new Southern Electric Group logo

Class 442 Feature - A Fresh Start

Wessies back out on the main line

2405 leading 2413 through Shawford

Four Wessex Electric units were out on the main line on Thursday 17th May during training runs for drivers from Freightliner Heavy Haul between Eastleigh and Basingstoke. Two round trips were made. In the morning 2406 and 2410 were out with the 5Z42 working. In the afternoon it was 2405 and 2413's turn to stretch their legs after confinement with the 5Z43 working. These trips were in preparation for the move of Class 442 units from Eastleigh to Selhurst Depot. are believed to be leasing between 12 and 16 units in connection with the revised service from December 2008.

(above left) 2405 leads 2413 through Shawford toward Basingstoke during the outward leg of the afternoon circuit - photograph by Stephen Hodgson.

(right) on the afternoon's return leg 2413 and 2405 approach Worting Junction - photograph by Ian Parrish.

2405 and 2423 approaching Worthing Junction

Class 442 test run on Brighton Main Line

2424 heading towards Gatwick Airport station
73136 bringing up the rear on the down trip
2424 passing Salfords on the return trip
73136 again at the rear for the up working

Test running of class 442 (former "Wessex" units) on the Brighton Main Line, in preparation for their introduction on London Victoria-Gatwick Airport-Brighton peak services to be run by the coming run Gatwick Express franchise, have commenced. The first test run was on Friday 31st August between Stewarts Lane and Three Bridges station using Stewarts Lane based unit 2424 plus Stewarts Lane based EDL 73136 for "insurance". The working was driven by First GBRf staff although it is believed staff were also on board. The EDL was on the rear of the unit in both directions.

(top left and right) The down working between Horley and Gatwick Airport, approximately five minutes late, though there was a signal check just before the top left photograph was taken, much to the relief of the photographer in this instance because it prevented an up working obscuring the shot!
(above left and right) The return up working through Salfords on the Quarry Line, approximately ten minutes down.

photographs by Colin Duff