DAT stands for Dom’s Airplane & Trains. It is a series of curated news where apart of information itself I mentioned my personal story and opinion.
On 3rd January 2021 was last day for 1938 stock to run in the Isle of Wight. It was the oldest running tube stock on the railways in the UK.
The British Class 483 (Ex 1938 Tube stock) will be replaced with recycled ex London Underground D78 Stock (classified as British Class 484), which is just 40 years old made by Vivarail.
Last year, at the same time as I was plan short holidays in the UK, I heard the news that South Western Railway will be retiring the ancient British Class 483 on The Isle of Wight. I decided to go for the holiday and travel on ex-1938 London Underground stock. I took it was during a quieter time of the pandemic, so it was much easier to take a trip and enjoy this a bumpy but picturesque journey. Honestly, It was excellent “back in time” experience. Sunny day, wooden interior and calming view of the island made this trip so wonderful.
Is replacement better ? Well, I can understand why locals are not exuberant about a new state of the art train from the ’70s refurbished by Vivarail who made this a genuinely cutting-edge British-made product for the post-Brexit export hit”, but I am a big fan of that idea.
I like this idea because it allows keeping the Isle of Wight a lovely retro charming place worth visiting. It is nothing wrong we refurbished train as long as they are still usable, maintainable and fit for purpose. As part of improvement works, the line will be closed until the end of March (+ delays). My only problem with D78 is colour scheme looks too modern. It also doesn’t has the ancient-looking charm of British Class 483. However, I am planning back to see how things changed. I feel modern train will ruing beauty of the place.
While you are there, try the steam train. The journey offers an excellent experience. It was another highlight of the holiday. If you like trains, there is a cool hidden cafe ( Off The Rails, https://www.offtherailsyarmouth.co.uk/ ) at the former station.
If you have a weekend or a few days off, pop it into the Isle of Wight. While it is not Hawaii but a cool place with a few things to do, taking a steam train is mandatory.