new Southern Electric Group logo

Farewell Thameslink - Welcome First Capital Connect

365505 car end details 365505 FCC branding 319/3 unit with FCC vinyl overlays

photographs left and centre by Mark Ekiert, right by Colin Duff

At 0200 on the 1st April the Thameslink franchise was merged with the Great Northern franchise to form the genus of the Thameslink 20nn franchise, operated by First Group under the trading name of . As affecting this group and third rail territory, ahead of the franchise change Govia were not able to release a Thameslink Class 319 unit for repainting.  However, the National Express Group released WAGN's 365505 (of direct interest to this group, this particular unit being a former South Eastern DC unit) for repainting and after display for a press and publicity launch at Kings Cross it was put back into regular Great Northern workings. 's livery is a variation of First Group's latest graduated blue livery, becoming popularly referred to as "neon" livery, also carried on the new First Transpennine Express class 185 DMUs, though in the FCC application the neon lines at car ends become rectangular blocks, believed to represent a city skyscraper building skyline. Class 319 units rapidly received FCC vinyl overlays to obscure Thameslink branding, First Group not having the rights to use the Thameslink name.  Note the Thameslink term remains in use officially as part of the name of certain stations.

want to lease the entire class 319 fleet.  Currently Southern lease twenty units with seven of them sub-leased to FCC.   One of the sub-leased units, 319003, was at Wolverton works in April and it is possible this will be the first class 319 unit to carry FCC livery.