Aiming to travel on Class 321 units

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class321

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No... afraid not.
Does each class 321 service use the same units each day? E.G Liv Street to Southend at 9:35 uses lets say: 321432 and 321428, would that mean that those 2 321s would be used each day for that exact service, because I haven't got a clue on how this works?
 

samuelmorris

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Does each class 321 service use the same units each day? E.G Liv Street to Southend at 9:35 uses lets say: 321432 and 321428, would that mean that those 2 321s would be used each day for that exact service, because I haven't got a clue on how this works?
No, units are cycled through, seemingly at random, to more evenly distribute their mileage. On some operators with very small fleets this happens, but not on a network or with as big a fleet as Greater Anglia. I can confirm from personal experience using the same service every day that unless it's a microfleet, it's always a different set of units.

Sometimes units may stay coupled together for a while, e.g. if 432 and 428 ran together one day, they may continue to operate together for the rest of the week or maybe longer, but not on the same specific services.
 

306024

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Does each class 321 service use the same units each day? E.G Liv Street to Southend at 9:35 uses lets say: 321432 and 321428, would that mean that those 2 321s would be used each day for that exact service, because I haven't got a clue on how this works?

When an exam is due units will be put on a diagram that gets them to a maintenance depot for that exam to be carried out. Balancing out the mileage is important, especially as the 321s are now being withdrawn.

Units that are neither due an exam or need their mileage managed can be put out on anything really. Usually what suits where they lay in the yard or in platforms.
 

bramling

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Does each class 321 service use the same units each day? E.G Liv Street to Southend at 9:35 uses lets say: 321432 and 321428, would that mean that those 2 321s would be used each day for that exact service, because I haven't got a clue on how this works?

No things don’t work like that. The diagrams work so that a train starts its day at X and finishes at Y.

What diagram a particular unit goes on depends on a range of factors, all things being equal the diagrams are written in a way which ensures units get back to a maintenance depot at the required interval. The fleet controllers will choose which unit goes on what diagrams based on whether a particular unit needs to go to a particular depot, or whatever. Then during disruption things can go up the wall and units may finish all over the place, with fleet having to prioritise which ones they really want back at the depot.

There are certainly some diagrams where a unit finishes up at the same place it started, this is the only real occasion you might get the same unit on the same diagram for more than one day at a time - it does happen in places.

In short, your only way of having a preview the day before of what will be on a given service is to look at where that unit’s diagram starts from, and to see what finishes there the previous day. Naturally this works better for smaller stabling points. So say, for example, 321401, 402 and 403 all finish tonight at sidings X, it’s a given that each of these units should then make up the three diagrams which start from siding X in the morning. Unfortunately it’s pot luck which one goes on what, but if you’re looking for a specific unit and you know where it finishes the day before then that would narrow it down to one of three diagrams. This is just a hypothetical example, but the principle holds true across the board. Disruption can always mess up the best laid plans though!
 
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class321

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No things don’t work like that. The diagrams work so that a train starts its day at X and finishes at Y.

What diagram a particular unit goes on depends on a range of factors, all things being equal the diagrams are written in a way which ensures units get back to a maintenance depot at the required interval. The fleet controllers will choose which unit goes on what diagrams based on whether a particular unit needs to go to a particular depot, or whatever. Then during disruption things can go up the wall and units may finish all over the place, with fleet having to prioritise which ones they really want back at the depot.

There are certainly some diagrams where a unit finishes up at the same place it started, this is the only real occasion you might get the same unit on the same diagram for more than one day at a time - it does happen in places.

In short, your only way of having a preview the day before of what will be on a given service is to look at where that unit’s diagram starts from, and to see what finishes there the previous day. Naturally this works better for smaller stabling points. So say, for example, 321401, 402 and 403 all finish tonight at sidings X, it’s a given that each of these units should then make up the three diagrams which start from siding X in the morning. Unfortunately it’s pot luck which one goes on what, but if you’re looking for a specific unit and you know where it finishes the day before then that would narrow it down to one of three diagrams. This is just a hypothetical example, but the principle holds true across the board. Disruption can always mess up the best laid plans though!
Thank you all for the info. Is there a way where I can see the diagrams for each units because I'm trying to find class 321427 on 1st April 2021?

When an exam is due units will be put on a diagram that gets them to a maintenance depot for that exam to be carried out. Balancing out the mileage is important, especially as the 321s are now being withdrawn.

Units that are neither due an exam or need their mileage managed can be put out on anything really. Usually what suits where they lay in the yard or in platforms.
Thanks

No, units are cycled through, seemingly at random, to more evenly distribute their mileage. On some operators with very small fleets this happens, but not on a network or with as big a fleet as Greater Anglia. I can confirm from personal experience using the same service every day that unless it's a microfleet, it's always a different set of units.

