28th - 29th May 1990

British Rail / Southern Electric Group
Ghost of St Pauls

EMU's Used 2x class 319

Route :

EMU Route
as listed ??? - ???

Notes :
(1) Gordon Mackley comments: This tour was run to open the (then named) St. Pauls Thameslink on 28th to 29th May 1990 and was organised by myself on behalf of BR jointly with the Southern Electric Group. This was a most unusual tour in that it operated almost completely during the hours of darkness! The original idea was that it would be the first train to enter the new station on the stroke of midnight (hence the name). Unfortunately the possession overran but the train was still the first ever to use the station in the early morning of 29th. May. The train was formed of 2x class 319 sets, both of which had manned trolleys for refreshments through the night. The tour also featured non stop runs from Bedford south including non stop through Farringdon southbound (never done on any other passenger train to my knowledge and not possible northbound at all), the only passenger train into both Smithfield Sidings and a specially authorised 100mph run on the SE main line between Ashford and Tonbridge when the line speed was only 90.  Needless to say the overrunning possession necessitated a number of on the night revisions to the itinerary but all planned objectives were met and some additional routes also covered. The arrival back at Charing Cross (the only visit there by a 319?) was late and was in the early morning peak giving some commuters quite a shock as bedraggled enthusiasts alighted from this strange power door train (all peak trains were at that time slam door SE EPB/CEP/VEP) with SC 455 stock only coming in the off peak.

Source : Gordon Mackley

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