Motor Luggage Van (Class 419)

On first overhauls in 1964, units gained small yellow warning panels on the cab fronts, a few also had their vehicle numbers added in the usual 'unit number' position, though some never carried these whilst still in green. In March 1967 68004 was painted all-blue with full yellow ends, whilst all others went direct from green to blue/grey with full yellow ends, the last being done about July 1970, with blue 68004 following in August. In early 1986 vehicles began being repainted into the LSE sector 'Jaffa Cake' two tone brown livery, 68001/3/5/6/7/8/9/10 being done. Early in 1987 the vehicles were allocated unit numbers for the first time given a class number of 419, becoming 419001 - 419010. The new numbers were applied on cab ends each side just above the windows rather than high up in the centre as previously, and only the last four digits were shown. This renumbering order caused some confusion as 9001/2/3/6/8 had their body side numbers altered in error though these were quickly changed back to 68xxx. The increasing use of these vans on mail and postal trains led to the repainting of 9001/9 in Post Office red livery in late 1988/early 1989. However unit 9004 was held-up and robbed on the Quarry Line near Merstham on 8 March 1989 whilst working a Brighton to London Bridge mail service and both were quickly repainted again, into the new NSE livery.
All ten MLVs had their brake rigging rearranged during late 1985/early 1986 to completely separate the braking systems on the two bogies. Previously, like other similar '1957' type EMU's, there was only a single brake cylinder on each vehicle and the rigging applied the brakes on both bogies. However, following a number of instances of signals being overrun and culminating in a buffer stop collision at London Bridge 18th April 1985, when a brake cylinder defect had affected the braking performance, all were modified to split the brake system into two (with another brake cylinder fitted) so that in event of a failure the braking capability was only reduced by 50%. Obviously this was not such a problem on other types of unit which always had another vehicle attached to assist with stopping the train when a fault arose. For this reason, the units were 'blacked' by drivers for a while, and then ran temporarily attached to 2Hap 'runners' until the modifications were completed, units 6011/6087/6103 being retained past their planned withdrawal dates for this reason.

From May 1990, carriage of mails by internal SR services ceased, and by this time most boat train duties had also finished and most of the MLVs became surplus with units 9003/7/8/9/10 going into store at Ramsgate. From May 1991 9001/3/5/7-9 were officially withdrawn followed by the remaining four from 30 September. All were then allocated numbers in the departmental series as 931091-99 and 931090, though many were not physically renumbered as they were out of use. A few were used at Ramsgate & Slade Green as depot 'shunting horses' for a while and 9006 was damaged in a shunting mishap at Ramsgate 6 December 1991 and later scrapped at Gwent Demolition, Margam.
The remainder were later gathered at Strawberry Hill and moved to Bournemouth for further storage prior to tender for disposal. Virtually all are now preserved with at least one in running condition. 68001 has been used on battery power to haul preserved 2EPB 5759 in passenger traffic between Sheperdswell and Eythorne.

9004 The LSE sector was re-launched as Network SouthEast when Chris Green became its Director, and 9004 is seen here in the NSE colour scheme at Redhill during April 1990. The traction battery hatch covers can clearly be seen on the left.

photograph by David Smith

The second member of the class is seen here during its latter days in Network SouthEast Livery.

photograph by David Smith

Underframe Two rare underframe views of use to anyone building the   DC Kits or Southern Pride MLV kit, or merely if you are interested!

photograph by Colin Duff

MLV 68009 is in the London and South East Passenger sector livery - popularly known as "Jaffa Cake" - which preceded Network SouthEast.

photograph by Colin Duff

68007 The motor bogie of 68007 pictured far away from third rail territory at the Coventry Railway Centre.

photograph by Colin Duff>

The trailer bogie of 68007.

photograph by Colin Duff


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This page was last updated 6 October 2007

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