Since March 1967 the national railway network line between Ryde and Shanklin on the Isle of Wight has been operating former London Transport tube trains. 1966 saw the end of steam and the closure of most of the island’s railway system. It was decided to electrify the remaining line and initially use former London Transport ‘Standard Stock’ underground ‘tube’ trains that dated from the mid-1920s. These trains were to be operated in both four-car and three-car sets. The former became Class 485 and the three-car sets, Class 486. They began operating in British Rail’s (BR) new Corporate ‘Rail Blue’ livery, but later appeared in ‘Intercity’ blue/grey livery with the ‘Ryde Rail’ brand beginning to appear. In the mid-1980s BR was reorganised and the ‘Network SouthEast’ brand together with a new blue, white and red livery was introduced to the island’s tube trains. By the late 1980s the ‘Standard Stock’ trains were around sixty years old, so replacements were needed and these came in the form of London Transport’s ‘1938 Stock’ tube trains. Also smartly turned out in the ‘Network SouthEast’ livery the ‘Island Line’ brand was introduced at this time. They became ‘Class 483’ and only motorcars were obtained and used, where as the Class 485 and 486 classes were made up of both motor and trailer cars. By the early 1990s the final ‘Standard Stock’ trains had finished operating in passenger service. From October 1996 Stagecoach group operated the Island Line and by 2000 they had introduced a ‘dinosaur’ overall livery to the trains, which added a splash of colour! In 2003 483 007 received red London Transport livery complete with ‘LT’ gold fleet names and ‘LT’ no-smoking logos on the windows. Following on from this the rest of the fleet received the ‘heritage’ red livery but without the ‘LT’ embellishments. In August 2017 the franchise was taken over by South Western Railway (SWR), owned by First Group/MTR Hong Kong who introduced a new Island Line logo in the style of the SWR logo. By now the trains were eighty-years old and replacements had to be found. These replacement trains will be former London Underground ‘D Stock’ trains dating from the 1980s but completely rebuilt and refurbished they will become ‘Class 484’ and will be introduced during mid-2021.
This DVD programme takes a look at the former tube trains in action on the Isle of Wight. We begin in the summer of 1989 with archive video shot at various locations along the line. We visit Ryde, Shanklin, Ryde Works, Ryde St Johns Road, Ryde Esplanade, and Ryde Pier Head at various times of the day. This shows the ‘Standard Stock’ trains in action during their last full summer season. We see some still shots of the ‘1938 Stock’ carriages being unloaded onto the lines in autumn 1989, before our next visit in the summer of 1990 where we see both the ‘Standard Stock’ and ‘1939 Stock’ running in service together. Filmed at similar locations as the 1989 footage, we also take a ride on 483 001 and 483 002 as well some ‘Standard Stock’ trains. From 1990 we jump forward 30 years to 2020 and see some of the remaining trains in service at Shanklin, Ryde Esplanade and later in the year stabled at Ryde St Johns Road station due to a sub-station fault! Our programme concludes with some footage filmed on the very last day of service – 3rd January 2021. With a ride on 483 007 and 483 006 to Shanklin, Sandown and Ryde Pier Head where we say a quiet goodbye (due to Covid-19 restrictions) to these hard working tube trains on the Isle of Wight.
Produced by - Independent Transport Videos
Duration - TBA
Region - 0 (worldwide) PAL
Aspect Ratio - 16:9 Widescreen
Released - April 2021