British Rail Class 319

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British Rail Class 319
319004 Thameslink train at St Albans.jpg
A train operated by Thameslink at St Albans City
British Rail Class 319.jpg
The refreshed interior of a Thameslink Class 319 with added passenger information systems
In service 1987 – present
Manufacturer BREL York[1]
Family name BR Second Generation (Mark 3)
Constructed 1987–88, 1990
Number built 86 trainsets
Formation 4 cars per trainset
Operator Thameslink
Northern Rail
Line(s) served Thameslink
Liverpool to Manchester Lines
Specifications
Car length 19.83–19.92 m (65.1–65.4 ft)[1]
Width 2.82 m (9 ft 3 in)[1]
Height 3.58 m (11 ft 9 in)[1]
Maximum speed 100 mph (161 km/h)[1]
Weight 140.3 tonnes (155 tons)[1]
Electric system(s) 25 kV AC Overhead lines
750 V DC 3rd rail
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 319 is a dual-voltage electric multiple unit train built by BREL York for use on north-south cross-London services.

Built in two batches in 1987–88 and 1990, the units were primarily used on the then-new Thameslink service operating from Bedford to Brighton and various other destinations to the south of London. The majority of the fleet remained in use on the Thameslink route after its reshaping and privatization in 1997. Some of the fleet also saw use on various services operated by Connex South Central and its successor Southern, including flagship expresses between London and Brighton.

With rolling stock replacement for Thameslink services underway as of 2015, some of the units have been redeployed for use elsewhere, including newly electrified routes in the north west of England operated by Northern Rail.

Class 319 units have dual-power pick-up, from either 25 kV alternating current (AC) overhead lines for services north of London, or 750 V direct current (DC) third rail to the south.

Description[edit]

In the 1980s, there were plans for a rail service that would link Bedford and Brighton. These services would cross London in a north-south direction, and thus became the first passenger route for many years to cross London from north to south. These services were branded Thameslink by Network SouthEast, which operated the services.

As the Thameslink service was to use a route with 25 kV AC OHLE north of Farringdon and along the branch to Moorgate, and 750 V DC third-rail electrification south of Farringdon, the Class 319 trains were built with dual-voltage capabilities, making them very versatile.[2] They were also the first British Rail units to use modern thyristor control in place of a camshaft and resistor bank.[3]

The body shape of the Class 319 is slightly different from contemporary electric units due to restrictions in the loading gauge in Kings Cross tunnel, which meant that other dual-voltage units were not suitable.[citation needed] They were also required to have emergency end doors in the cabs,[4] due to the twin single bore layout of Smithfield tunnel preventing normal train evacuation.

Two sub-classes of Class 319 units were originally built. Over the years, units have been refurbished, creating five sub-classes, of which four still exist.

Class 321 passenger units and Class 325 postal units were developed from the Class 319 design,[3] using similar traction equipment and the same steel body design, albeit in conjunction with revised cab designs.

Class 319/0[edit]

The original interior aboard a Class 319/0 unit

The first batch of 60 units, built in 1987–88, was classified as Class 319/0. Units were numbered in the range 319001–060 and had a maximum speed of 100 mph (161 km/h). Each unit consisted of four steel carriages: two outer driving trailers, an intermediate motor with a roof-mounted Stone Faiveley AMBR pantograph and four DC GEC G315BZ traction motors (two per bogie), and an intermediate trailer housing a compressor, motor alternator and two toilets. Seating was standard-class only, in 2+3 layout.

The technical description of the unit formation is DTSO(A)+MSO+TSO+DTSO(B). Individual vehicles were numbered as follows:

  • 77291–77381 (odd) and 77431–77457 (odd) — DTSO(A)
  • 62891–62936 and 62961–62974 — MSO
  • 71772–71817 and 71866–71879 — TSO
  • 77290–77380 (even) and 77430–77456 (even) — DTSO(B)

Vehicles were numbered in two ranges, corresponding to units 319001–046 and 319047–060. The gaps in the number series (e.g. 77382–77429) were filled by the Class 442 units, which were being built around the same period.

DTSO(B) originally featured a lockable sliding door between the driving cab and the first set of power doors and tip-up longitudinal seating to enable parcels to be carried securely. This facility was rarely used and the sliding door has since been removed - but the tip-up seat area has been retained for carrying bicycles and wheelchairs.

Units 319001–319013 are the remaining members of the 319/0 subclass; all others were converted to class 319/2 or 319/4 in the late 1990s.

