Tuesday 16 December 2014

Thameslink Transition Part Two

In Part One, which you can see by clicking here. I introduced the new Class 387 Electrostars being phased into service on the Thameslink route between Bedford and Brighton. These are going to replace some of the Class 319's in the interim period before the new Class 700 Siemens units are ready to be introduced during 2016, when the 387's and the on loan 377's will pass to Southern.

However there is much more going on at Thameslink.  They have borrowed some 377/2's from Southern which uaed to operate on the Croydon - Milton Keynes route. These have become available since the introduction of the 377/7 5 car units as revealed on this blog in Spetember. I managed to spot a couple at Blackfriars.

In Southern colours but the Thamelink logo, 377210 at Blackfriars.
I had plenty of time to take the pics at Blackfriars because a Brighton train had been cancelled. However that also gave me a chance to meet the chap who made everyone smile with his announcement. People like him take tension out of situations and should be cherished and rewarded. He was an artist on the PA, funny without going to far and clearly enjoyed his work. We need more like him!

Blackfriars station has recent;y been completely rebuilt, and is nothing like the station I remember working trains out of 10 years ago. The platforms now stretch right across the Thames, and the bay platforms are the opposite side to the previous layout. Of course with the new design the views from the platforms are truly something else, and there can't be much better views from any other station in the country.

The view from Platform 1 of Blackfriars Station
 Now I mentioned that the Class 319's are gradually being withdrawn and heading to pastures new. Some are destined for Lancashire and others cascaded around the country. So it is quite surprising to see some being painted in the livery being adopted by the Class 365's on the Western side of the old FCC network out of Kings Cross. If anyone can shed any light on this I'll be grateful.

319443 at Blackfriars with a new white body.......

Sky Blue doors......
...and looking very different to previous livery
From the end of this week Thameslink services will no longer pass through London Bridge for 3 years while the station is completely altered and new tracks laid. Southeastern services are also affected so it was good to spend a few minutes at London Bridge which holds a lot of memories for me. So as a bonus here are a couple of Southeastern trains at London Bridge.

Class 465 Networker 465164 leaves London Bridge heading for Dartford.
There are many types of Electrostar floating around, from C2C's 357's which look like 170's to the more familiar 375/7/9/87 versions on Southeastern, Southern,Thameslink and Greater Anglia. However the oddballs are the 376's belonging to Southeastern. Closed 5 car units they operate solely on the London suburban routes from Charing Cross/Cannon St to Dartford, Hayes and Orpington. I managed to photograph one on this gloriously sunny day at London Bridge in what is up there with the best pictures I have ever taken.

I hope you've enjoyed this look at Thameslink and if anyone has any requests for the rail side of the blog let me know and I'll do the best I can to get it done.

Clas 376 Electrostar 376011 at London Bridge with The Shard as a backdrop. Just gutted I couldn't quite get the top of it in view


  1. Nice pics, but of course tarting up the trains is the easy bit for good publicity. My family who use northern Thameslink tell me that the service has deteriorated markedly since Govia took over from First. Incredibly. The peasants are in revolt. All what we are used to: deteriorating infrastructure, repairs that take too long and sometimes don't work, suicides at a rate of one or more a week and trespass, and no-one often seem to know what's going on. And to add to the woes apparently First seem to have lost count of 10% of their drivers. So Govia didn't get quite what they were expecting! An interesting post from a driver in the local rag: apart from the usual stresses of having to know 300 miles of track like the back of his hand to be able to drive it in near-zero visibility fog on an overcrowded line, he's working 13 days/14 on over 9 hour shifts, and a colleague has had a dead body come flying into the cab, among the more unusual experiences. Us passengers too often forget that there is always one guy (usually) even more frustrated and having a worse time of it.

    1. "All what we are used to: deteriorating infrastructure, repairs that take too long and sometimes don't work, suicides at a rate of one or more a week and trespass, and no-one often seem to know what's going on"

      And all of them down to Network Rail not Thameslink. I've been in a cab in thick fog and God it's terrifying

    2. Yep. But there's an interesting piece in the FT on the Public Accounts Committee report into the value for money of this and the GWR train procurements, where the DTp civil servants took charge rather than letting the industry get on with it. The findings are, perhaps, not entirely unsurprising. More expensive than they need to have been, and all the risk on the taxpayer!

  2. . . . and, of course, the over-crowding gets ever worse. Inevitably.