The Isle of Wight is one of Britain’s great holiday destinations and is currently home to a rare type of train. Island Line Railway is part of the South Western Railway network and uses one of the oldest trains on the British rail network. The trains which serve the Isle of Wight were once a common sight on London’s underground.
The Class 483 are ex-tube trains dating back to the 1930s, they were part of London undergrounds modernisation plan at the time. They became known as the 1938 stock and the name has stuck. During the 1980s some of the ex-tube trains were sold to British Rail for use when the network Southeast was born.
As the unique trains head towards retirement, a group of enthusiasts have set up a group to save one. The group goes by the name of ‘London Transport Traction Group’ and this group is currently in the process of finding a home for one of the trains once it finishes working on the Island Line.
One potential preserved railway it could be heading for is the Epping & Ongar Steam Railway in Essex. The steam railway was once part of the London underground system.
The line saw a demise in usesage towards the end of its life subsequently closing in 1994. The closed section of the central line re-opened during 2004 as a steam railway.
There are only six of the old trains left on the Isle of Wight and only two of them are currently operational. Southwestern Railway want to offer all six trains into preservation, thus preserving another piece of railway history.
Once all the old trains have left the island, history will repeat itself by having slightly newer tube trains which have been refurbished for the Isle of Wight.
We at Rail Traveller look forward to seeing which preserved railways aquire them.
Edited by P.Bowry.