Class 484 replacing class 483 on the island line: progress updates

DavidGrain

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Also remember that LU has tripcocks which should bring any train to a stop if there is a conflicting movement. These do not exist on the main line. The 484s had to be capable of being tested out on the national network. Vivarail had hoped for better sales than they have had a present.
 
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Gloster

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Vivarail had hoped for better sales than they have had a present.
And, as a result the highly public problems with the 484, it will be surprising if they get many more sales. Saying that they have been thoroughly debugged will probably not be enough.
 

Ianno87

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I wonder what part of "a closed network" I am missing about the Isle of Wight. Certainly more closed than the District Line extremities at Wimbledon and Richmond, shared with main line trains.

But more particularly, London Underground, which is far more susceptible to serious collisions that the Isle of Wight, could apparently have carried on with these trains perfectly well on their own high intensity system. In the big rebuilding in 2004-8 they were not required to do all this. I'm just trying to look at expenditure (and reliability) squandered in pursuit of some inappropraitely assessed theoretical goal.

New standards are not usually retrospective and only apply to renewal, major upgrades and change of use. It is correct that the D stock could have continued to operate on LUL, but the changes necessary to operate on the Isle of Wight required them to comply with modern safety standards. As I have mentioned before although my understanding is that the Railway Interoperability Regulations do not apply on the IOW, the requirement for a suitable and sufficient Risk Assessment does apply and this would necessitate some changes to the units to comply with current safety standards.

To state the obvious, the Island line is predominantly single line, so has a relatively high risk of head-on collision.
 

pompeyfan

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And, as a result the highly public problems with the 484, it will be surprising if they get many more sales. Saying that they have been thoroughly debugged will probably not be enough.

the 484s were different from the other Vivarail offerings though, because the voltage isn’t stable on the island, where as the DEMU and battery versions supply a fix stable voltage which the software can cope with.
 

Gloster

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Are there any plans to run 4 car trains?
Five sets would probably be an over-provision if they never intended to: four would do or even three at a (severe) pinch. However, even before the last year or so’s disruption I think it would have been rare except on summer Saturdays and Bank Holidays. (I think this was discussed earlier in thread: only 1,500 entries to search through, unless it was on the other Islandline thread.)
 

CunningPlan

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Are there any plans to run 4 car trains?
even before the last year or so’s disruption I think it would have been rare except on summer Saturdays and Bank Holidays.
I believe the main reason 4-car trains had become so rare over the last 5+years was principally because the depot team found it increasingly difficult to persuade more than 2 units to work properly at any given time. There may have been slightly less demand over time but I don't think that's the main reason.

Given how busy the relevant departure from Sandown always was, the school train in particular always used to be a 4-car consist, which meant turning out 3 units per day for 200+ days of the year. I imagine that would be the bare minimum that would have been judged to be acceptable with the new trains.
 

hermit

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I believe the main reason 4-car trains had become so rare over the last 5+years was principally because the depot team found it increasingly difficult to persuade more than 2 units to work properly at any given time. There may have been slightly less demand over time but I don't think that's the main reason.

Given how busy the relevant departure from Sandown always was, the school train in particular always used to be a 4-car consist, which meant turning out 3 units per day for 200+ days of the year. I imagine that would be the bare minimum that would have been judged to be acceptable with the new trains.

I can’t speak for more than about ten years ago, but there have not been 4-car trains for school purposes for at least that period. I know this because I was a governor at the main school involved. Cramming very large numbers of boisterous pupils into 2 cars made it very difficult to maintain good behaviour and made life very unpleasant for any other travellers who were unwise enough to take those trains. The school asked Island Line to alleviate the problems by putting on a 4-car set. They declined, saying that they could not justify running 4 cars all day just because a couple of runs would be over-busy; and adding and detaching extra cars during the day would be operationally too difficult.

My understanding is that in recent years 4-car sets were used very rarely, and only for a few peak holiday weekends and the festivals. As has been mentioned, this has previously been discussed and there were differing recollections as to how long the practice went on. I can believe that in the last couple of years the depot would not have wanted to complicate an already fraught operation by running extended trains, but before then, when reliability was immaculate, that would not have been a problem. The reason that 4-car trains no longer ran was that the declining numbers of passengers did not warrant it.
 

CunningPlan

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The school asked Island Line to alleviate the problems by putting on a 4-car set. They declined, saying that they could not justify running 4 cars all day just because a couple of runs would be over-busy; and adding and detaching extra cars during the day would be operationally too difficult.
...
I can believe that in the last couple of years the depot would not have wanted to complicate an already fraught operation by running extended trains, but before then, when reliability was immaculate, that would not have been a problem. The reason that 4-car trains no longer ran was that the declining numbers of passengers did not warrant it.

Interesting. I bow to your more recent and regular experience. It has been many years since I lived there.

That said, hadn't the depot been effectively viewing multiple sets as spares donors for around a decade (pre upgrade)? They had certainly stripped around half the original fleet of 10 for parts, and scraped several shells already by the end of the 2010s...
 

Peter Sarf

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Interesting. I bow to your more recent and regular experience. It has been many years since I lived there.

