SR Totem

Class 488

From 1987 the interiors of the cars were further modified. In first class the seats were fitted with Mk4 type grey covers and new table tops, carpet and curtains were fitted. In standard class the tables were refitted, seating reduced from 56 to 48 to create more space for luggage and seats with detachable headrest replaced by Mk2 e/f and Mk3 type seats. Standard class seats were upholstered in the current Intercity red brushed moquette. Externally the bodyside wording changed to "Gatwick Express" and "Intercity" (Intercity "Swallow" era font).

As with all slam door loco-hauled stock secondary locks were fitted throughout the 1990s and half of the units had been so fitted by 1994.

At the end of 1992 to mark the service's detachment from the Intercity sector to become a shadow franchise there was a further change of livery. The broad red/white stripe replaced by a broad white stripe. This contained a thinner (than the previous red stripe) burgundy line towards its lower edge with there being a thin white line below the burgundy. The existing Intercity wording was retained. At this time first class was re-designated "Club Class" and the GLV labelled "Baggage Car". Then from early 1994 in the run up to privatisation the beige and white/burgundy striped lower body sides were replaced by pearl white with a narrow burgundy stripe. Fairly low down the centre of the coach sides the branding "Gatwick Express" in a light grey colour was applied together with a double pennants motif in burgundy. (Pearl white was also used above the dark grey window band where no yellow first class stripe was carried.) 8203 and 8307 were the first units to be trialed in this livery. As this trial only involved repainting the lower body sides the 1st class lettering and Pullman Crest within the dark grey band on 8203 was retained until a full repaint in June 1994 (for the record 8307 was repainted in May 1994).

In more recent times the double pennants motif was dropped from the coach sides.


photographs by John Lewis

For comparison: above third generation livery on 72629 of unit 8206 at Clapham Junction in February 1994 and below fourth generation livery on 72502 of unit 8203 also at Clapham Junction in February 1994.

A closer view of the new Gatwick Express branding on 72502 (as above) seen at Victoria in February 1994.

photograph by John Lewis


photographs by John Lewis

Detailing the changes between the second to third generation liveries:

Above: below the "1" of first class coaches there was the Pullman crest and "FIRST CLASS" below that. The red and white stripes as per the original Intercity "Executive" livery. As seen on 72508 of 8209 at Victoria in January 1994.

Below: below the "1" the Pullman crest has been replaced by the Gatwick Express double pennants motif and CLUB -Class- replacing first class lettering. The white band has been widened and a narrow burgundy band superimposed on it. As seen on 72505 of 8206 also at Victoria in January 1994.

By now services were mostly formed of 5 cars only - 488/2+488/3 - with the Club Class car next to the GLV. In 1998 a Continental Airlines promotional livery was introduced on a number of sets with the blue advertising section being below a claret stripe raised to just below the dark grey window band. Occasionally formations are made up with a conventionally liveried set producing a mixed appearance.
488310 Set 8310 in Continental Airlines livery seen at Gatwick Airport on 12th May 2000.

photograph by Colin Duff

A Continental Airlines liveried 488/2 set brings up the rear of a mixed 8 car formation into Gatwick Airport Station on 12th May 2000.

photograph by Colin Duff

With the introduction of all of the class 460 EMUs this stock is largely withdrawn and stored at DERA Shoeburyness, although sufficient vehicles to form three formations are being kept by Gatwick Express as reserve trains.

Eight former Gatwick Express coaches are being leased by Porterbrook to Northern Ireland Railways as interim stock pending tendering, construction and arrival of their all-new stock. These vehicles have been repainted, regauged, some luggage racks replaced by seats and their brakes converted for use with GM class 111 diesel locomotives. This work was performed at Railcare Glasgow and the overhauled coaches delivered to the province between September and November 2001. This stock will make up a six coach plus generator van train and some spares. Details:

Gatwick Express number NIR number
72634 8941
72637 8942
72605 8943
72609 8944
72626 8945
72627 8946
72646 8947
72647 8948

This stock entered service during February or March 2002.

The remainder of former Gatwick Express stock is being taken up by GB Railways who plan to use it on innovative new services.

For an overview of the Gatwick Express Service 1984-2000 follow this Gatwick Express link.

All photographs are copyright

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This page was last updated 3 December 2002

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