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To its credit, the current train operating company (TOC) has kept the moniker.

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Whilst the former had been specified to operate 7 car trains up to every 12 minutes, it has degraded significantly in recent years.These operate during the summer months, when the additional capacity is helpful in dealing with the large groups of tourists arriving from Wightlink’s high-speed catamaran ferry once or twice hourly, which sails between Portsmouth Harbour and Ryde Pier Head stations.Additional ferry passengers join and leave trains at Ryde Esplanade upon transferring with Hovertravel’s hovercraft service to Southsea.This special relationship has lasted for decades, with two generations of retired Underground trains migrating south, like people, to retire by the seaside.But this time round as replacements are sought once again, the apparently simple solution of buying in a third generation of time expired Tube stock looks less likely, as a host of other problems have come to the fore. When the Isle of Wight’s railway was electrified in 1967 by British Rail (BR)’s Southern Region, they imported ex-London Underground Standard Stock dating from the 1920s to comprise the train fleet.

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