Island Line Upgrade

philthetube

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I think you are being a bit unfair to Network Rail and South Western Railway, as they are not responsible for the rain, nor were they responsible for the Covid pandemic.



After nearly 200-years of running trains, you would honestly expected the railway engineers, to have come-up with a solution to the age old problem of flooding on railway lines, by now.

Maybe we need a modern day, super engineer like Isambard Kingdom Brunel, to sort out the ongoing problems.
I suspect the only way to solve this one would be to put the railway on stilts, to install drainage you have to have somewhere for the water to go.
 
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Meerkat

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I suspect the only way to solve this one would be to put the railway on stilts, to install drainage you have to have somewhere for the water to go.
Or ‘just’ build a flood wall along the line (there is one along the Lymington branch??), but as pushing the problem downstream is also not good for the railway you probably need interventions upstream building holding pools intercepting the various streams.
Does this steam’s flooding affect non-railway property or are the council just going to shrug and leave it
to the railway to sort out?
Looks like it needs sorting if the upgrade isn’t going to be a slightly wasted effort
 

trebor79

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Probably not, the services will probably just be cancelled again nearer the time, as they have been before. They still only have 2 units on the island.
That's no particular issue is it though? I mean there were never more than 2 of the 483s operational for the last few years of their operation. Sounds like there will be more 484s available by the time the infrastructure has been repaired though!
 

Rick1984

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They did make improvements to the pumping/draining of the stream but not sure if they've made any difference
 

Gloster

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The RRB appears to now be operated by Xelabus. It looked as though they were using a single-decker on the Steam Railway service (only a glimpse when travelling in the opposite direction, but the green appeared to be too dark for Southern Vectis, who don’t have many green single-deckers).
 

hermit

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That's surprising, not obvious where - immediately south of the station there's an old retaining wall which could have given way?
Most of the way from Brading to Yarbridge there’s a steepish slope on the up side, with properties quite near the edge. If the slippage is there, there may be some nervous house owners up there.
 

Chris125

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Most of the way from Brading to Yarbridge there’s a steepish slope on the up side, with properties quite near the edge. If the slippage is there, there may be some nervous house owners up there.

I did wonder but it looks fine, must be the deep cutting at Sandown?

All fixed? 004 has been spotted at Truckells, presumably on a low speed test run.

 
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Gloster

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The bags of ‘filling’ (it looked too large for ballast) at Esplanade (#456) have disappeared. Some of the contents appear to have been dumped in the hole in the track at the St Johns Road end of Platform 2 (the old shuttle one). The signal adjacent has a black sack over the head.
 

Cymroglan

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I don’t live on the Island, but pre Covid I was a regular passenger on Island Line. I really don’t really understand what’s gone so horrendously wrong with the upgrade. Three months of closure is now at 8 months and counting.
Even more puzzling is the apparent lack of interest in it both in Island media and politics, unless I’m looking in the wrong places?
Many failing businesses hide behind “It’s because of Covid” as a lame cover all excuse. Is that applicable here? Is it incompetence? Will the trains ever run between Ryde and Shanklin again? Who’s making money out of this?
So many questions!
 

Gloster

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As far as the local politicians and media are concerned, they don’t do anything unless it is fed to them on a plate. Covid may have had some influence on the chaos, but as Covid predates the start of the main part of the work, one has to ask why they didn’t make provision for it. As to who is making money out of it, I suspect that the answer is that a lot of companies have fingers in the pie. At least the providers of the Rail Replacement Buses are doing their job. Whatever the causes are, I reckon that bad luck only makes up a very small proportion of them.
 

Chris125

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The bags of ‘filling’ (it looked too large for ballast) at Esplanade (#456) have disappeared. Some of the contents appear to have been dumped in the hole in the track at the St Johns Road end of Platform 2 (the old shuttle one). The signal adjacent has a black sack over the head.

It disappeared after the flooding, guess it was useful after all - as for filling in the hole, presumably they've ditched any idea of a temporary signal in the four foot.

Lighting/electrics aside, Brading looks all but finished. Shame they've not repainted the canopies.


