CLASS 485, 486 - 4VEC, 3-TIS

Perhaps the most unusual of the SR electrified lines is the Isle of Wight system. In 1965, the line and its ancient equipment was due for retirement and a strong rumour abounded that the Island railway would be closed, this was substantiated when the Beeching axe fell on the entire Island network. Following the enormous public outcry against the proposal, it was eventually decided to keep open the most heavily used section between Ryde and Shanklin. The BR Board was then faced with the problem of stock replacement as the restricted loading gauge precluded the use of mainland vehicles. About this time, it was found that London Transport (LT) had a surplus of 1920-30 built tube stock. BR was interested, and subsequently purchased around 55 cars, although only 42 actually went to the Island, the remainder were scrapped. Initially, it was the intention to convert these cars to diesel operation using Gardner bus engines, but it was subsequently decided that operation would be more effective if the system was electrified.
The Island electrification scheme commenced in January 1966 and was completed in 15 months. Prior to the LT stock being transferred to BR, it was technically overhauled at Acton Works and then moved to Stewarts Lane for completion, and formed into units of six three car and six four car sets, enabling seven car train formations. Three car units were classified as TIS and formed of Motor Brake Second Open (MBSO), Trailer Second Open (TSO) and Driving Trailer Second Open (DTSO), while four car sets, classified VEC, were formed of MBSO, TSO, DTSO (non-operational) and MBSO. The SR codes VEC-TIS being derived from the Roman name for the Isle of Wight - Vectis. The MBSO cars had a small equipment compartment behind the driving cab containing technical and control equipment, traction power was provided by two 240hp MV traction motors on each MBSO. Total seating on TIS sets was 106 and VEC units 132, with sufficient standing room for an equal number. After sets were formed at Stewarts Lane, testing and training took place on the London to Woking section of the South Western Division, prior to the cars being assembled at Fratton for removal by low loaders to the Island.
The passenger services on the Island commenced from March 20, 1967, and the stock has remained in service until 1989-92, receiving maintenance at Ryde St. John's Depot. When introduced, the stock was painted in rail blue with full yellow warning ends. This remained until the late 1970s when some sets emerged from Ryde Depot with grey doors. In 1982, when no new stock for the Island was foreseen, a light refurbishing programme on the stock was carried out and units so treated emerged painted in blue/grey livery and were adorned with their six figure TOPS number. After the 1980s formation of Network SouthEast, NSE livery was applied to retained stock. Set numbers allocated to three car sets being 031-036 and four car units 041-046; TOPS classification was 486 and 485 respectively. It was unusual for trains to operate in seven coach formation, but four car sets were known, especially on the Ryde Pier Head to Ryde Esplanade shuttle. The sets were finally withdrawn in 1992 when seven 'new' 2-car train sets were introduced, classified 483.


Go to Recognition Pages

Class: 485 486
Number range: 041-046 031-036
Former number range: Ex LUL Ex LUL
Alpha code: 4VEC 3TIS
Introduced: 1967 (on BR)
Originally built 1923-1931
1967 (on BR)
Originally built 1923-1931
Originally built by: Metro Cammell, Union Car, Cammell Laird Metro Cammell, Union Car, Cammell Laird
Rebuilt by: BR Stewarts Lane BR Stewarts Lane
Formation: MBSO+TSO+DTSO+MBSO MBSO+TSO+DTSO
Vehicle numbers: MBSO - 1-25 series

MBSO - 1-25 series

TSO - 41-49, 92-96 series TSO - 41-49, 92-96 series
DTSO - 26-36 series DTSO - 26-36 series
MBSO - 1-25 series -
Set length: 207ft 11in 156ft 5 1/2in
Vehicle length: MBSO - 16.68m
TSO - 15.17m
DTSO - 15.30m
MBSO - 16.68m
TSO - 15.17m
DTSO - 15.30m
Height: 9ft 6in 9ft 6in
Width: 8ft 8in 8ft 8in
Seating: Total - 132S Total - 106S
MBSO - 26S MBSO - 26S
TSO - 42S TSO - 42S
DTSO - 38S DTSO - 38S
MBSO - 26S -
Internat layout: 2+2, transverse 2+2, transverse
Gangway: No, emergency end doors No, emergency end doors
Toilets: Not fitted Not fitted
Weight: Total - 94 tons Total - 65 tons
MBSO - 29 tonnes MBSO - 29 tonnes
TSO - 19 tonnes TSO - 19 tonnes
DTSO - 17 tonnes DTSO - 17 tonnes
MBSO - 29 tonnes -
Brake type: Air (EP/Auto) Air (EP/Auto)
Bogie type: LT design, Z and V LT design, Z and V
Power collection: 630V dc third rail 630V dc third rail
Traction motor type: 4 x EE 2 x EE
Horsepower: 960hp 480hp
Max speed: 45mph 45mph
Coupling type: Ward Ward
Multiple restriction: Class 485 and 486 only Class 485 and 486 only
Door type: Sliding Sliding
Special features: