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Class 442 Feature - A Fresh Start

First Wessex unit on the "Old Road"

2405 approaching Tonbridge from Redhill in the murk on 3rd November 2008

The first transit of a Class 442 unit between Redhill and Tonbridge happened on the afternoon of 3rd November 2008 when 2405 was driven under its own power from Lovers Walk to Chart Leacon. The unit is seen here passing Tonbridge West Yard in atrocious weather conditions. We thank photographer Colin Price for braving them to record this event.

First unit refurbished for Gatwick Express incarnation emerges

67028 hauling 2414 into Brighton on 25th October 2008

The first Wessex unit refurbished for its new Gatwick Express existence, 2414, emerged from Wolverton Works on 24th October 2008 and was hauled by 67028 to Wembley Yard as the 5Z70 Wolverton - Wembley Yard working. The next day the same loco delivered it to Lovers Walk as a two stage working 5Z80 05:30 Wembley Yard - Battersea Loop followed by 5X80 07:02 Battersea Loop - Lovers Walk. We are still awaiting confirmed full details of this refurbishment, however observers have reported it carrying Gatwick Express brandings,displaying its full TOPS number (as opposed to the previous 4 digit contraction), the Driving Trailer First (Semi-Open) converted to Driving Trailer Standard (thus the end of first class compartments), the Motor Brake Buffet Standard converted to Motor Brake Composite, and new, overwhelmingly airline style, seating.

In the top two photographs (44)2414 is seen arriving at Lovers Walk on the morning of 25th October 2008, hauled by 67028.

(left) The Motor Brake vehicle formerly containing a standard class saloon (itself extended during the previous refurbishment), a "snug" area and a buffet counter has been converted to a Motor Brake Composite, apparently by removing the "snug" and buffet - note the three new Mk3 windows nearest the camera (compare with previous incarnations by clicking here) and the easy to miss narrow yellow stripe denoting first class.
(below) Note the full TOPS number under the driver's cab window and the Gatwick Express branding carried by each car. The two other units carrying this livery to-date are unbranded.

photographs by Christopher Livings
2424 arriving at Lovers Walk on 25th October 2008
The motor brake composite vehicle
Detail on a driving trailer standard vehicle