Class 319/1[edit]

Class 319 in original Network South East livery at St Albans

Built in 1990, this second batch of 26 units was numbered in the range 319161–186. The formation of the second batch of sets was similar to that of the earlier units, with the addition of first-class seating at one end of the train for use on longer-distance Bedford - Brighton services.[2] Like the first batch, standard class seating was of a 2+3 layout in standard class. First class seating was in 2+2 layout.

Units were formed in the arrangement DTCO+MSO+TSO+DTSO. Individual vehicles were numbered as follows:

  • 77459–77497 (odd) and 77973–77983 (odd) — DTCO
  • 63043–63062 and 63093–63098 — MSO
  • 71929–71948 and 71979-71984 — TSO
  • 77458–77496 (even) and 77972–77984 (even) — DTSO

Vehicles were numbered in two ranges, corresponding to units 319161–180 and 319181–186. A more modern Brecknell Willis high speed pantograph was also fitted.

All 319/1 units were converted to class 319/3 in the late 1990s.

Class 319/2[edit]

'Lounge' seating in a 319/2

In the late 1990s, seven of the Class 319/0 sets were converted especially for use on Connex South Central express services between London Victoria and Brighton.[5] Work carried out at Railcare Wolverton included new, lower-density seating, a disabled toilet, and a special 'lounge' seating area in the saloon space below the pantograph in the MSO, where stowage for a refreshment trolley and a small serving counter were also fitted.

Units involved were renumbered from the series 319014–319020 to 319214–319220. They retain their low density layout, but the lounge area has been replaced by standard seating since their return to use on Thameslink services.

Class 319/3[edit]

Thameslink Class 319/3 'City Metro' unit

In the period 1997-9,[5] Thameslink arranged for all of its 319/1 units to be converted at Eastleigh for use on the shorter-distance Luton - Sutton/Wimbledon services, then known as 'Thameslink CityMetro'. These units lost their first class seating and were renumbered into the 319/3 series. Painting into a navy-blue and yellow livery was also undertaken at this time.

Various refurbishments have taken place since 1999, including:

  • Minor refresh by Thameslink including new seat covers between 2003 and 2005
  • Relivery and interior refresh by Railcare Wolverton for First Capital Connect completed in 2010
  • New passenger information system, LED lighting, new seat covers and an internal and external repaint for units transferring to Northern Rail[6] and similar work for those remaining on Thameslink in the interim, starting in 2014.

Class 319/4[edit]

Units 319021-319060 were refurbished for Thameslink at Railcare Wolverton in 1997-8. Work included the installation of a first-class compartment at one end, in the DTSO(A) vehicle[5] and the removal of some seating in the centre of each vehicle to give 2+2 layout. Cosmetic improvements included new carpets and seat coverings, as well as application of the navy-blue Thameslink livery.

Upon completion, these units were renumbered as 319421-319460 and moved on to the Bedford - Brighton service, branded as 'Thameslink Cityflier'.

From 2003 to 2005, during the Thameslink blockade, some minor interior updating took place such as recovering seats with an updated Thameslink moquette. First-class compartments were refurbished with new carpet, retrimmed seats and chrome-plated heater panels - apart from unit 319444 which retained its 1997-designed interior.

A later refresh was unveiled by the then new operator First Capital Connect on 26 October 2006. Unit 319425 was renamed 'Transforming Travel' for the occasion and showcased the following improvements:

  • Emergency brake pressure increased to the +12% G standard, giving an extra 1 Bar brake cylinder pressure in emergency
  • Emergency brake 'timeout' period reduced from 2 minutes to 20 seconds
  • DC traction motors rewound to improve reliability
  • Improved motor control hardware with a new Remote Communications Frame
  • New 'easy to clean' flooring
  • Retrimmed seats into the First Capital Connect moquette
  • Some seats in standard class were removed and vertical luggage stacks installed in their place; a further two seats were removed in the TSO vehicle to allow easier access to the toilet
  • Repainted dado side panels and wall ends
  • Existing stanchions painted pink
  • New stanchions leading from some seats to the overhead luggage rack to provide standing passengers with something to hold on to and more support
  • Improved, brighter fluorescent lighting diffusers

The refresh took place at Railcare Wolverton works and also featured both a mechanical overhaul (under the solebar) and a full exterior relivery, again in vinyl. Some Class 319/4 units have had their Stone Faiveley AMBR air and spring pantograph replaced by the more modern Brecknell Willis High Speed air-only pantograph design.

Current operations[edit]

The majority of the fleet remains concentrated on the Thameslink route as of 2015. However, acquisition of new trains for this route has allowed for some to be transferred to newly electrified routes elsewhere and for others to provide extra capacity on suburban services.

