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Crunching the StopHs2 social media stats: October 2018

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It’s that time again when I wade through the Stop Hs2 ‘campaign’ social media stats to revel the truth behind the ridiculous claims and the hyperbole that this tiny bunch actually have huge public support. Stophs2 is still essentially two people: Penny Gaines (who’s been living in Bournemouth for several years now) and Joe Rukin who lives in Kenilworth. Despite having been trying for quite some time to find a proper job, no-one’s been daft enough to give him one. But then, as Joe’s a very strained relationship with facts (or the truth) it’s hardly surprising.

So, it’s been a busy month for them as their ‘campaign’ was ‘relaunched’ at the end of September, just in time for the conference season. Well, when I say relaunched, I mean they managed to drag some people together from a couple of the remaining local (in)action groups to send half a dozen people to leaflet outside the Tory conference (for all the good it did). Gone are the ‘glory’ days when they could afford to have stands inside the conferences, it’s all hand to mouth now…

OK, let’s crunch some numbers. I’m not going to post tables of individual tweets as there’s too many to bore you with (although I have the individual numbers if anyone wants them). Here’s the headline numbers. Let’s do Twitter first with a chart comparing their metrics over the past 3 months.

Hs2 tweet metrics Oct 2018

Despite the huge increase in Tweets in the last month (257%) and a 2% gain in followers, their numbers have hardly changed! In fact, the averages are worse than in August, as is their best number. Here’s their most popular tweet this month. As usual, it’s linked to Private Eye.

stophs2 most popular tweet Oct 2018

Herein lies a tale – both on their Twitter accounts and their Facebook page. Most of the stuff they Tweet or publish is linked to articles in the media, especially if it’s seen as critical of Hs2. But there’s no campaign news. There’s bugger all about what they’re doing, because most of the time that’s nothing. It’s the same with ‘news’ from the remaining (in)action groups, there’s so little going on there’s nothing to post. Stop Hs2 are almost entirely reactive, not proactive.

To be honest, both their feeds are mind-numbingly boring. Twitter is full of Rukin’s school of student politics: sweary and insulting. Nothing that resembles a campaign with intellect or gravitas. They’re reduced to moaning about Hs2, not organising to stop Hs2. If you’re suffering from insomnia have a browse of the #hs2 hashtag and see the sort of people who post anti Hs2 messages. It’s the last refuge of the green-ink brigade. There’s a couple of dozen regulars who are a mix of Nimbys, UKIPpers who think that Hs2’s a dastardly EU plot, right-wing libertarians and a few hand-wringing Greens who’ve been painted into a corner to oppose Hs2 but clearly have no alternatives to offer.

Facebook is very much the same. Here’s the last 3 months.

stophs2 FB Oct 18

Let’s put all these numbers in perspective. There’s 6.5 million people who live in constituencies Hs2 will pass through, yet the sole surviving Stop Hs2 group’s only got 6302 Twitter followers and 8745 Facebook followers. That’s pathetic frankly, especially when you remember not all their followers will be sympathetic to them. What the numbers show is that their activist base is minute. Not only that, but many of their followers are clearly as mad as a box of frogs! One only has to read the comments to see that some people’s grasp of reality is tenuous, to say the least. Take a look at these few posted on Facebook recently…

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As usual, it’s always the same small band of people posting exactly the same stuff they’ve been doing for years. It’s a ‘campaign’ that seems to spend most of its time chasing its tail.

Another obvious sign that there’s nothing going on is Stophs2’s own website. Up to 2017 they would be churning out 30 plus posts as month (I crunched those numbers here). Now they’re down to just 3 or 4. You can check out their archive here. They contain so much bluster and dodgy predictions they’re actually quite funny.

Now the conference season’s come and gone and the dust over the recent announcements about the Phase 2b Environmental statement and phase 2a contractors search has settled. It’s clear that the much hyped MP’s ‘rebellion’ over Hs2 was just that – hype. Meanwhile, construction of Hs2 continues across the phase 1 sites as the archaeological digs continue. In the meantime, demolition work around Euston will be speeding up. In 2019 construction of phase 1 will begin in earnest. I wonder of Joe Rukin will have found a real job by then?

