Thursday 26 March 2015

Class 365 Special

While I was at Cambridge last week I had a few minutes to kill before the train home and so took the opportunity to take a few pictures of what are now my favourite EMUs now the slam doors are long gone. So I thought it would be quite nice to do a history of the units. I remember when the Class 365 Networker units first came to Connex South Eastern on loan from WAGN (West Anglia Great Northern) in 1996. Apparently they did a bit of work in Network South East livery before that but I have no recollection of that. 365501-516 were at Connex, with 365517-41 plying their trade up the Cambridge/Peterborough lines, as they all still do now. I have many pleasant memories of working the 365's as a Conductor and found them really decent trains to ride on too.

365506 sits at London Victria in Connex South East livery    pic by
I particularly liked the interior on these units. Warm colours led to usually very quiet trains, and rarely did I have any trouble on them. At 90mph they were easy to stand working in without needing to hang on for grim life.

The original standard class interior of the 365       pic by
In 2004 all the Southeastern 365's were transferred back to WAGN, after being ousted by the new Class 375 Electrostars. The 365's were built by the ABB factory in York - the last trains to be built there before its closure, and they obvously made sure their last trains were flawless. After returning to WAGN the units had their DC shoes removed, pantograghs installed and were painted into NSE livery. Here is the same unit, now in NSE livery, and the front has been changed to accommodate driver's air conditioning, giving them the nickname of the "happy trains".

365506 grinning in the less stuffy surroundings of Watlington Station near Ely     pic
When First Capital Connect took over from WAGN another livery was created. I was lucky enough to catch one of the few still in FCC livery last week.

365535 in FCC livery at Cambridge
Most of the 365 units are now in Great Northern livery, and have been refurbished internally. They now sadly bear little resemblance to their early days and in my opinion look rather cold and unwelcoming now.

365520 at Cambridge
The new interior of the 365's
Four of the current fleet are in special liveries. 365519 carries a special Peterborough livery.

One of the coaches promoting Peterborough on 365519
Out of the 41 units 40 are still in service. 365526 was badly damaged in the Potters Bar crash in 2002. 3 coaches are in storage but one of the driving coaches was a write off. It was recently announced that 21 Class 365 units will transfer to First Great Western when their lease expires, for work in the Thames Valley following electrification programmes. I'll just keep the memories of travelling from Kent to London thinking how good those units were.

1 comment:

  1. hope they convert the faces back to the original when they're transferred to GWR they look hideous at the moment :/