Posted 28th June 2024 | 4 Comments

‘Life-expired’ Island Line to close again this autumn

The railway on the Isle of Wight will be closing again in September, so that engineers can carry out more work on the Victorian Ryde Pier, which has been closed at various times for upgrades and maintenance since October 2022.

Although trains will only be replaced by buses between Ryde and Shanklin for a month from 6 September, Ryde Pier will not open to rail traffic again until May next year.

Network Rail said engineers would be completing a ‘large programme of vital maintenance’, which will include track and bridge renewals between Ryde St Johns Road and Ryde Pier Head, renovations to an historic footbridge at Brading, signalling works at Ryde and bridge repairs in Sandown.

A minibus shuttle service will operate between Ryde Pier Head and Ryde Esplanade throughout the winter and early spring, while train services will operate every 30 minutes between Ryde Esplanade and Shanklin.

Network Rail infrastructure director Tom McNamee said: ‘Part of the track and infrastructure on the Island Line has become life-expired and extreme weather is contributing to the acceleration of the degradation of the railway.

‘Our planned maintenance will ensure we’re able to keep running services safely and reliably while our ongoing programme of upgrades to the steel structure and track between Ryde Pier Head and Ryde Esplanade stations will preserve and strengthen the track and infrastructure for future generations.

‘We recognise there is never a convenient time to close the line, but we have waited to do so until after the important summer period and we would like to thank local residents, businesses and customers in advance for their patience and understanding while we complete this important work.’

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Tony Pearce, Reading

    Great little line. If it ever closed most of it would be taken over by the heritage Railway based at Havenstreet.

  • Neil Palmer, Waterloo

    How much is it costing the taxpayer for London Underground for a city well served by buses?
    Island residents deserve a faster journey as much as those in London. Ryde-Shanklin by bus 50 mins, train 25 mins.

  • John B, London

    How much is this costing the taxpayer for an island already well-served by buses? Far better to convert the line into a greenway/heritage operation.

  • Philip Russell , Carlisle

    It’s a shame the vision & finance wasn’t there to convert the system into a modern tramway as proposed a few years back , it would’ve been a far superior long term solution..

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