British Rail Class 489
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into British Rail Class 414. (Discuss) Proposed since August 2013.|
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (September 2008)|
|British Rail Class 489|
|Maximum speed||90mph (145km/h)|
|Prime mover(s)||2 x 250 hp (190 kW) traction motors
total 500 hp (370 kW)
The units were converted from Class 414 driving motors cars, by Eastleigh works in 1983-84, for use on the new Gatwick Express service. They were used to allow push-pull operations, on the London-end of the rakes of Class 488 stock, with a Class 73 locomotive at the other end and both used for propulsion. The units were used as baggage cars.
Units were given unit numbers in the range 489101-489110, with individual carriages numbered 68500-68509. However, purely for aesthetic purposes, only the last four digits of the set numbers were shown, to fit with the traditional Southern style (maintained until privatisation by British Rail's Southern region) - older (pre-TOPS) units were originally assigned four-digit numbers. The units were originally painted in BR Blue/Grey livery, which was quickly replaced by InterCity livery. The final livery carried by these units is a variation of the InterCity livery, with a claret stripe and Gatwick Express lettering.
Immediately after privatisation, the Class 489 fleet was exclusively used by Gatwick Express on all their London Victoria-Gatwick Airport shuttles. However, new units, in the form of Class 460 'Juniper' units were built from 2000, with the aim of completely replacing the old stock. By 2002, sufficient new trains were in service to allow six Class 489 units to be removed from traffic, leaving four units retained as cover in case of failure of one of the new trains. Two of these subsequently withdrawn so that by the end of 2004, only two units (nos. 489104/110) were still in use, as reliability of the 'Juniper' units had not improved sufficiently to totally replace all the old trains. They were finally withdrawn in 2005, following improvements to the "Juniper" fleet reliability.
Since finishing with Gatwick Express, several units have been sold to other operators.
FirstGBRf have purchased units 489105 and 106. These were part of a bulk purchase that included six Class 73 locomotives and numerous stock. The locomotives have now been returned to service, but the units have been stored at various locations, including Shoeburyness (Pig's Bay), Norwich Crown Point and Peterborough.
Network Rail have purchased two units, 489102 and 109. They were stored for several years, but were returned to use in early-2006 as deicing and load-bank vehicles.
Somewhat surprisingly, five units, representing half the class, have been preserved on heritage railways. Two of the units in question were donated by Porterbrook Leasing in 2003 to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway in Derbyshire who now use one as a buffet car and the other a museum. A third unit, 489108 was bought by a private owner for preservation at Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre. It was sent for scrap in May 2009, being the second GLV to be scrapped. The final two units in use with Gatwick Express were preserved in early-2006.
- 489101 (68500) - Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.
- 489104 (68503) - Spa Valley Railway
- 489107 (68506) - Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
The final Gatwick Express units were withdrawn in 2005. Both of these units (nos. 489104/110) had been withdrawn in 2000 and 2001 respectively, but were overhauled and returned to use in 2002. They replaced units 489103/108, which were withdrawn from traffic as they were due overhaul.
Network Rail returned its two units to service in 2006, following a period in store.
The current status of the fleet is shown below.
|Unit no.||Vehicle nos.||Operator||Withdrawn||Status|
|489102||68501||61281||Network Rail||-||In service as de-icing unit (stored 2000-06)|
|489103||68502||61274||Gatwick Express||2002||Scrapped (2003)|
|489105||68504||61286||Network Rail||-||In service as de-icing unit|
|489106||68505||61299||Network Rail||-||In service as de-icing unit|
|489108||68507||61267||Gatwick Express||2003||Scrapped (2009)|
|489109||68508||61272||Network Rail||-||Scrapped at Eastleigh Works (August 2012)|