The Anonymous Widower

Will Class 230 Trains Run On The Island Line?

In the October 2018 Edition of Modern Railways, there is an article which is entitled Vivaral Delivers First Class 230.

In addition to discussing the deployment on the Marston Vale Line, the article has various sub-sections describing future plans for the Class 230 trains.

One such sub-section is entitled Isle of White Next?.

This is the first paragraph.

Introduction of Class 230s on the Island Line between Ryde and Shanklin is South Western Railway operator FirstGroup’s preferred solution for the line.

Other points from the sub-section include.

Vivarail are also reported to have found a way to fit their larger trains in the Ryde Tunnel.

The picture from Wikipedia, shows a Class 483 train approaching Ryde Tunnel.

The height and width of the two trains in London Underground service are as follows.

  • Class 483 – Width 2.60 metres – Height 2.88 metres
  • Class 230 – Width 2.85 metres – Height 3.62 metres

According to the article 45 mm. of packing will be removed.

But it still could be a very tight fit.

Will The Class 230 Trains Feature Battery Operation?

A year ago in Diesel And Battery Trains Could Be The Solution For Island Line, I reported on a report in the Island Echo.

I discussed battery operation extensively and there are several benefits.

  • Energy saving through regenerative braking.
  • Health and safety
  • Lower maintenance cost.
  • Emergency train recovery.
  • The addition of a passing loop at Brading station to improve the timetable.

The line could also be extended to Ventnor station as a single-track without electrification.


It looks to me, that Class 230 trains offer more than just a newer train with wi-fi and power sockets.

One thing puzzles me!

If Vivarail can modify London Underground D78 Stock to work on the Island Line, why wasn’t this option considered before?


September 29, 2018 - Posted by | Transport | , ,


  1. When the Victoria line stock was replaced, they could have sent a few of the ’72 stock over to replace the aging ’38s or – dare I say – added a few ‘extra’ units that could have been used then on the Island line…

    Comment by Daniel Altmann | October 4, 2018 | Reply

  2. I suspect that the 72 Stock were not a good engineering proposition, as although an obvious possibility, it’s never been mentioned in a serious report.

    They may just have been totally clapped out, as after all London Underground have been rumoured to use heroic efforts to keep the P{iccadilly Line stock of a similar age, up and running.

    On the other hand the D78 Stock has still got a lot of life left in it, which is one of the reasons why Vivarail bought them for conversion.

    They are also built for remote servicing. So as at Marston Vale, two trains can run the service, but West Midlands Trains are buying three, so a spare is always available, if a train fails.

    Overnight a failed train can be fixed using a remote service van.

    With its remote location, the Island Line could probably handle servicing for a fleet of Class 230 trains, which it would appear have been designed to be simple to service.

    There’s never been a train concept like the Class 230 train.

    Comment by AnonW | October 4, 2018 | Reply

  3. D78s weren’t considered before because ex-Piccadily 73TS were assumed to be available in the near future – it would be all but impossible to justify the infrastructure costs required for Sub Surface stock (platform height/track lowering under bridges etc) if Deep Tube stock was an option.

    Larger stock has been looked at before though, ex-Merseyrail 503s being proposed in the mid 80s.

    Comment by Chris | October 4, 2018 | Reply

    • According to the Modern Railways article, Vivarail have found a way to lower the train, by taking out 45 mm of packing used to raise the train in other applications. The magazine also says that they are FirstGroup’s preferred solution and that a decision is expected before the end of the year.

      Comment by AnonW | October 5, 2018 | Reply

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