a snowplow to clear debris from the tracks.

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