new Southern Electric Group logo

Class 442 Feature - Introduction

Training of drivers on this class commenced during the week of 9th-13th June 2008 when 2405+2406 made a number of runs out of Brighton. Then during a second week of driver training, again using 2405+2406, 23rd June saw the first appearance of the class at Eastbourne and the first time these units have run between Keymer Junction and Eastbourne.

As detailed above, 2414 was the first unit released from Wolverton after refurbishment, bearing a revised Gatwick Express livery, with its motor brake buffet standard car rebuilt into a motor brake composite and driving trailer composite rebuilt into a driving trailer standard. 2412 was the second unit released from refurbishment with 2421 and 2424 following by early December. 2414 was displayed in platform 4 at Brighton on December 18th as part of the Press launch for the forthcoming December timetable changes bringing the new Brighton - various stops to Gatwick Airport - Victoria peak service using these units. It was expected that refurbished units would enter service on the following off-peak Victoria - Gatwick diagram during the week commencing 1st December:

5X40 09+10 Lovers Walk - Gatwick
1U40 09.50 Gatwick - Victoria
1D44 10.45 Victoria - Gatwick
1U47 11.35 Gatwick - Victoria
1D51 12.30 Victoria - Gatwick
1U54 13.20 Gatwick - Victoria
1D58 14.15 Victoria - Gatwick
5X58 14+58 Gatwick - Lovers Walk

However, this did not commence until Tuesday 9th December, when 2412 and 2414 (these units are only permitted to work in passenger service in pairs) finally entered passenger service in their refurbished for Gatwick Express guise. They ran on this diagram for three days.

The second up trip, 2412 leading 2414 towards Victoria
photograph by Colin Duff

(above) the second up working heading for Victoria from Clapham Junction on Tuesday 9th December 2008

The necessary complement of refurbished units was not available for the beginning of the new timetable on December 15th, so an unrefurbished pair for Gatwick Express use - 2405 and 2413 - entered service along with 2412+2414 and 2421+2424. The intended diagrams being:

2412 + 2414
5T10 04+20 Stewarts Lane - Victoria
1D10 05.00 Victoria - Gatwick
1D15 05.50 Gatwick - Victoria
1D22 06.30 Victoria - Gatwick
5A04 07+03 Gatwick - Brighton
1A43 07.44 Brighton - Victoria
1D42 09.00 Victoria - Gatwick
1D47 09.50 Gatwick - Victoria
1D56 10.45 Victoria - Gatwick
1D61 11.35 Gatwick - Victoria
1D70 12.30 Victoria - Gatwick
1D75 13.20 Gatwick - Victoria
1D84 14.15 Victoria - Gatwick
1D89 15.05 Gatwick - Victoria
1A02 16.15 Victoria - Haywards Heath
5D09 17+08 Haywards Heath - Gatwick
1D09 17.35 Gatwick - Victoria
1A62 18.30 Victoria - Brighton
5A62 19+53 Brighton - Lovers Walk
(498 miles)

2421 + 2424
5A39 06+50 Lovers Walk - Brighton
1A39 07.15 Brighton - Victoria
1D40 08.45 Victoria - Gatwick
5D40 09+20 Gatwick - Three Bridges
5D01 16+13 Three Bridges - Gatwick
1D01 16.35 Gatwick - Victoria
1A52 17.30 Victoria - Brighton
5A52 18+44 Brighton - Gatwick
1D25 19.35 Gatwick - Victoria
1D36 20.30 Victoria - Gatwick
1D41 21.20 Gatwick - Victoria
5T39 21+57 Victoria - Stewarts Lane
(310 miles)

2405 + 2413
5A41 07+05 Lovers Walk - Brighton
1A41 07.30 Brighton - Victoria
5T43 09+09 Victoria - Stewarts Lane
5T00 15+34 Stewarts Lane - Victoria
1D98 16.00 Victoria - Gatwick
1D03 16.50 Gatwick - Victoria
1A56 17.45 Victoria - Brighton
5A56 19+00 Brighton - Lovers Walk
(163 miles)

The first day of the Brighton - various stops to Gatwick Airport - Victoria peak service was not without incident, however it had settled down by the following day.

By 24th January 2009 refurbished units 442402, 442412, 442414, 442417, 442419, 442421 and 442424 were in service and un-refurbished units 2405 and 2413 also in service. Unfortunately these units, which were known for their reliability when working with , have not so far lived up to their previous reputation. This is probably due to a combination of their long period in store and unfamiliarity to staff. Hopefully this is only the sort of teething trouble experienced with new ventures.

The standard class saloons have 2+2 seating, mostly face-to-back, facing towards the centre of the coach, where there are four tables, two each side of the aisle, with four seats at each. Seat covers are magenta with purple stripes. First class seating is 1+2 in groups of two and four around tables. Seat covers are mid-grey with dark grey squares and red highlights. There is grey and purple fine-check carpet in all saloons, with plain grey in the vestibules. The first class saloon has dark grey curtains. Internal panelling is in off white and grey, with a pale blue band at cantrail level.

Each unit is formed Driving Trailer Standard "A", Trailer Standard, Motor Luggage Composite, Trailer Standard Wheelchair, Driving Trailer Standard "B". The wheelchair end of the TSW is coupled to the standard class end of the MLC.

Accommodation in the driving trailers is identical. The "A" coach is the former first class vehicle. There are 74 seats, with two small luggage racks at the cab end and one large one at the trailing end.

The Trailer Standard has a large luggage rack opposite the toilet at both ends of the coach. It has 76 seats. The Trailer Standard Wheelchair has a large toilet at the end next to the MLC, with two wheelchair spaces and a large luggage rack. The other end of the coach is the same as in the Trailer Standard. There are 66 seats, plus two tip up seats in each wheelchair space.

The Motor Luggage Composite has 28 seats and a small luggage rack in the standard class saloon. There are just two groups of four seats round a table, at the van end of the saloon. There is a large luggage rack in the first class saloon, on the same side of the aisle as the groups of four seats. The luggage rack in both saloons is by the vestibule door. Although three new windows have been cut in the bodyside each side, they do not run the full length of the first class saloon. As a result there are six seats which have a very restricted external view, or none at all. The luggage van between the saloons appears unchanged and retains the three bicycle racks. It is labelled for the conveyance of bicycles and it seems that passengers are encouraged to keep their luggage with them. Currently the units do not all face the same way round, though one would have thought it would be convenient to have the wheelchair vehicles consistently in the same position in the train.

The first six units have no gangway doors at the ends of coaches, the only internal doors used by passengers being those into the vestibule adjacent to the driver's cab and into the short section of corridor adjacent to the luggage van. However, because of draughts the later units will have doors into the vestibules and that the early deliveries will have them fitted retrospectively. The gangway connections have been replaced. For pictures of the refurbished interior, please click here.

The units delivered without doors to their vestibules have had them retrospectively fitted at Lovers Walk, the final units being treated over the weekend of 21st/22nd March. The Eastbourne - London Bridge peak workings commenced on Monday 30th March, with 442402 and 442403 doing the honours