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The twilight of the Class 313s (part 2). NLL and DC lines services in London.

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Whilst the Class 313s that still operate Great Northern services are being withdrawn and replaced by Siemens built Class 717s, there was an earlier extinction in London, but this time the units didn’t head to the scrapyard, only the South Coast!

In 1985 17 Class 313s (313001-017) were transferred from Great Northern services and sent to work the DC lines from Euston to Watford Junction. To do this, they were fitted with extra shoegear. Later, other units followed to take over North London Line services from the Class 416s. All the units were were renumbered to 313101- 313117, 313119-123 and 313134. At the advent of privatisation they were operated by Silverlink and continued to work both routes until 2010, when they were replaced by the Bombardier built Class 378 ‘Capitalstars’. Here’s a selection of pictures from their Silverlink and Lorol days.

10721. 313101. Stratford Low Level. 10.6.02

313101 pulls away from a weed chocked Stratford Low Level station on the 10th June 2002. This section of line was later converted to become part of the Docklands Light Railway.

12111. 313102. Watford - Euston local. North Wembley. 04.04.03.

On the 4th April 2003, 313102 stops at North Wembley on the Watford DC lines with a service to Euston.

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On the 13th September 2006 a trio of Class 313s sit inside Willesden depot. From L-R are 313104, 313115 and 313106

DG03337. 313105. 450056. Clapham Junction. 2.5.05

313105 arrives at Clapham Junction and passes a South-West Trains Class 450 on the 2nd May 2005.

 

DG29846. 313106. Gospel Oak. 31.7.09.

313106 calls at Gospel Oak on the North London Line on the 31st July 2009.

DG08583. 313107. North Woolwich. 4.12.06.

313107 sits at North Woolwich with a service for Richmond on the 4th December 2006. This station and the line as far as Stratford closed 5 days later.

DG08572. 313108. Albert Rd. Silvertown. E London. 4.12.06.

313108 trundles towards North Woolwich past Albert Rd in Silvertown on the 4th December 2006, just five days before the line closed. After being abandoned for several years, this track-bed is now part of Crossrail – although at this point Crossrail’s disappeared underground!

DG05131. 313109. Willesden Jn. 15.12.05.

On the 15th December 313109 rounds the sharp curves at Willesden Junction on the North London line as it works a service from Stratford to Richmond.

10901. 313110. Watford Jn. 28.7.02.

313110 arrives at Watford junction through weed-chocked tracks on the 28th July 2002.

DG01530. 313111. West Hampsted. 28.7.04.

313111 arrives at West Hampstead on the North London line with a service to Richmond on the 28th July 2004.

DG29836. 313112. Caledonian Rd and Barnsbury. 31.7.09.

313112 pulls away from Caledonian Rd and Barnsbury on the North London line and heads for Highbury and Islington (seen in the distance) on the 31st July 2009. At this time the NLL was being expanded and the tracks to the left of the train doubled.

DG08564. 313113. Silvertown. E London. 4.12.06.

Back on the old North Woolwich line on the 4th December 2006 and 313113 is about to enter the 600 yard long Silvertown tunnel on its way to Stratford. The air of neglect is easy to see from this photo. The tunnel is now part of Crossrail.

DG22797. 313114. Euston. 15.5.09.

On the 15th May 2009, 313114 arrives at Euston from Watford Junction. Notice the Silverlink branding has been replaced by white London Overground panels.

DG54401. 313115. South Hampstead. 11.6.10.

Moving forward to the 11th June 2010 and the 313s are gradually being displaced by the Bombardier built Class 378s. Here’s 313115 approaching South Hampstead on the DC lines with a service for Euston.

DG12405. 313116. Kensington Olympia. 14.9.07.

A driver takes a swig of his cuppa whilst 313116 stops at Kensington Olympia on a Williseden Jn – Clapham Junction service on the 14th September 2007.

DG41334. 313117. Kentish Town West. 4.12.09.

On the 4th December 2009, 313117 arrives at Kentish Town West on the North London Line.

 

09959. 313119. Clapham Jn. 10.12.01.