Thameslink[edit]

Thameslink refreshed Class 319/0 No. 319003 stands at Bedford Cauldwell depot.

The majority of Class 319 units have remained in use on the cross-London Thameslink route since their construction. Between 2006 and 2014, the then-operator of the route, First Capital Connect, also negotiated the phased return of the 20 units that had found use on other services operated by Connex South Central and its successor Southern.

In due course, Thameslink services will be entirely taken over by purpose-built Class 700 and Class 387 trains, allowing the release of all Class 319 units currently used on Thameslink for use elsewhere. Some of the Class 319 fleet has already been released, with this being facilitated by the temporary use of loaned Class 377 units in the interim.

Class 319 units due to remain on the Thameslink route for the time being have been progressively repainted into a neutral livery since 2014, with minimal branding.

Southeastern[edit]

Northern Rail Class 319 refreshed interior

Southeastern jointly operates the 319s with Thameslink and Great Northern on its Sevenoaks to Kentish Town / Bedford services. This is because the London Blackfriars terminal platforms have been closed for the Thameslink Programme. Under this arrangement trains are classified as an GTR service whilst north of Blackfriars, and a Southeastern service whilst south of there. The work is split between GTR drivers from Bedford and Blackfriars, and Southeastern drivers from Victoria and Orpington depots. All of those drivers sign the whole route from Sevenoaks to Bedford. Thus with the cascaded stock it is currently possible to find a Southern liveried 319 operating an GTR service whilst being driven by a Southeastern driver.

Northern Rail[edit]

A "Northern Electrics" Class 319 unit at Liverpool Lime Street.

Northern Rail are receiving a total of twenty Class 319/3 units to operate along newly electrified routes in the north-west of England. The first use of the fleet was on the Liverpool Lime Street - Newton-le-Willows - Manchester Airport service on 5 March 2015.[7] From 17 May 2015, services from Liverpool to Wigan North Western via Huyton followed suit.[8] Units being transferred have undergone a light refurbishment and repainting into a dedicated Northern Electrics' livery.

Other services due to transfer to Class 319 operation include Manchester Victoria to Liverpool via Earlestown route and Manchester/Liverpool to Preston/Blackpool (upon completion of that phase of electrification). All of the units will be based at Allerton depot.

Former operations[edit]

Southern[edit]

When privatisation came, the first 13 units (319001–319013) were used for outer-suburban services by Connex South Central, with some temporarily losing their 25 kV AC overhead equipment. Seven more of the Class 319/0 sets (319014–319020) were refurbished and dedicated to express services between London Victoria and Brighton,[5] before later finding work on peak-only London-Guildford via West Croydon and London-Horsham via Three Bridges services.

Successor company Southern continued to operate the fleet and reliveried it into its own colour scheme. It later went on to sublease Class 319/0 units to First Capital Connect for use on the Thameslink route, before eventually releasing the entire fleet.

Future use[edit]

As part of its announcement of the 25kV AC OHL electrification of both the Great Western Main Line and the Liverpool to Manchester (via Newton Le Willows) plus Liverpool to Wigan routes, the Government has announced that when new Class 700 Thameslink rolling stock arrives from 2015-2018, Class 319 units will be transferred to these routes.[9] When the Class 319 cascade was first proposed by Lord Adonis he stated they would be fully refurbished, including being fitted with air-conditioning, and transferred to the following two routes:

  • to operate all suburban services between Oxford, Newbury, Reading and London
  • to operate Manchester Airport to Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Victoria to Liverpool Lime Street services[10]

In March 2015 it was confirmed First Great Western's future electric fleet would consist of Class 365 units released from Great Northern, Class 387 trains released from Thameslink as well as additional new trains instead of Class 319s as originally planned.[11]

Notable units[edit]

319008 operating "Tunnel Explorer" excursions into the Channel Tunnel on 7 May 1994 from Sandling railway station; the first public-carrying passenger trains through the tunnel.
Nameplate commemorating crossing on 10 December 1993.

