Class 319

The class' chief claims to fame come from glamorous workings away from their normal territory - indeed from working outside of the UK. On 10th December 1993 units 319 008/09 operated a special train from Dollands Moor (Cheriton) to Coquelles (Calais) during the hand over of the Channel Tunnel from its contractors to its operators. Subsequently a 319 unit transported HM The Queen through the Channel Tunnel during the official opening ceremony.

All 319 units were introduced in Network SouthEast livery. However during October 1994 the Thameslink shadow franchise introduced - it is believed contrary to a directive applied at the time of the shadow franchise process - a controversial new livery on some of their units consisting of a silhouette of the London skyline against a grey background. This was rapidly nicknamed the "graffiti" livery. Upon privatisation the 319 fleet was split between Thameslink and Connex South Central.

319022 The "graffitti" livery was applied to class 319/0 units starting at 319030 and upwards, plus unit 319.022, seen here at Farringdon on 1st February 1997, looking towards Kings Cross. Note that this is the transition place between the SR's 750 volts dc system and the 25kV system and the 3rd rail (plus an earth return fourth rail) is present, as well as the overhead wiring.

photograph by John Lewis

319001 - This was the first class 319 unit and received the early form of Network SouthEast livery with an angled upsweep. It was still carrying this when NSE was split and for a short while carried "Network SouthCentral" with the angled upsweep, as shown here at Victoria. Note number on the side nearest camera, which is probably also on the other side.

photograph by John Lewis

A combination of heavy use and the desire of the privatised operators to adapt their EMU fleets to changing demands led to an early refurbishment for the class. Connex thoroughly refurbished seven of their 319/0 units, including converting a DTS to a DTC, to provide "new" stock for their Capital Coast Express service (formerly served by 8 Dig units) in the process becoming units 319214-220. Unit 319017 was the first conversion. The press launch for the new stock, and rebranding of the service as the Connex Express, was on 21st January 1997 using units 319217/218/215, with the public service commencing on 27th January 1997.

This service was rebranded as the Brighton Express early in 2000. Using the freedom that privatisation brought and pushing the concept of a cross London service further north than Bedford Connex introduced a Gatwick Airport to Rugby service via the west London line, though congested tracks subsequently put paid to this route. 319/0 units were used on this service.

Meanwhile from 1998 Thameslink refurbished their 319 stock and introduced a new sober Blue orange and white livery. 319/1s were refurbished to 319/3s for their City Metro (i.e. shorter haul) services, the fleet being all converted by autumn 1999. 319/0s were converted to 319/4s for use on Thameslink City Flyer (i.e. Bedford to Gatwick/Brighton) services. Note again the transposition of first class accommodation from the original build - seats were exchanged during the refurbishment process.

319011 319001 was subsequently repainted into the later NSE livery with radiused upsweeps, and the number on the far side, but without "Network SouthCentral" or NSE markings. Seen here at Kensington Olympia on 3rd June 1997. It is sporting a destination blind with yellow lettering on a black background (white on black was the previous standard). It was repainted into Connex South Central livery by the end of 1997.

photograph by John Lewis

Once the South Central franchise had been awarded to Connex, some of the 319s allocated to South Central were given Connex logos centrally on the coach sides. 319003 was photographed in this state at Purley in June 1997. Note the NSE markings and lettering had been removed.

photograph by John Lewis

319003 Some units had the logo moved and "connex south central" added. Note that not only was the logo moved to the left, it was also moved down a little and applied at a slightly different angle. Coach 77295 of unit 319003 at East Croydon during June 1997. The NSE livery tended to be faded and the units were repainted into Connex Yellow and white by the end of 1997.

photograph by John Lewis

Just occasionally a class 319/2 Connex Express unit has strayed from its proper service. On this occasion in 1997 a very clean 319215 was photographed being used on the 6:09 p.m. service to Horsham, and 319003 was formed in the 6:02 p.m. to Brighton. Photographed at Victoria during 1997.

photograph by John Lewis

thames The 1994 Thameslink 'graffiti' livery displayed on unidentified Class 319 sets at Kings Cross Thameslink Station on 20th September 1997.

photograph by David Lawrence

Thameslink 319175 on the Bedford-Brighton service taken at Haywards Heath on 21st September 1997, on the way back from the Bluebell Outing.

photograph by David Lawrence


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This page was last updated 3 December 2002

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