Sometimes units may stay coupled together for a while, e.g. if 432 and 428 ran together one day, they may continue to operate together for the rest of the week or maybe longer, but not on the same specific services.
Thanks
 

bramling

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Thank you all for the info. Is there a way where I can see the diagrams for each units because I'm trying to find class 321427 on 1st April 2021?

Diagrams aren't in the public domain.

However, it's possible to work them out using resources like Real Time Train Times (just follow each train through the day). Alternatively I think there are a few specialist groups where such stuff finds its way off the back of a lorry, so to speak.
 

306024

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321 diagrams are a bit more difficult to work out as they can split and attach quite a lot to keep the unit mileage down. Then even when you think you’ve worked the diagram out the unit can be switched to another diagram, especially if stabled somewhere in the middle if the day. RTT won’t help you in that case, but the platform numbers at terminal stations will tell you what an incoming train will work next.

The fleet team at Ilford Car Sheds forecast what units they need to see for maintenance. Unless 321 427 is needed for anything specific it will only be allocated to a diagram for 01/04/21 after close of play the previous evening.
 

LA50041

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Thank you all for the info. Is there a way where I can see the diagrams for each units because I'm trying to find class 321427 on 1st April 2021?


Thanks


Thanks
You could try requesting in the TOPS request thread in Allocation & Diagram section on the day, and if there is someone with access to the diagram they will look them up for you
 

Islineclear3_1

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@class321

Part of the "fun" is going out and not knowing what specific units are allocated for the day. Are you just looking to "cop" it for sight, take a photo or ride on it?

Anywhere between Shenfield and Liverpool Street will be good for sight or a photo, unless it is on Wickford-Southminster or Colchester Town-Walton shuttles. Long time since I've been on the Southend line so don't know if the Southminster shuttle exists or if it's a through train from Liverpool Street

But yes, as @LAS0041 mentions, try asking on the TOPs request thread the night before and if you are lucky, somebody with access might reply. From memory, units are allocated early in the morning but things might have changed. Of course, remember there are reduced services so don't be surprised if 427 is unallocated.
 

TT-ONR-NRN

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@class321

Part of the "fun" is going out and not knowing what specific units are allocated for the day.
I completely disagree. It’s different for each person I guess.

Have any gone off lease recently? Those that have recently been scrapped are all from the pool withdrawn from service quite a long time ago in late January.
 

delticdave

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@class321

Part of the "fun" is going out and not knowing what specific units are allocated for the day. Are you just looking to "cop" it for sight, take a photo or ride on it?

Anywhere between Shenfield and Liverpool Street will be good for sight or a photo, unless it is on Wickford-Southminster or Colchester Town-Walton shuttles. Long time since I've been on the Southend line so don't know if the Southminster shuttle exists or if it's a through train from Liverpool Street

But yes, as @LAS0041 mentions, try asking on the TOPs request thread the night before and if you are lucky, somebody with access might reply. From memory, units are allocated early in the morning but things might have changed. Of course, remember there are reduced services so don't be surprised if 427 is unallocated.
The Southminster branch seems to be running to the Saturday schedules but with 1/2 the service suspended outside the peaks.
The G.A. timetable pages aren't too accurate though, I'm quoting from the platform indicator at SOF last evening.

As for chasing individual units, I really don't get it. (But I stopped "collecting" train numbers 50+ years ago.....).
I do understand wanting to ride in & photograph different traction / units, but unless the unit number is in my photo, I'd never know which loco / unit I've seen &/or ridden in.
 

Neptune

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As for chasing individual units, I really don't get it. (But I stopped "collecting" train numbers 50+ years ago.....).
I do understand wanting to ride in & photograph different traction / units, but unless the unit number is in my photo, I'd never know which loco / unit I've seen &/or ridden in.
100% agree. When I took numbers in the 80’s the fun was not knowing what you were going to see and that nice surprise when something you required turned up.

For instance my last HST power car for sight was 43012. We took our annual exotic trip down south in the mid 80’s choosing Bristol this year. Of course it was nowhere to be seen but not a problem as we’d seen all sorts of other stuff you don’t get in Yorkshire. However as we pulled in to Bristol Parkway to change trains on the way home an HST in the adjacent platform bore the number 253006 on the front meaning it was either 43012 or 43013. Off the train I shot and was pleased to see it was 012. Cue a quick photo of me taken by my sister arms aloft in celebration next to my final power car (not loco in those days).

Nowadays everyone seems to want to be spoon fed info to guarantee you see it. Where’s the fun in that? Different generations I guess.
 

LAX54

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Thanks. Is there any way I can see what units are going to be running each day?
on the 18th (today) 427: 2F39 1235 Col Town to the Street, then 1N26. 1N47. 1Y34. 1Y61. 2F06 and 2F11
 

bramling

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100% agree. When I took numbers in the 80’s the fun was not knowing what you were going to see and that nice surprise when something you required turned up.