313119 is captured at Clapham Junction and framed by a superb winters sunset on the 10th December 2001.

DG03169. 313120. 2012 livery. Euston. 16.4.05.

On the 16th April 2005, 313120 was presented to the press at Euston in a special ‘back the bid’ livery, supporting London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic games.

DG54376. 313121. South Hampstead. 11.6.10.

313121 passes under the bridge carrying Chiltern lines services to/from Marylebone at South Hampstead on the 11th June 2010 whilst working a DC lines service to Watford Junction. This unit stayed in the London area as it was converted to a ERTMS signalling test bed for use on the Hertford loop.

DG08596. 313122. Custom House. 4.12.06.

The area doesn’t look like this anymore! 313122 pulls into Custom House station on the North Woolwich branch on the 4th December 2006. Crossrail tracks now cover the site whilst 122 went back to old haunts, helping strengthen Moorgate services on the Great Northern.

DG35564. 313123. 378013. Caledonian Rd and Barnsbury. 28.9.09.

Old and new. 313123 passes one of its replacements in the shape of ‘Capitalstar’ 378013 (built as a 3-car) outside Caledonian Rd & Barnsbury on the 28th September 2009. 123 has also stayed in London as it was transferred back to Great Northern service.

DG54443. Tube and 313134. Kensal Green. 11.6.10.

– and finally…On the 11th June 2006, 313134 emerges from the 320yd long, single bore tunnels at Kensal Green on the DC lines, passing a Bakerloo line train working in the opposite direction. The two very different types of train shared the same tracks between Queens Park and Harrow and Wealdstone.

 

 

 

Digging up graveyards for Hs2. It’s not as if it hasn’t been done before…

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There’s always synthetic outrage and hypocrisy surrounding Hs2, none so more than around the issue of old graveyards being built on and the dead being exhumed and reburied.

Anyone would this this is somehow unique. In fact it’s very common. Many stations were built on old graveyards – including Euston itself. Between 1887 and 1892 the station was extended Westwards. This meant diverting Cardington St over the burial ground of St James’s, which had closed to 40 years earlier. Each corpse was provided with a new coffin and reinterred at St Pancras cemetery, Finchley, at the expense of the London and North Western Railway. This was done sympathetically due to the furore over an earlier graveyard clearance at nearby St Pancras in 1866 which rather puts today’s building into perspective.

During the first half of 1866 several thousand houses in Agar Town and Somers Town were demolished to make way for St Pancras. some 10,000 people were evicted (without compensation) and crowded into adjoining slum areas, making conditions even worse. Meanwhile, a corner of the graveyard of the old St Pancras Church was cleared. Like most old graveyard, it was packed with bodies to a considerable depth. Working conditions were appalling and the disinterred remains were treated with scant respect. Bones were left lying around and open coffins could be seen on the worksite. A furore arouse in the newspapers and influence from high quarters led to more care being taken. The problem was twofold. The sheer amount of bodies buried in poor conditions and the fact the graveyard was making way for a cut and cover tunnel for the link between the Midland and the Metropolitan railway.

Nowadays, this has let to one of the more unusual local tourist attractions; the Hardy tree. The work of removing gravestones was delegated to one Thomas Hardy (yet, that one) and he arranged them in a rather interesting art installation. Here’s how it looked a few years ago.

T14164. Gravestones stacked around a tree. St Pancras churchyard. London. England

You can read more about it here.

When Broad St station was built in 1864-66 similar problems occurred. Excavations revealed layers of human remains several feet thick. This was thought to be either a plaque pit or the burial ground of the old Bethlehem hospital.

The same problem was encountered when nearby Aldgate station was built in 1875. This was described by Daniel Defoe in his book “A Journal of the Plague Year” As an aside, did you know several London parks are old plague pits – including Green Park?

When the viaducts on the approach to Charing Cross station were being constructed in 1863 well over 7,000 corpses were removed from the College Burial Ground of St Mary, Lameth and reburied at Brookwood, on of the seven great satellite cemeteries established by an Act of Parliament between 1832-41 because London’s dead were buried in small urban churchyards, which were so overcrowded and so close to where people lived, worked and worshipped that they were causing disease and ground water contamination.