Brading by Chris, on Flickr
 

Gloster

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Both the County Press and the Island Echo are reporting that all the foot crossings have reopened.

I have just found that South Western Railway’s Island Line Upgrade web pages are still showing the original one bus an hour RRB timetable. Somewhat typical of the whole shambolic mess.
 
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hermit

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The Island Echo is reporting rumours that the reopening date of the line is now 27 October. SWR have declined to confirm this.
 
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A0wen

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Both the County Press and the Island Echo are reporting that all the foot crossings have reopened.

I have just found that South Western Railway’s Island Line Upgrade web pages are still showing the original one bus an hour RRB timetable. Somewhat typical of the whole shambolic mess.

What are your credentials for stating it's a "shambolic mess" ? Unless you have some knowledge as to why this has been delayed then you are being insulting to the professionals who are having to deliver this project.

As an aside, it's not affected the IoW tourist trade one iota. Having just spent 2 weeks on the island all the main attractions are open and busy. Southern Vectis's buses serm well used - in fact the only thing which isn't is the RRB which on every occasion I've seen it has had penny numbers on board.

I don’t live on the Island, but pre Covid I was a regular passenger on Island Line. I really don’t really understand what’s gone so horrendously wrong with the upgrade. Three months of closure is now at 8 months and counting.
Even more puzzling is the apparent lack of interest in it both in Island media and politics, unless I’m looking in the wrong places?
Many failing businesses hide behind “It’s because of Covid” as a lame cover all excuse. Is that applicable here? Is it incompetence? Will the trains ever run between Ryde and Shanklin again? Who’s making money out of this?
So many questions!
See my post - the reason the media aren't interested is because the impact is negligible going on naff all. The island is busy with tourists, the campsites are full, the attractions doing good trade, Southern Vectis doing good business - basically it's inconveniencing so few as to be irrelevant.
 

Gloster

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What are your credentials for stating it's a "shambolic mess" ? Unless you have some knowledge as to why this has been delayed then you are being insulting to the professionals who are having to deliver this project.

As an aside, it's not affected the IoW tourist trade one iota. Having just spent 2 weeks on the island all the main attractions are open and busy. Southern Vectis's buses serm well used - in fact the only thing which isn't is the RRB which on every occasion I've seen it has had penny numbers on board.


See my post - the reason the media aren't interested is because the impact is negligible going on naff all. The island is busy with tourists, the campsites are full, the attractions doing good trade, Southern Vectis doing good business - basically it's inconveniencing so few as to be irrelevant.
I have been watching it ever since it started as I go to Ryde Esplanade several times a week. The ‘shambolic mess’ is as much the lack of information as anything else.

I agree that there are plenty of tourists, but the difficulties of taking foreign holidays, combined with the desire for the sun, has made the island a very popular destination this year. There are millions of them who would otherwise have gone to Ibiza in their hordes who have come here. It strikes me that numbers on the RRB (which I have not used, but have often seen) are way below normal train numbers, so something is putting people off using the train on the island. I am sure, on the basis of previous years, that passenger numbers on the trains, if they were running, would be as high as, if not higher than, normal: that revenue is lost. As I have said elsewhere, the local media don’t really cover anything unless it is served up on a plate.
 
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hermit

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Lighting/electrics aside, Brading looks all but finished. Shame they've not repainted the canopies.


Brading
by Chris, on Flickr

Both the County Press and the Island Echo are reporting that all the foot crossings have reopened.
Brading not quite finished - the public footpath from Yarbridge remains closed, on grounds of ‘unsafe structures’. As far as one can see the bridge over the culvert remains uncompleted. No sign of activity today.
Whether this affects the crossing from platform to platform I cannot see, but like the temporary footbridge it seems this will not be needed for some time yet.
 

Chris125

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Brading not quite finished - the public footpath from Yarbridge remains closed, on grounds of ‘unsafe structures’. As far as one can see the bridge over the culvert remains uncompleted. No sign of activity today.
Whether this affects the crossing from platform to platform I cannot see, but like the temporary footbridge it seems this will not be needed for some time yet.

