Island Line, Isle of Wight
|Main area(s):||Isle of Wight|
|Fleet size:||7 (6 operated)|
|Parent company:||Stagecoach Group|
Island Line was the smallest of the Train Operating Companies that make up Britain’s National Rail network. The franchise was operated separately by the Stagecoach Group. It is the only passenger franchise that includes maintenance of the infrastructure in addition to the running of passenger services. Since February 2007, it has been operated as part of the integrated South Western franchise alongside South West Trains.
Island Line is reportedly Britain’s most reliable and punctual train company. The shortness and simplicity of the route may be the reason for this.
The UK's Department for Transport recently designated the Line a 'Community Rail Line' under recent reforms to help boost use of rural and branch lines in the UK rail network.
Line and trains
Island Line operate a single railway line on the Isle of Wight, running some 8½ miles from Ryde Pier Head to Shanklin down the eastern side of the island. The line was electrified (750 V DC third rail) in 1967. Trains connect with passenger ferries to Portsmouth Harbour at Ryde Pier Head, and these ferries in turn connect with the rest of the National Rail network. The line also connects to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, a steam operated heritage railway at Smallbrook Junction. Because of tight clearances within a tunnel at Ryde, standard National Rail vehicle types cannot operate on the Island Line. Currently, the services are operated using Class 483 units, which are refurbished ex-London Underground tube trains originally built in 1938. These replaced the older Class 485 and Class 486 units, which dated from 1923. Following its successful bid for the new integrated franchise, Stagecoach announced that it had no plans to replace the current rolling stock, instead investing "to ensure the continued viability of the existing Island Line rolling stock and infrastructure" . By 2016, when the new franchise is due to end, the rolling stock on the Isle of Wight will be almost 80 years old.
|Stations (from north to south)|
Island Line Route
|Smallbrook Junction (interchange only - no access other than by rail)|
Template:Start box |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
As part of British Rail |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Operator of Island Line franchise
1996-2007 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
South West Trains
South Western franchise |- |}
|Domestic:||Arriva Trains Wales - c2c - Central Trains - Chiltern Railways - First Capital Connect|
First Great Western - First ScotRail - Grand Central1 - GNER - Heathrow Connect
Hull Trains - Island Line2 - Merseyrail - Midland Mainline - Northern Rail
Northern Ireland Railways3 - 'one' - Silverlink - Southeastern - Southern
South West Trains - TransPennine Express - Virgin Trains
|International:||Enterprise3 - Eurostar|
|Airport Link:||Gatwick Express - Heathrow Express - Stansted Express4|
|Sleeper:||Caledonian Sleeper5 - Night Riviera6|
|1 Starts 20 May 2007 - 2 Operated by South West Trains - 3 Operated on the Irish railway network|
4 Operated by 'one' - 5 Operated by First ScotRail - 6 Operated by First Great Western
|Future passenger train operators in Great Britain|
|New Franchises:||Cross Country1 - East Midlands1 - InterCity East Coast - London Overground1|
|Grand Union2 - Wrexham & Shropshire3|
|1 Starts November 2007 - 2 Proposed - 3 Awaiting Approval|