For instance my last HST power car for sight was 43012. We took our annual exotic trip down south in the mid 80’s choosing Bristol this year. Of course it was nowhere to be seen but not a problem as we’d seen all sorts of other stuff you don’t get in Yorkshire. However as we pulled in to Bristol Parkway to change trains on the way home an HST in the adjacent platform bore the number 253006 on the front meaning it was either 43012 or 43013. Off the train I shot and was pleased to see it was 012. Cue a quick photo of me taken by my sister arms aloft in celebration next to my final power car (not loco in those days).

Nowadays everyone seems to want to be spoon fed info to guarantee you see it. Where’s the fun in that? Different generations I guess.

It can be just as much “fun” chasing a unit by attempting to work out where it’s going to emerge on a given day/place/time.

However, I suspect in some cases it’s not a case of wanting to be spoon fed, but simply one of time or practicality. If I was, for example, looking to ride on every example of a fleet at the same time as travelling to work, it’s simply not viable to hang around on a platform on the off-chance. Constraints on time mean the only viable flexibility is varying the chosen service one way or other if a “required” unit is on a potential diagram.

I’ve certainly done every unit of a fleet in this way, with a small element of targeted chasing particular units, sometimes by looking to see what finished where the previous night. I’d say chasing units in this way is just as scientific and hard work as standing on a platform hoping the right one appears. Indeed quite satisfying when your last one of a hundred turns up right on cue having tracked it for a couple of days!
 

class321

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@class321

Part of the "fun" is going out and not knowing what specific units are allocated for the day. Are you just looking to "cop" it for sight, take a photo or ride on it?

Anywhere between Shenfield and Liverpool Street will be good for sight or a photo, unless it is on Wickford-Southminster or Colchester Town-Walton shuttles. Long time since I've been on the Southend line so don't know if the Southminster shuttle exists or if it's a through train from Liverpool Street

But yes, as @LAS0041 mentions, try asking on the TOPs request thread the night before and if you are lucky, somebody with access might reply. From memory, units are allocated early in the morning but things might have changed. Of course, remember there are reduced services so don't be surprised if 427 is unallocated.
I'm going to film on the train, the door closing alarm and the journey. If I film on 427, then Id have videos of all the trains with the national express livery, units 424,426,427,428,429,430 and 431. Shenfield, Stratford and Liverpool Street is best for me since that's closest to where I'm from. I don't think I've ever been beyond Shenfield in a while.

on the 18th (today) 427: 2F39 1235 Col Town to the Street, then 1N26. 1N47. 1Y34. 1Y61. 2F06 and 2F11
Thanks, unfortunately, I was in school doing my A levels so the only time I'm going on a 321 is in the Easter holidays

It can be just as much “fun” chasing a unit by attempting to work out where it’s going to emerge on a given day/place/time.

However, I suspect in some cases it’s not a case of wanting to be spoon fed, but simply one of time or practicality. If I was, for example, looking to ride on every example of a fleet at the same time as travelling to work, it’s simply not viable to hang around on a platform on the off-chance. Constraints on time mean the only viable flexibility is varying the chosen service one way or other if a “required” unit is on a potential diagram.

I’ve certainly done every unit of a fleet in this way, with a small element of targeted chasing particular units, sometimes by looking to see what finished where the previous night. I’d say chasing units in this way is just as scientific and hard work as standing on a platform hoping the right one appears. Indeed quite satisfying when your last one of a hundred turns up right on cue having tracked it for a couple of days!
Yh, previously, I was going to find 434 and it turned up right at Liverpool street right on cue so that's was lucky.
 
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TT-ONR-NRN

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I want to travel on 321307 and 310 as then I’ll have been on all sixty six /3s

The only /4 I need is 444. I’ve been on all others apart from the two that went off for Breeze.
 

class321

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I want to travel on 321307 and 310 as then I’ll have been on all sixty six /3s

The only /4 I need is 444. I’ve been on all others apart from the two that went off for Breeze.
Class 313 - Class 322 _ UK Rail Log - Google Chrome 18_03_2021 21_46_36.png
Yh, unfortunately 444 has gone to storage, the other 2 is 437 and 448. I have no idea what warm storage is.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Warm storage is they're kept powered up, either in case they're needed in a hurry or if they think someone else might have a use for them..
 

class321

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The Southminster branch seems to be running to the Saturday schedules but with 1/2 the service suspended outside the peaks.
The G.A. timetable pages aren't too accurate though, I'm quoting from the platform indicator at SOF last evening.

As for chasing individual units, I really don't get it. (But I stopped "collecting" train numbers 50+ years ago.....).
I do understand wanting to ride in & photograph different traction / units, but unless the unit number is in my photo, I'd never know which loco / unit I've seen &/or ridden in.
I look for units that I see in videos that seem nice and I go on those.
 

route101

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Never bothered about unit numbers, I go down to class type, beyond that they are pretty much the same.
 

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