It’s not just something that happened in London either!

Manchester Victoria occupies Walker’s Croft which was once a 19th century church and graveyard linked to a nearby Victorian workhouse. As recently as 2013 remains were found when the station was being rebuilt. They were removed and reburied. A plaque at the station records this.

DG261981. Remembering the graveyard. Manchester Victoria. 11.12.16

Of course, nowadays, exhumations and reburials are conducted with far more care and attention than our Victorian forebears did, which rather puts the fake fuss into perspective, also, building Hs2 has archaeologists and historians genuinely excited as 1000s of them will be working on the course of the railway for the next two years. You can learn more here.

If you want to learn more about London’s plaque pits, visit this link.

UPDATE.

Since I wrote this blog, John Bradley (@flypie) has been in touch via Twitter with this interesting link to an 1828 road widening scheme in Liverpool that led to the exhumation and reburying of several thousand bodies.

 

Back to normal…

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Well, sort of  – ish…

I’ve penned the final part of my trilogy for RAIL magazine today. 12,000 words and lots of pictures will soon be part of their back catalogue (and mine). The first part appeared in print last Wednesday and it will be on sale until next Tuesday. Here’s a taster…

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Now, having had a wonderful birthday weekend and got one year closer to collecting my senior citizens railcard I’m into another week (and soon another month), which means things ratchet up a notch.

I mentioned that I wasn’t going to talk about a new contract until the ink was dry, but today that happened. I can now reveal that I’ll be spending at least the next 12 months working for the Rail Delivery Group, updating and replacing their picture archive – much of which I took 10-14 years ago when RDG was ATOC. I’ll also be kept occupied with a slightly different commission for another client, but that one’s under wraps for now.

This means that I won’t be spending as much time at home as recently – although some people would suggest I’m hardly here anyway! A by-product of all this is that there’ll be plenty of time to blog about various themes, including Hs2, travel experiences and also the way the UKs railways continue to develop and expand. As you can imagine, documenting a year in the life of UKs rail network isn’t exactly something you do from your armchair…

In the meantime, I’m going to try and get some of the 1000s of rail and travel slides that I have in the archives – which have never seen the light of day – scanned and added to my Zenfolio website.

So, stay with me and enjoy the ride – and the pictures…

 

Stamford sojourn

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It’s my birthday today, and thanks to the generousity of a friend’s wedding present we’re spending the weekend in Stamford, Lincolnshire.

It’s a historic little town with some beautiful buildings, most of which are constructed out of the local Cotswold stone (Yes, the seam runs this far). If you have an interest in either architecture or history, the town’s well worth a visit. Here’s a couple of examples.

One of the fascinations of old buildings is looking at how they’ve developed and changed over the years. Many have changed uses and there are often clues in the stonework, like this…

Our visit’s been made more entertaing and interesting as our friend, Martin Yallop, has a vast knowledge of architecture and local history, so he’s been showing us around and taking us to places we might otherwise miss, like this grave of a local celebrity.

Sadly, the weather’s not as good as we’ve had recently, the temperatures dropped and the skies have turned grey, but undeterred, I’ve still had a wander with the camera. Here’s the station. Stamford used to have two, but now the old Midland Railway line from Peterborough to Leicster is the only one that survives. The town has an hourly service run by Cross-Country trains.

DG312438crop

Here’s the town on a previous visit, when the weather was a little better!

DG212631. The George & St Mary's church. High St. Stamford. 28.4.15crop

 

A fascinating day…

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After the past few days working at home I had to head back to London today to have a business meeting with a potential new client. Fortunately, I didn’t have to be on the very early train from Halifax, just Grand Central’s 08:08 which was a bit of a luxury. I had a very productive few hours aboard, writing part 3 of my rail rover for RAIL magazine (part 1 came out yesterday) on the way to the metropolis. On arrival I met up with a new client for a fascinating chat about new technology and a demonstration of the potential of augmented reality for the rail industry which left me both fascinated and enthused.

