Preservation of 483007https://iwsteamrailway.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2020-12-24-046-K3_80977-scaled.jpg25601702Isle of Wight Steam RailwayIsle of Wight Steam Railwayhttps://iwsteamrailway.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2020-12-24-046-K3_80977-scaled.jpg
Following retirement after 80 years of service, unit 483007 has started a new life in preservation at Havenstreet.
History of 483007
The unit was built by Metro Cammell in 1940 for London Underground. Known as the ‘1938 stock’ this standard design eventually numbered nearly 1,300 carriages that saw service on the Northern, Bakerloo, Piccadilly, East London and Central lines. With their robust construction and Art Deco styling, they were well suited to carrying millions of passengers on an intensive service. After nearly five decades of service in the capital, the last units were eventually retired by London Underground in 1988.
In 1989, ten sets were purchased from London Underground and extensively refurbished at Eastleigh works for use of the Isle of Wight. The units were re-wired so they could use the third rail, rather than London Underground’s four-rail system. They were formed into 2-car sets that were intended to run in trains of 2, 4 or 6 carriages. When the new trains arrived, painted in smart Network South East livery, they looked very modern in comparison to the even older former Underground trains that they replaced. Already the oldest trains on the network when they arrived on the Island, the renumbered Class 483 were to see a remarkable further thirty years service, shuttling between Ryde Pier Head and Shanklin. As passenger numbers fell, and maintenance became a bigger issue, the size of the fleet was reduced, and 2-car operation became the norm.
Unit 007 was out of service for three years for an extensive overhaul, but returned to traffic in December 2020, being named ‘Jess Harper’ in honour of a long-standing employee at Ryde St John’s Road works who had kept the Class 483 in service throughout his long career. Just a few week’s later, the set was used for the last time on 3 January 2021, prior to the line’s temporary closure for upgrade work. By the end, these veteran trains had notched up over 80 years of service.
Preservation at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway
The historic importance of the Class 483 was recognised by the Railway Heritage Designation Board who stipulated that some of the class should be preserved. Unit 007 was generously donated to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway where it will tell the story of the electrified Ryde to Shanklin line. The train’s preservation means that the railway’s collection of carriages spans over 150 years, from the opening of the line in 1864 to the present day.
Transfer to Havenstreet
The unit moved from Ryde to Sandown on 19 May 2021, then on by road to Havenstreet where it was unloaded the following day. Both carriages are now on display in our Train Story Discovery Centre. Visitors will be able to go on board and learn about the history of the 1938 Stock and the line since electrification in 1967. There will also be a ‘driver’s eye’ video showing the Ryde to Shanklin line.
Will 483007 run on the line?
Initially the unit will stay undercover inside Train Story. A medium term aim is to enable it to run on the line, and we have taken delivery of a number of spares that will assist us to keep the train in operational condition. Potentially the unit could be propelled by one of our diesel shunters, or powered by batteries – we’ll evaluate the best option after the train arrives at Havenstreet. Invariably the speed of progress will be dictated by the availability of funds and volunteer time.