Bit surprised by that sign, the damage is on the other side of the new PRM crossing which I don't think they've completed yet - there's a path up to the main road and the first section has been completely washed away.
 

Skymonster

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What are your credentials for stating it's a "shambolic mess" ? Unless you have some knowledge as to why this has been delayed then you are being insulting to the professionals who are having to deliver this project.

As an aside, it's not affected the IoW tourist trade one iota. Having just spent 2 weeks on the island all the main attractions are open and busy. Southern Vectis's buses serm well used - in fact the only thing which isn't is the RRB which on every occasion I've seen it has had penny numbers on board.


See my post - the reason the media aren't interested is because the impact is negligible going on naff all. The island is busy with tourists, the campsites are full, the attractions doing good trade, Southern Vectis doing good business - basically it's inconveniencing so few as to be irrelevant.
Unless something dramatic happens shortly, this project will have taken at least nine months instead of the three originally envisaged. Yes there have been unforeseen problems (notably the virus and maybe the very recent flooding), but even so tripling of the time needed would place it into the shambolic category as far as project planning is concerned in many people’s view (please note I’m not judging ill of the many individuals who have undoubtedly worked hard on the infrastructure with this). And the issues with the trains - especially the need to rewrite the software midway through testing - has also not shown the project in a particularly good light.

And if it’s really true that the lack of train services has not had any impact (has been “irrelevant”), then really that suggests the whole upgrade is rather worthless and the line might as well have been shut. I tend to believe that had the line been working, it would have been a tremendous asset this summer and would have seen significant ridership. Sadly that opportunity has been lost. Whether it can bounce back remains to be seen - the longer the locals are without it the more they are likely to realise they don’t need it, while visitors next year (if they’re not flying to the Costas) may also elect to do without the train, recalling they didn’t need it this year. In some ways the line is faced with a challenge anyway as far as tourists are concerned because it’s lost one of its most significant USPs - the quaint old trains.
 

Chris125

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And if it’s really true that the lack of train services has not had any impact (has been “irrelevant”), then really that suggests the whole upgrade is rather worthless and the line might as well have been shut.

How can anyone possibly tell, this year of all years? Most visitors, especially those staying multiple nights, visit by car or coach so it would be hard to see a visible difference even in a normal year which this most certainly isn't. If this makes Island Line irrelevant then you could say the same of almost the entire rail network outside urban areas and the long distance mainlines.

What can be said with reasonable confidence is that the Rail Replacement Buses are carrying a fraction of the normal rail traffic this time of year - some may be using Southern Vectis but daytrips to Sandown Bay via the Catamaran probably aren't worth the bother right now, it's certainly put me off going the other way this summer.
 

A0wen

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Unless something dramatic happens shortly, this project will have taken at least nine months instead of the three originally envisaged.

So what? If the project is under change control all such delays will have been approved by the project sponsor. Some will undoubtedly be due to 'act of God' i.e. Covid, weather, others due to things identified during the project necessitating more or different work. Too many non project "experts" think such things are a failing of the project, which isn't the case.
And if it’s really true that the lack of train services has not had any impact (has been “irrelevant”), then really that suggests the whole upgrade is rather worthless and the line might as well have been shut. I tend to believe that had the line been working, it would have been a tremendous asset this summer and would have seen significant ridership. Sadly that opportunity has been lost. Whether it can bounce back remains to be seen - the longer the locals are without it the more they are likely to realise they don’t need it, while visitors next year (if they’re not flying to the Costas) may also elect to do without the train, recalling they didn’t need it this year. In some ways the line is faced with a challenge anyway as far as tourists are concerned because it’s lost one of its most significant USPs - the quaint old trains.

People have still travelled in the required numbers - for the IoW tourist industry that's all that matters. How people have travelled is immaterial - and if accomodation is at capacity, as it seems to be, then people being unable to travel by train has had no impact.

How can anyone possibly tell, this year of all years? Most visitors, especially those staying multiple nights, visit by car or coach so it would be hard to see a visible difference even in a normal year which this most certainly isn't. If this makes Island Line irrelevant then you could say the same of almost the entire rail network outside urban areas and the long distance mainlines.

