At the time D78 withdrawal was being planned I'm not sure plans for the IoW line upgrade were far enough advanced to be confident that Surface Stock would be able to fit. Once it was, I too wondered whether a simpler refurb retaining most of the D78 existing kit would be effective. Anyway, I hope the re-tractioning and other changes prove reliable.
I wonder why LU couldn't supply overhauled withdrawn stock to the IOW? They've done it twice before.
The 1938 Stock into 483s were rebuilt and modernised by NSE Eastleigh works
The 1938s at Eastleigh had far more work done them than at first planned because of the implications following the King's Cross fire. Alan Hawes, the then project manager for them (in 1988/89 - and sadly no longer with us) explained all at an LURS meeting at the time. He also said that the 1959/62 Stock would not be considered (in a few years hence) because of all the money that had to be spent on the IoW 1938s.
The 1973s were indeed considered as subsequent replacements but that was at the time the 2012 Tube Stock was planned to replace them on the Piccadilly Line. They (the IoW) would still be waiting for the 1973s of course.
Rather stealthily - well under cover of the lockdown and awful weather - the penultimate Transport for Wales class 230 set has now been delivered.
It may however be collecting dust in Wales for quite a while, as a lot of drivers would need to be trained before they can enter revenue service. TFW would need to be really lucky if that is completed in time for the May Timetable change, with December 2021 probably the most likely point where they take over the Wrexham Bidston service.
As the trains have already demonstrated they are perfectly capable of trundling around in tests from Long Marston, there is no physical reason why the trains could not be introduced now as they have been cleared for passenger use, but there are a load of practical considerations which usually means significant fleet changes are done at the major timetable changes.
Between now and then, all potential train crew will need to be trained and sign the new rolling stock - a major task in normal times made more challenging by complying with COVID rules. Drivers will also need to become familiar with the combination of rapid battery accelleration and regenerative braking system on the new trains and with 3 car units replacing current 2 car units it may meen drivers will need to learn new stopping marks. Doubtless Network Rail will have to asses whether this new rolling stock has any impact on track infrastructure like level crossings especially remotely monitored crossings on the route.
Presumably at least once the new stock will have to do a gauging run along the normal route and all potential diversions just in case they unexpectedly clout stuff. They will also confirm their performance characteristics along the route to confirm whether they are able to fit in the slots currently included in the timetabling.
I suspect the 230s may well justify a revised timetable as they should be quicker off the mark than the current Class 150s and may potentially open up extra paths along the Borderlands line.
Island Line won’t re-open until mid-May due to a 6-week delay in the delivery of a major £26million upgrade of the network, it has been announced.
It was originally hoped that the Ryde Pier Head to Shanklin route would re-open at the start of April following significant improvements to the track, infrastructure and stations. However, South Western Railway (SWR) has today (Friday) announced that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to unforeseen challenges, leaving the project team no choice but to push back the line’s reopening by around 6 weeks.
Vivarail, who are supplying the new class 484 trains, have been particularly affected by the pandemic with the number of engineers able to work on the new train at any one time being significantly reduced and the supplier of the Traction system being unable to work at full capacity.
Last Edit: Feb 12, 2021 14:06:56 GMT by Dstock7080
Meantime the second class 484 unit was spotted on low loaders headed for the Bombardier test track in Derby. So it seems VivaRail are still managing some output despite the COVID impact on production at Long Marston.
I recall seeing a YouTube video last year where someone from VivaRail explained that only the first three 2 car Class 484 units for the Island line would be built at Long Marston with the remaining 2 units being produced after their move to a new base at Southam. I rather suspect the hassle of relocation has also been an important factor in any delay with these units.
However as IoW government only issued listed building planning consents for major platform works along the route last month - that is probably another reason why the re-opening date is slipping.
If anyone is interested in following progress there is an informal Facebook page and Youtube has a couple of recent unofficial drone flights over parts of the line. These show the entire trackbed at Shanklin has been lifted and dug down extensively to allow the track to be reinstated to afford level access to the taller Class 484 units.
The webcam at the Ryde end of the line has thus far shown nothing material is happening at this stage. However tackling the more major works needed at the south end of the line was the plan from the outset. Hence only a few new barriers have thus far appeared/been blown over at the pier station and occasional groups have been spotted wandering around in Hi Viz.
To facilitate level boarding the recent planning approvals indicate the platforms at Ryde Pier and Esplanade stations will be raised rather than tracks being lowered. This sort of makes sense as at times the lower elements of the pier can get very wet. It does however imply some fairly steep or very long ramps will need to be installed for access from the street at both stations. Initially there was also reference to platform extenders being needed for the curved section of Esplanade Station. I wonder if that has now been dropped or why they just don't move the stop boards and access barriers along to only use the reasonably straight section of the platform which was built to accommodate 7 coach standard stock trains so the straight bit should probably be long enough to berth a 2 car Class 484..
Over at Ryde St Johns and the depot, it looks deserted and the Class 484 unit is nowhere to be seen. It is however rumoured to be locked away inside the shed - meantime all the old 483s have been evicted and parked up gathering rust on tracks outside.
I am rather surprised that none of the potential new owners have arranged to get their trains moved off site, if nothing else to protect them from the weather.
Perhaps the likely delay in reopening the line is actually what someone in the Government was referring to recently when they suggested it was too early to book a summer holiday...
To facilitate level boarding the recent planning approvals indicate the platforms at Ryde Pier and Esplanade stations will be raised rather than tracks being lowered. This sort of makes sense as at times the lower elements of the pier can get very wet. It does however imply some fairly steep or very long ramps will need to be installed for access from the street at both stations.
At Esplanade the "concourse" is actually at the old height, for "full-size" rolling stock. There is a ramp down from this height to the current platform level. Raising the platform height will actually remove the need for the current ramp, and in doing so make for a bit more space on what is quite a narrow platform (especially when passenger's luggage is taken into consideration).*
*Notwithstanding that the platforms on the Island were, even in the days of steam, always a bit low in comparison to modern mainline standards.
Thus far the work has mostly been at the southern end of the line with raising the platforms mostly using prefabricated sections placed onto the existing platform surface so they match the boarding height of the new trains. At Shanklin it looks like they have dug out the ballast to achieve levell access by lowering the track. Work is also underway to raise the platform height at the connection to the IoW Heritage line at Smallbrook Junction.
There is also a webcam overlooking Ryde Esplanade station which shows deliveries of ballast have begun.
Finally one of the SWR photos shows work underway to upgrade the fairly ancient power supply equipment.
A trawl on Flickr reveals the fourth Class 484 set is now down at Eastleigh for mileage/test running on third rail. So just one more Class 484 set to outshop from VivaRail. Seems rather fitting there is a London Transport livery class 20 in the consist.