Rail disruption forecast for three weeks

By David Newble

Friday, December 27, 2013


Rail disruption forecast for three weeks

The sleepers exposed on the track. Picture by Susan Elliott

PASSENGERS using Island Line face three weeks of disruption due to flood damage caused to the railway's trackbed.

Flooding has washed away the trackbed at 20 locations in Ryde, leaving the tracks themselves unsupported.
Specialist engineers are assessing the situation this weekend to find out how long the damage will take to repair.

However, the company estimate it will take up to three weeks for the service to return to normal.

In the meantime, a bus-replacement service will run between Ryde Esplanade and Shanklin at 50 minutes past the hour and from Shanklin to Ryde at 38 minutes past the hour.

A taxi replacement service will run between Ryde Esplanade and Ryde Pier. Taxis will be met by the bus-replacement service. 

An Island Line spokesperson said: "We apologise to our passengers for the disruption to their services. Bus-replacement services are in place to make sure people can travel to their destinations. Our engineers are working hard to fix the problem.

"We are providing updates for our passengers through our website as well as @SW_Trains Twitter feed and our staff are providing information and assisting our passengers at our stations."

For further information and updates, follow South West Trains on Twitter at @SW_Trains, or visit South West Trains website www.southwesttrains.co.uk  


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by Roe driver

30th December 2013, at 11:32:19

just a thought ryde to sandown RETURN on train £ 3.60
bus fare EACH WAY £ 3.50

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by James McAdder

30th December 2013, at 09:56:06

I doubt the line would be at all viable without that final link to the esplanade and pier head.

One of the major attractions of using the train is the direct connection to the ferry and hovercraft. If you have to swap to a bus at St Johns then you might as well use a bus for the entire journey (or drive yourself)

The whole service is dilapidated and on its last legs anyway. Unpleasant and run-down stations, geriatric rolling stock and prices that make your eyes water. Maybe its time to put it out of its misery and donate the lot to the IW Steam Railway.

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by lulu arnold

29th December 2013, at 16:45:24

I do wonder if Islandline will in maybe a decade or two will stop completely, and we shall be a train free Island, or maybe they would just keep the Pier line open to Ryde esplanade,it would never surprise me ,if it were made in to a road it could bypass Brading for heavy traffic . I should hate to loose the trains but it could happen .

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by Doug Fairhurst

29th December 2013, at 15:31:12

Why not borrow the volunteers and some equipment from the Steam Railway at Havenstreet. I'm sure they'll do a good job in fast time. They have always done the 'impossible'!

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by Mike Crowe

29th December 2013, at 10:27:20

Why shut the whole line down? Couldn't Ryde St Johns to Shanklin operate with Taxi/Bus service from St Johns to Esplanade and Pier Head?

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by Patrick Hall

28th December 2013, at 22:34:59

Interesting observations from Russell Palin. The railway companies didn't want to build that 'nightmare' tunnel, but running overground was opposed by the Ryde council, so it was constructed on the 'cut and fill' principle below the road level. That meant a sharp gradient at the end which inevitably meant flooding especially given the nature of the nearby flood-prone Monkton Mead Brook. In earlier times the problem was lessened by the installation of a pumping station at the Esplanade end - I'm not sure what is in place these days, no doubt a local railway enthusiast could tell us.

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by Paul Clipstone

28th December 2013, at 09:32:10

Going to be an interesting 3 weeks. I cannot wait to see the performance data when it is advertised on the boards, it will still show 99% punctuality and 100% reliability as always.

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by Russell Palin

28th December 2013, at 05:58:33

If one were to build a railway today from scratch, we would be using modern techniques and materials.
Today's railway on the Island was surveyed and constructed in the 1860,s, poor old Island Line has to use this and Network Rail has to look after it.
The tunnel is a nightmare, always has been.
Electric traction from the 1930,s is provided, Far from impressive its just because it was all that was available that would fit through the tunnel, so they could get rid of steam in 66... what may well happen eventually is the whole thing turned into a trendy modern tramway The tunnel will closed and bypassed on the roads by tram, I think or be left for summer steam after lowering the floor back to surveyed level.... In the next 10-20 years I would imagine, before it becomes untenable to accountants...
Just an early morning pondering, thinking aloud. Ha, Ha.

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by Mark Dunsford

27th December 2013, at 22:44:11

Surely three weeks of total closure is enough to relay the whole 8 1/2 miles of track, not just the Ryde area.

Presumably the line's "heritage" status means that it will be bottom of the pile for resources as usual since they don't consider it to be a proper service.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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