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Sussex Slammer Railtour: London Victoria

Southern and this group ran the last Mk1 EMU slam door railtour of all time on Saturday 19th November 2005.  The day started bitterly cold and misty but soon developed into a crisp and bright autumnal day. A late change, made only five days before the tour due to operational and safety constraints, resulted in the train not running as originally intended as a twelve car formation to East Grinstead. The tour instead ran as two portions Victoria - East Grinstead - London Bridge before joining up at London Bridge to run the remainder of the tour as 12 cars.  This change was viewed by the majority travelling as an improvement as it gave one last opportunity to experience a service of Mk1 EMUs splitting and joining.  The tour ran mostly on or ahead of its revised timings throughout the day but with arrival back at Victoria only a few minutes late.  An even later change (made whilst the tour was at Newhaven Marine) provided a bonus for those able to use the opportunity.  As there was a conductor on board for the intended ECS back to Lovers Walk Southern's Commercial Director decided that passengers could be carried back to Brighton.  A thoroughly enjoyable day during this well run tour was had by all and many grateful thanks are due to Southern for providing the last opportunity for enthusiasts to travel in Mk1 slam door EMUs and to mark their last run on the mainline in fine form.

1866 leading the ECS through Clapham Junction The change to running the first leg of the tour in two portions resulted in the up ECS being formed differently to the original Cig+Vep+Cig plan so that the formation could appear in that order after London Bridge.   So the ECS was formed (London end) Cig+Cig+Vep (country end).  Here 1866 leads 1805 and 3514 through Clapham Junction two minutes early at 0757.

photograph by Don Benn
1866, leading the ECS, approaching Victoria at Ebury Bridge Road With the former Battersea Power Station eerily just visible through the early morning mist the ECS approaches Victoria at Ebury Bridge Road.

photograph by Colin Duff

3514 bringing up the rear of the ECS at Ebury Bridge Road The penultimate car of 3514 at the rear end of the ECS is just passing under Ebury Bridge.

photograph by Colin Duff

1866 has alreday been split away from 1805 and 3514 In platform 15 1866 (left) has been split from 1805 (right) so the first leg of the tour can be run in two portions.  3514+1805 ran the first portion departing at 0840 followed by 1866 as the second portion departing closely behind at 0842.

Photograph by Colin Duff
Passengers joining 3514 at the front of the first portion Railtourers board 3514 at the country end of platform 15.

Photograph by Scot Bearford