After the meeting I spent an hour or two wandering around Camden, looking at how much the area’s changing because of HS2. It’s clear from that there’s no visible opposition to the project nowadays. There’s no banners, placards, posters in windows – nothing. What there is instead is a huge amount of people in Hs2 branded hi-vis changing the face of Euston (and beyond) – although some Muppets still try to pretend it’s not happening!

Now I’m heading North aboard Grand Central’s 16:27 to Bradford. It’s packed – even in First Class, but then many of their services are nowadays. To paraphrase the actor Roy Scheider’s famous line in the film ‘Jaws’ – “We’re gonna need a bigger train”…

Expect some pictures later..

The Calder valley resignalling arrives

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Trains began running through the Calder valley again this morning after a three-day blockade which saw the new signalling commissioned and the end for the manual signal boxes at Hebden Bridge, Milner Royd Junction, Halifax and Mill Lane, Bradford.

I nipped out this afternoon to have a quick look at how things have changed by heading down to Hebden Bridge. It seemed very odd to see the grade 2 listed signal box dark and devoid of life, but hopefully not for long..

Whilst some may bemoan the changes, for ordinary passengers they’re positive. The resignalling will help raise line-speeds which will cut several minutes off journey times but also make the railway better equipped to catch up on delays. The new kit is also easier to maintain and less likely to fail, making services more reliable. Here’s a small selection of pictures highlighting the changes.

DG312307crop

It’s alive! After sitting idle for months, the new signal by the Manchester bound platform at Sowerby Bridge is ready for business. The HG prefix to the signal number no longer refers to the signalbox controlling the signal, but the route it’s on. So, HG refers to Hebden (Bridge) to Greetland (junction). The signals actually controlled from the new ROC in York

DG312311crop

The box at Hebden’s disconnected and dark now, but as a grade 2 listed building it will live on and there’s some interesting plans for its future.

DG312322crop.jpg

Northern’s 158792 passes one of the new signals at Hebden Bridge on its way to Leeds.

DG312323crop

158792 calls at Hebden Bridge, controlled by the new signalling system 

 

 

 

Rolling blog: On the march…

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Literally. It’s 06:23 and I’m sat on a rail replacement coach in Halifax which will take me on the first leg of my journey down to London to join the ‘Peoples March’ protest against the shambles that is Brexit.

Sadly, Dawn can’t join me, but I won’t be marching alone, far from it. Thanks to the wonders of social media I’m in contact with other members of the railway family who are marching too.

My intention’s to update this blog throughout the day, although that might be difficult as I get the impression that this is going to be a very big event, far bigger than last time (and that was major) so I expect the central London phone network will struggle again.

06:38

We’re on the move. There’s 10 of us on this coach which is taking us to Wakefield, where it connects with the Grand Central service to London. This weekend the final stage of the Calder Valley resignalling is commissioned, so there’s no trains running through Halifax.

My readers outside the UK are more than likely bemused by Brexit. I don’t blame them as it doesn’t make any sense to many of us either, and we’re living with the shambles day in, day out!

Brexit is an object lesson in how easily an old, complacent democracy in a country that’s always had far too high an opinion of itself can be manipulated in the internet age. In short, the result of the 2016 referendum was manipulated by the use of social media. Sadly, our politicians (of all parties) have proved they’re not up to the job of dealing with the mess caused. Instead of being honest about the fact the promises made by Brexit leaders couldn’t ever be delivered we’ve had 2 years of political farce that’s damaged the country’s economy and international reputation as well as created a climate of hostility towards non-natives. The genie of racism and good old fashioned fascism has been let out of the bottle.

So, many of us are marching. We want our country back. We want it back from spineless politicians who (in private) admit they’re leading us over the edge of a cliff but won’t do anything about it. We want it back from the emboldened racists and populists. We want it back from the millionaires and spivs who funded and ran the corrupt Leave campaign and who stand to make money from this mess. We want it back for the young, who’re being denied the opportunities and freedoms we’ve enjoyed for 40 plus years by the old and poorly educated (who make up the majority of Leave voters).

Will we succeed? Who knows, but we’re not going to give up easily…

09:23

My Grand Central train’s currently being held at Peterborough due to a points failure. Hopefully we’ll be on the move shortly.

