Thameslink retires final Class 319 train in UK
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operated rail network Thameslink, which offers services between Bedford, Brighton, Wimbledon, Sutton and Sevenoaks, has retired the last of the operating 29-year-old Class 319 trains.
The final journey saw units 319217 and 319435 coupled together to form an eight-carriage service.
The retirement of the final vehicle of the Class 319 fleet represents the completion of Thameslink's rail transformation initiative, which involves the replacement of older locomotives with modern Class 700 trains.
GTR engineering director Gerry McFadden said: “The new trains are spacious, air-conditioned and better suited for today’s high-capacity railway.
“They are well-suited for people with accessibility needs and feature modern passenger information systems that even point the way to where there’s more room.
“Now the 319s have gone, it allows us to transform our depot at Bedford from a maintenance facility for four-carriage units into a stabling and servicing facility for 12-carriage Class 700s.”
The Class 319 train originally began operating in 1988 following the reopening of the cross-London Thameslink route, providing a new connection between Bedford and Brighton.
The trains were run using overhead power lines north of London, as well as the electric third rail to the south.
All remaining Class 377 trains on the Thameslink network are also scheduled to be withdrawn later this month in order to make way for a new fleet comprising solely of Class 700 locomotives.
In addition, the Class 700 trains are expected to begin operating on the Great Northern route between Peterborough and King’s Cross later this year.
Image: Thameslink's last Class 319 at Brighton station. Photo: courtesy of Govia Thameslink Railway.