The first Class 484s arrive in Vectis!

iowislandline 1 - The first Class 484s arrive in Vectis!

Finally its happened! Fifty Four years after the first ever electric trains were ferried across the seas (well the Solent actually) to the Isle of Wight, the third generation of trains for the island were sent across the waters this week from Portsmouth to the island itself. There’s no Matrix about this! Its true, there were no computerised Vectors (or should that be Vectis??) fooling our senses, nor was it any sort of imaginary social media campaign – the photographs and trains were real, they’ve come from London’s Underground and have well and truly arrived on the Wight! The first of these with the very smart new look arrived 19th November 2020 and this one of the few bright moments in the ongoing saga of Britain’s COVID affected railways…

They’ll be in service from next year (2021) but for the meantime they’ll be used on tests as well as running in. During that period the Island Line will be shut for three months to permit alterations to take place including the installation of a loop at Brading. (They should have never taken the double track section out in the first place!) Other jobs for the £26 million upgrade project include platform height alterations (to provide a good amount of accessibility) track replacement where necessary and some minor tweaks to the electrical power system as the old one wasn’t fit for purpose. The original supply came from Rowborough sub-station and although a newer, smaller substation was later provided at Sandown the third rail’s juice is still at times rather weak.

Initially I had thought about doing a comprehensive gallery of pictures of the 484s as they arrived in Portsmouth and then being sent across the Solent to erm, you know, the place that got spelt with an ‘O’ added (apparently) in order to avoid people thinking it had actually been named after one of the Matrix’s leading actors…. (Not that it would have been a bad thing anyway!)

The old way of doing this would have been a hell of a lot of work as I have discovered in those posts where that technique has been used its hours and hours of hard work – thus this time round I’m instead embedding the tweets from that momentous day – the 19th November 2020 – and then from some of those choose a favourite – but there’ll be a gallery of sorts anyway – and there’s a special later too!

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Apparently paul-montague deleted his timeline shortly after posting many pictures/videos….

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My choice from those three pictures! What intrigued me was the fact it appeared to have a pair of fire extinguishers placed in alcoves on the side of the body! In fact its an emergency train door release and there are two to each side as is evident from other pictures. The unit’s previous heritage as a District Line D stock is quite apparent too.

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Tweet was deleted but here’s a screencap…

Waiting its turn to go on the ferry. More pictures at Facebook (including a great close up shot of the low loader’s anchors, the train’s bogies and a rather different shoe power collection gear for the Island Line.)

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Tweet was deleted but here’s a screencap…

And its onto the ferry!

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Tweet/videos was deleted but here’s a screencap…

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Webcam of the ferry, St. Clare, as it approached the island – the Class 484’s at the rear as marked in red. The video is at You Tube but it takes a while to find clips of the journey in question!

Arrival on the Wight…

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A nice establishing shot for the section featuring the Class 484s’ first day on the Isle of Wight. The said ferry port is quite evident! Source: Twitter

The video in this tweet is no doubt my favourite of the lot! Its great! There’s excellent drone work and the rest of it. Please watch it in full screen mode!

Different video from the Isle of Wight Council but still of great interest.

Fantastic picture from Vivarail (SWR also did a Tweet with the same picture!)

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My pick from those four shots. I dont think this train has seen such gradients since the cessation of work on the District Line! This in fact refers to the very steep downhill grade out of Earl’s Court which is recognsied as one of the tube’s steepest slopes.

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Great shot of the first 484 at ermm……. one of the island’s main ferry ports! Note the specially marked door for people with disabilities & where space is allocated for wheelchairs etc. Source: Twitter

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Great shot showing the front driving cab as well as the train’s livery in general just after disembarkation from the ferry. Source: Twitter

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The new, the old, seen at Sandown and both together for the first time! Note the heavier track infrastructure – clearly the line is to get flat bottomed rails for the first time! Source: Isle of Wight County Press

Video of 484 001 being delivered to Sandown station from You Tube.

Running on batteries 484 001 passes through Brading very slowly….

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At Ryde St. Johns Road for the first time ever and the first full sized train here since 1966! Source: Twitter

There’s pictures showing the 484 in daylight – seems its being stabled at Sandown for the moment… despite the implying that its waiting to be taken to Ryde St. Johns – its already been there! At first I thought people were taking shots with high ISO and making it look like day time but that’s not the case. Here’s a couple of scenes with the new arrival at Sandown…

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Enthusiasts admiring the new arrival at Sandown. Source: Twitter

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I dont think the 38s and 78s were ever seen in service together on London Underground except for specials and railtours! Source: Twitter

Not many will realise there is a strange exchange of products related to the London Underground that goes on between the island and the capital of England! Whilst London sends the island its discarded tube trains, the island itself sends London brand new tube signs and other paraphernalia!

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Made on the Isle of Wight…. London’s tube signs! Source: Twitter

For prosperity’s sake – a short homage to the Island’s first ever electric train arrivals….

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Unit 042 arrives on the island in 1966 aboard the Camber Queen. This would form one of the Island Line’s 4VEC units. Notice how narrow the loading ramp is there must have been a few hair-raising moments as these trains were unloaded off the boat! Source: Twitter

As the picture below shows, the Island’s trains in those days were delivered to Ryde depot rather than Sandown as is the case nowadays.

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Unidentified Class 485/6 Vec-Tis unit on a low loader en route from the ferry to Ryde St. Johns Road in 1966. The scene is Argyll Street, Ryde. Source: Twitter

My other posts on the Island Line:

By underground to Shanklin

Runaway tube trains (see the section on the Island Line)

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