That's a very interesting idea. The greatest fault of Beeching's "Reshaping of British Railways" lay in the complete failure to protect trackbed of closed lines, as many reopening schemes have discovered. If I were a gambling man, I'd put money on the words "guided busway" surfacing before too long, so I'll get my salvo in first. Experience has shown that the area of the surface contacted by the wheels takes a lot more wear, meaning a lot of repair, costing a lot of money. This seems to have come as a surprise to proponents of this system, but the evidence is undeniable. Didn't Network Rail commission a facility to remachine worn track a while back? If so, surely it changes the economics of a relay. Coupled with use of Vivrail 230s, even in diesel electric mode, it would give up to 30 years of stock security and (assuming welded track) a more economically manageable permanent way. It comes down to political will to maintain the Island Line. Some money needs spending somewhere, because the current stock is pretty much life-expired and the road network is unquestionably inadequate (which argues in favour of rail), but is every bit as bad in parts of the island with no remaining railways (which doesn't). Somehow, I don't see any realistic possiblility of restoring Cowes, or Ventnor, let alone Freshwater, to the railway map. Newport (well, the eastern outskirts) may one day enjoy heritage services, but when that happy day dawns, it's highly unlikely the line will form part of the everyday transport system. Any decision reached will be controversial, and it would be an uncharacteristically courageous politician who carried the can for it, hence my suspicion of many political shenanigans on the horizon. As Sir Humphrey Appleby put it, "Controversial" only means "this will lose you votes". "Courageous" means "this will lose you the election"! Which decision fits which adjective is something for those who wish to see the survival of the Island Line to ponder.