That said, hadn't the depot been effectively viewing multiple sets as spares donors for around a decade (pre upgrade)? They had certainly stripped around half the original fleet of 10 for parts, and scraped several shells already by the end of the 2010s...
I suppose it is possible that was always the plan. Buy enough sets to have some spares donors. After all sares from other sources would be very unlikely given the age of those units.
 

hermit

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Interesting. I bow to your more recent and regular experience. It has been many years since I lived there.

That said, hadn't the depot been effectively viewing multiple sets as spares donors for around a decade (pre upgrade)? They had certainly stripped around half the original fleet of 10 for parts, and scraped several shells already by the end of the 2010s...

Yes, the question would be when they no longer had 3 2-car sets fit to run, and they probably reached that point earlier than I suggested. But I doubt if they would have seen any point in running 4-car trains even if it had been possible in recent years.
 

3141

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There may indeed have been a plan that some units could be stripped in order to keep others going, but the class 483s remained in service for several years longer than expected, so the stripping process had to be carried on for longer and reached a point where the donor units had given practically everything they had. I don't suppose that the original expectation was to run things down to the point where there would be only two working units, and sometimes only one.
 

D365

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A bit easier in this case given the plentiful supply of D Stock carriages, plus the 484 conversion is a far more comprehensive (and modern) conversion anyway.
 

swt_passenger

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A bit easier in this case given the plentiful supply of D Stock carriages, plus the 484 conversion is a far more comprehensive (and modern) conversion anyway.
But how long are Vivarail going to keep suitable vehicles in store on the basis of a requirement that could be 10-20 years away? Also, if they get no more conversion orders in the medium term, then how long will they continue in business?
 

IanXC

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But how long are Vivarail going to keep suitable vehicles in store on the basis of a requirement that could be 10-20 years away? Also, if they get no more conversion orders in the medium term, then how long will they continue in business?

There is also the possibility of related units being made available as they are removed from traffic in other areas, for instance the Marston Vale units once East-West Rail opens. I would think, for the most part, either the parts are new or they will remain in place on all the conversions.
 

BayPaul

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But how long are Vivarail going to keep suitable vehicles in store on the basis of a requirement that could be 10-20 years away? Also, if they get no more conversion orders in the medium term, then how long will they continue in business?
There would be little to stop SWR (or GBR) buying a few unconverted carriages at scrap price when viva rail stop making them, though, as others have said, most of the complex parts are new, and so are likely to have available spares for a long time.
 

VEP3417

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also i would think because the trains are "new" to a point, and the track is also new as well theyre bound to last longer than the ones before and hopefully have less problems as the old ones where sort of patched up and kept going the best they could and having to run on that old track would surly wear out suspension and other components faster on trains that where already just about at the end of their life
 

Mikey C

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also i would think because the trains are "new" to a point, and the track is also new as well theyre bound to last longer than the ones before and hopefully have less problems as the old ones where sort of patched up and kept going the best they could and having to run on that old track would surly wear out suspension and other components faster on trains that where already just about at the end of their life
The 38s had already had a full life in London when they were withdrawn, whereas the D78s could easily have lasted another 15 years in London conditions, which should translate to a much longer life on the IoW.
 

dorsetdesiro

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The 484s probably will outlast the 230s due to East-West Rail upgrade also rumours going round about 230s never being used by TfW which diagrams are to be taken over by 197s what with the Welsh gov takeover changing priorities like 170s going to other TOCs, not sure if this is true.

Also with the slim possibility of reopening lines to Newport & Ventnor might mean more 484s also lengthening to 3 car sets?
 

Gloster

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Also with the slim possibility of reopening lines to Newport & Ventnor might mean more 484s also lengthening to 3 car sets?
Not so much slim as to all intents and purposes non-existant. Even if they did reopen, it would probably take so long that a complete new fleet would be a better option.
 

Chris125

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Seems daily test running now extends up the pier - some 2-car trains ran in the morning, while a 4-car set arrived at Esplanade at around 13:25 past the hour (returning 10 mins later) on the pier webcam and repeating roughly every hour.


Are there any plans to run 4 car trains?

All the platforms have been raised or rebuilt for 4-car trains
 
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45669

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Afternoon All,

By a stroke of good luck, I was in the right place at the right time yesterday afternoon and was able to video 484002 doing some test runs and driver training around Ryde Esplanade and Ryde Pier. Some video footage is in the Photography Forum if anyone would like to have a look:


TTFN,

Ron.
 

adrock1976

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Fantastic shot by James, they do seem to be clocking up the miles right now - hopefully fault free?


484002 Ryde Tunnel 04/10/21
by James_Pilbeam, on Flickr

Looking at the image, it seems that the ex D Stock only seems to just about fit going through the tunnel.

Do these trains have to traverse the tunnel at a very low speed to avoid hitting the roof or walls?
 

45669

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As far as I could tell, the trains that I saw seemed to be travelling at normal speed. See my video and judge for yourselves:

 

KendalKing

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Do people still not believe the 484s will fit?

(comment very much made in jest)
It would appear that way!

Looking at the photos of 484's at Ryde Tunnel, it looks like they have just much a space, as they did/do on the London Underground.
 

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