What can be said with reasonable confidence is that the Rail Replacement Buses are carrying a fraction of the normal rail traffic this time of year - some may be using Southern Vectis but daytrips to Sandown Bay via the Catamaran probably aren't worth the bother right now, it's certainly put me off going the other way this summer.
It may have put you off, but it hasn't put others off. We took a day trip back to Portsmouth yesterday by the Hovercraft and they were running at capacity.
 

Dougal2345

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So what? If the project is under change control all such delays will have been approved by the project sponsor. Some will undoubtedly be due to 'act of God' i.e. Covid, weather, others due to things identified during the project necessitating more or different work. Too many non project "experts" think such things are a failing of the project, which isn't the case.
We "non project 'experts'" see a project taking three times its planned time, and we're certainly going to think it's a failing of the project! I don't think acts of God can be blamed for that... Insufficient preparation and bad planning can.

Given the problems and delays always experienced when introducing new trains, why on earth would anyone close a railway and scrap the old stock before the replacement stock was even close to ready?

Your posts remind me of the old story of the surgeon saying "the operation was a success... but we lost the patient" :D
 

hermit

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We "non project 'experts'" see a project taking three times its planned time, and we're certainly going to think it's a failing of the project! I don't think acts of God can be blamed for that... Insufficient preparation and bad planning can.

Given the problems and delays always experienced when introducing new trains, why on earth would anyone close a railway and scrap the old stock before the replacement stock was even close to ready?

Your posts remind me of the old story of the surgeon saying "the operation was a success... but we lost the patient" :D
Closure was necessary in order to carry out the upgrade of track, signalling etc. The replacement trains were scheduled to arrive on completion of the works. As I understand it, most of the delay has been caused by problems in getting them to work properly. A failure of the train manufacturer, not the project planners.
 

PTR 444

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I am sceptical as to whether the Island Line really needs replacement buses in the first place. Most of the passengers that would use it are most likely using Southern Vectis routes 2 and 3 instead. Much better value for what is essentially a duplicate service.

SV may as well just accept rail tickets on their buses, rather than allow more to operate just to carry fresh air.
 

Skymonster

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A failure of the train manufacturer, not the project planners.
I suspect new train designs need project planners too…

In any case, if the bulk of the blame can be laid at the door of VivaRail why is infrastructure work still not complete?
 

Gloster

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A couple of small comments. The old units were just about dead and it was quite likely that they would finally give up the ghost at any time. It is a pity that replacement had been left so late: it would have been far better if the new ones, or at least the first of them, had been given a decent amount of testing before the infrastructure work got going. The software problems might well have appeared earlier.

Covid has, I presume, been an additional problem, but it did not suddenly appear after work started. It had already been around for more than nine months, but it is unclear just what allowance was made for it.

Regarding the recent flooding south of Ryde. I would be interested to know why the project did not include appropriate ‘future proofing’, something that seems to be included in most projects nowadays.
 

mcmad

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So what? If the project is under change control all such delays will have been approved by the project sponsor. Some will undoubtedly be due to 'act of God' i.e. Covid, weather, others due to things identified during the project necessitating more or different work. Too many non project "experts" think such things are a failing of the project, which isn't the case.


People have still travelled in the required numbers - for the IoW tourist industry that's all that matters. How people have travelled is immaterial - and if accomodation is at capacity, as it seems to be, then people being unable to travel by train has had no impact.


It may have put you off, but it hasn't put others off. We took a day trip back to Portsmouth yesterday by the Hovercraft and they were running at capacity.

Wow. I've not seen such dismissive attitude since that Iraq PR minister in Sadam's day.

The tripling of time is for a project is certainly a project failing no matter how many change controls the poor sponsor has had to sign off.

If the lack of a train service on the island is indeed causing no issues as you claim then surely the justification and business case for the upgrade is deeply flawed and (a tiny proportion) of the budget would have been better spent on investing in the local bus network to decarbonise that.
 

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