Units 319008 Cheriton and 319009 Coquelles are notable for two reasons:

  • On 10 December 1993 they travelled through the Channel Tunnel to Calais-Fréthun and back with a party of invited guests, after the construction consortium TransManche Link (who were responsible for the construction of the Tunnel) had transferred responsibility for operations and management over to Eurotunnel. Their pantographs were modified at Selhurst Depot beforehand to account for the higher OHL height at Cheriton and in the tunnel. For the subsequent "Folkestone 1994" event on 7 May 1994, which saw the first paying members of the public taken into the tunnel by train. On 26 March 1994 units 319008 and 319009 were named "Cheriton" and "Coquelles" respectively at Victoria and plaques adorned with the Union Flag and Tricolore were installed on their motor carriages.[5][12]
  • On 26 March 1994 they set a record for the shortest London to Brighton journey time, at 37 minutes 57 seconds. This record stood until 2005 when the "Speed Run" event, organised by Southern, using Class 377 units 377472 and 377474 set a slightly quicker record of 36 minutes 56 seconds.[13] Both units were denamed after being transferred from Southern to First Capital Connect. In 2012 319008 Cheriton was noted with its nameplates re-applied, and on 5 March 2012 319009 Coquelles was also re-united with its nameplates.

Other liveries[edit]

  • 319215 is in a Switzerland Advertising Livery.[14]
  • 319218 has been vinyled into Lyca Mobile livery and is in service.[when?][citation needed]
  • 319365 & 319364 were previously vinyled in a "rainbow" livery advertising the Thameslink Programme. These vinyls were removed in 2013 and both units appeared in the FCC "Urban Lights" livery before they were transferred to Northern Rail in 2014.

Named units[edit]

Named units are as follows:[15]

  • 319001 - Driver Mick Winnett
  • 319008 - Cheriton
  • 319009 - Coquelles
  • 319011 - John Ruskin College
  • 319013 - The Surrey Hills
  • 319215 - London (denamed)
  • 319217 - Brighton
  • 319218 - Croydon
  • 319362 - Northern Powerhouse [16]
  • 319364 - Transforming Blackfriars (denamed)
  • 319365 - Transforming Farringdon (denamed)
  • 319374 - Bedford Cauldwell TMD (denamed)
  • 319425 - Transforming Travel - First Capital Connect
  • 319435 - Adrian Jackson-Robbins 1987-2007 - Chair of the Association of Passenger Transport Users
  • 319441 - Driver Mick Winnett (denamed)
  • 319444 - City of St Albans
  • 319446 - St Pancras International
  • 319448 - Elstree Studios - The Home of British Film and Television Production
  • 319449 - King's Cross Thameslink

Accidents[edit]

In 2006 a Thameslink 319 unit (319369) derailed at slow speed on catch points at Lovers Walk Depot, Brighton. The same unit, this time operated by First Capital Connect and bound for Sevenoaks, was involved in another incident in January 2014 when its driver failed to lower the pantograph at Farringdon station. As a result it hit the roof of Blackfriars station at about 09.55 GMT. No-one was injured and the train was later removed.[citation needed]

Gallery[edit]

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos. Notes
Class 319/0 Thameslink 13 1987–1988 4 319001–319013
Class 319/2 7 319214–319220 Refurbished from Class 319/0 1996-1997.
Originally classed as 319/0. (319014–319020)
Class 319/3 Northern Rail 14 1990 319361–319369
319374
319379–319380
319382–319383
Refurbished from Class 319/1 1997-1999.
Originally classed as 319/1. (319161–319186)
Thameslink 12 319370–319373
319375–319378
319381
319384–319386
Class 319/4 40 1987–1988 319421–319460 Refurbished from Class 319/0 1997-1998.
Originally classed as 319/0. (319021–319060)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Class 319 Electric Multiple Unit" (PDF) (01) (A ed.). Porterbrook. August 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Class 319 - Welcome to the Southern E-Group Web Site. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  3. ^ a b Green, Chris; Vincent, Mike (2014). The Network SouthEast Story. Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 9780860936534. 
  4. ^ Thameslink - Moorgate Branch: Local instructions/Working over book (July 1999)
  5. ^ a b c d e Class 319 2 Page. - Welcome to the Southern E-Group Web Site. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  6. ^ Transforming Northern’s Revenue Protection Update - Transport for Greater Manchester Committee. Retrieved 2014-10-26.
  7. ^ "Northern ‘319s’ in service". Modern Railways. Key Publishing. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Electric services to Wigan and Manchester Victoria start in May". RAIL. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  9. ^ Siemens beats Bombardier to Thameslink train order - Railway Gazette. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Britain’s Transport Infrastructure - Rail Electrification" (PDF). DfT. 22 July 2009. pp. 22–24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  11. ^ http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/policy/single-view/view/first-great-western-plans-at300s-to-cornwall.html
  12. ^ Class 319 - Kent Rail. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  13. ^ Duff, Colin. "Southern's Speed Run 2005". Southern Electric Group. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  14. ^ https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevor-plackett/5974683889/
  15. ^ "EMU Formations". AbRail. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "'Northern Powerhouse' joins Northern Rail's electric fleet". Northern Rail. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 

External links[edit]