Gatwick Express Class 73 formations

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StephenHunter

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When the Gatwick Express operated Class 73s, what formations did they have and which end was the loco on?
 
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GRALISTAIR

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The loco was at the Gatwick end when setting off from Victoria i.e. it was pulling the formation. From Gatwick to Victoria the 73 was pushing.
 

Peter Mugridge

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They would have either a 5 car or an 8 car formation consisting of one class 488/2 and one or two class 488/3s.

It seemed fairly random as to whether it would be one length or the other.
 

JonathanH

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Generally from the south end 73 - 488/3 - 488/3 - 488/2 - 489.

Depending on the level of demand there would be one or two 488/3 units. The 488/2 'unit' conveyed the first class carriage.

10 GLVs, 10 488/2 units with a first and standard class coach and 19 488/3 units with three second class coaches was the orignal fleet but I think one 488/3 was lost at some point.
 

30907

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They would have either a 5 car or an 8 car formation consisting of one class 488/2 and one or two class 488/3s.

It seemed fairly random as to whether it would be one length or the other.
I only recall 5-car (+GLV) sets in winter though.
 
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Jan Mayen

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My experience was that eight cars were used in the summer or when reduced to a half hourly service due to planned engineering work.
I once heard a member of staff remark 'oh, they've got the summer sets on'.
I misheard and thought they were referring to the crew, a Mr & Mrs Somerset...
 

Helvellyn

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I believe the original plan was for the Class 488s to be all four-car sets (TFOLH-TSOL-TSOL-TSOLH) but that was considered too first class heavy, hence the final mix of two -car and three-car sets.
 

hexagon789

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I believe the original plan was for the Class 488s to be all four-car sets (TFOLH-TSOL-TSOL-TSOLH) but that was considered too first class heavy, hence the final mix of two -car and three-car sets.
That's my understanding as well, certainly the 488s were originally to be all 4-car.
 

Electrostar

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Did only one first class carriage receive the secondary yellow stripe at waistband level in place of the white stripe or was it applied to several? I know only one 73 in IC executive livery received the full yellow wrap around ends and wondered if similarly only one Mark II received the yellow stripe treatment as well.
 

hexagon789

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Did only one first class carriage receive the secondary yellow stripe at waistband level in place of the white stripe or was it applied to several? I know only one 73 in IC executive livery received the full yellow wrap around ends and wondered if similarly only one Mark II received the yellow stripe treatment as well.
Interesting, I've never come across this treatment, I assumed all vehicles just remained in the GatEx InterCity style livery.
 

HamworthyGoods

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My experience was that eight cars were used in the summer or when reduced to a half hourly service due to planned engineering work.
I once heard a member of staff remark 'oh, they've got the summer sets on'.
I misheard and thought they were referring to the crew, a Mr & Mrs Somerset...

That was the general rule of thumb for formations once the 3 car and 5 car sets had been decided on.

In the carriage working notices for Victoria they were just shown as ‘RailAir’ with no actual formation.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Did only one first class carriage receive the secondary yellow stripe at waistband level in place of the white stripe or was it applied to several? I know only one 73 in IC executive livery received the full yellow wrap around ends and wondered if similarly only one Mark II received the yellow stripe treatment as well.

I believe it was only one, and only for a short time. There was a discussion about it on Twitter last year, but I can't really remember much of it now!
 

Richard Scott

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The loco was at the Gatwick end when setting off from Victoria i.e. it was pulling the formation. From Gatwick to Victoria the 73 was pushing.
I do have a video of one and the 73 is on the country end, just before the 460s came in.
 

delt1c

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As the 73’s were traditionally on the country end , were they periodically turned to even out wear.
 

eastwestdivide

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Just before the services started with the 73 formations, they ran shakedown/training runs from London Bridge-Gatwick, which were open to the public. I caught and photographed one in 1984. I think the idea was to test out an alternative London terminus in case of disruption or engineering work.
But did they ever end up at London Bridge after the launch? I don't recall seeing any pictures.
 

Jan Mayen

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One ended up there when it should have been diverted Norwood Junction - Crystal Palace - Victoria.
Instead, it was signalled straight on to London Bridge and the driver didn't stop to ask the signaler to reset the route.
 

hexagon789

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In theory no need Of course. Was it marketing? Cant be as you would think the loco would be at the London end. Or would you? On EUstinov-Glasgows or KX to Edinburgh were locos at London or country end?
On WCML and ECML push-pull sets the loco was at the country end, the DVT being at the south end (next to First Class which by tradition is at the London end). The exception was the GEML where the loco was at the London end.

That dates from the original push-pull set up with DBSOs which, being Standard Class, were coupled to the Std class coaches with first class being against the loco. This perpetuated into the Mk3 formations.
 

StephenHunter

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The GEML case is because the main loco depot, Norwich Crown Point, was south of Norwich station, which is a terminus.
 

Taunton

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On WCML and ECML push-pull sets the loco was at the country end, the DVT being at the south end (next to First Class which by tradition is at the London end).
It wasn't that much of a tradition. Until about 1970 and the widespread introduction of air brake stock, main line services were commonly formed of stock with first class mixed along the length of the train, and brake vehicles at both ends, as well as sometimes along the length, particularly if it had multiple portions for different destinations. There were also a lot of Composite vehicles, which had both classes - easier with side corridor compartments.

Baggage vans being at the London end really first came, notably at Victoria from the Continental boat trains, more than 100 years ago, where registered bags were loaded directly from ship to van, and were examined by customs staff on arrival in London. The customs point was by the buffers of the platform, where all passengers would walk past it. When the Kent Coast was electrified the Motor Luggage Vans on boat trains were always marshalled at the London end.

Of course, as shorter EMUs run in multiple have increasingly spread to long distance services, First Class spread along the train has become the common standard again.
 

hexagon789

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It wasn't that much of a tradition. Until about 1970 and the widespread introduction of air brake stock, main line services were commonly formed of stock with first class mixed along the length of the train, and brake vehicles at both ends, as well as sometimes along the length, particularly if it had multiple portions for different destinations. There were also a lot of Composite vehicles, which had both classes - easier with side corridor compartments.

Baggage vans being at the London end really first came, notably at Victoria from the Continental boat trains, more than 100 years ago, where registered bags were loaded directly from ship to van, and were examined by customs staff on arrival in London. The customs point was by the buffers of the platform, where all passengers would walk past it. When the Kent Coast was electrified the Motor Luggage Vans on boat trains were always marshalled at the London end.

Of course, as shorter EMUs run in multiple have increasingly spread to long distance services, First Class spread along the train has become the common standard again.
Perhaps not widespread then, the LNER as far as I recall, did marshal its expresses from King's Cross with first class at the London end. The Flying Scotsman was formed thus, not sure about the Silver Jubilee.

well Anglia turned 86’s and 90’ To even out wear.
Is the GEML particularly curved to one side? I ask as the Glasgow Subway, which is of course like that, doesn't turn its stock as the increased wear to one side works out within 5% of the expected wear during its life span so there's no need.
 

superjohn

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Is the GEML particularly curved to one side?
Not really.

If there was a need (eg. uneven wheel wear) it would presumably apply to all vehicles in the train. I can’t imagine all the individual carriages being turned then reshuffled into the correct order. Similarly, class 91s were never turned. Even HST’s were only usually turned if first class got into reverse formation or in an emergency when a cab was out of action.
 
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