Meanwhile, I’ve been busy editing pictures and keeping track of the progress of some other members of the ‘railway family’ who’re on their way to the march.

12:58

Made it!


19:40

Well, what can I say other than wow! I’m now on a train back North after an incredible day. I managed to meet up with two other railway folk at Kings Cross (Colin E and Gary K). The three of us walked to Marble Arch to join the march and it was only when we got there and started to see the crowds that we realised “this is going to be big, very big”.

We made it down to the Hilton hotel and waited, and waited and waited. Eventually, more than an hour late, the march set off. That’s when we realised the true size of it. It dwarfed the previous march (which had been pretty damned big by an order of magnitude.

Now, I’m no stranger to these events. I first went on demos back in the 1970s and I’ve been to all the major ones (one day I’ll get round to scanning all my old photos). I was at miners strike demos in the 80s-90s and the infamous poll tax riot. I was also at what was the largest demo the UK had seen to date – the anti Guf War demo in 2003. To my mind, this was the biggest I’ve ever seen.

20:53

OK, I’m taking an enforced break in Doncaster on my way home, so here’s the first few pics from the event from the lens of my camera (not my phone). I’m not allowed to use a drone over the crowd, so this is what you can do with a camera lofted high above the crowd on the end of a monopod!

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Sunday. 14:17

I’ve spent the morning editing the pictures from yesterday and adding 103 of them to my Zenfolio website. You can find them here.

Rolling blog: out and about again…

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What a stunning autumn weather for getting out and about! I’ve moved office for a couple of hours to base myself in Grand Central’s excellent 1st Class lounge in the renovated Wakefield Kirkgate station.

DG311819crop

I arrived from Huddersfield (where I’d popped into the ACoRP water tower) on one of Northern’s ‘new’ Class 158s that have been transferred from Scotrail.

DG311809CROP

I’ve had to spend a while on the phone negotiating a new rolling contract with one of the major players in the rail industry and the waiting room was a fine place to use as an office whilst I did it. Once the ink’s dry on the contract I’ll let you know who it is. Now I’ve another couple of emails and phone calls to make before getting out and about for a couple of hours, so watch this space…

15:00.

I’m now in the lovely town of Knaresborough, with it’s equally lovely railway station. The old station building has been converted to mixed uses. There’s arts and crafts and a smashing cafe called ‘the old ticket office’, so no prizes for guessing where that’s located! I’ve popped out this way as the Harrogate loop (as this line is known as) is currently the preserve of the former Scotrail Class 170s that have been cascaded to Northern Rail.  Most are still in Scotrail colours, like this one that brought me from Leeds. They’re certainly a step-change in comfort from the Pacers that were a staple on the route.

DG311825CROP

22:37.

I’m now back at home. The day didn’t quite go to plan as I ended up dealing with a lot more work phone calls, but I’m not complaining as there’s some exciting new opportunities on the horizon. In the meantime, here’s one or two more pictures from my travels.

Here’s the main building at Knaresborough station. It was built in 1865 by the North Eastern Railway, replacing an older structure. It’s grade 2 listed. The end nearest the camera contains a rather fine café.

DG311836CROP

The café is in the old ticket office. The old ticket window’s still in situ but has been blocked off and replaced with this painting.

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On my return I passed through Leeds at rush-hour, with rather nice light, thanks to the fact the sun’s now dropped at this time of year.

DG311863CROP

 

 

 

The twilight of the Class 313s (part 1)

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In the next few years several familiar types of train will disappear from the UK network. One such fleet is the BR built Class 313 EMU which is currently the oldest surviving electric multiple unit on the UK mainland. The class were a development of the experimental PEP EMUs tested on the Southern region. Built at York, the 313s were introduced to the newly electrified East Coast Main Line in 1976 to work inner suburban services from Kings Cross and Moorgate to Hertford North, Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City.

Now, 42 years later, they’re about to be replaced by the new Siemens built Class 717s, which will offer a step-change in comfort. This blog will look back on the 313s lives and times and some of the services they’ve operated across London (and elsewhere) over the years…

DG298137. 313201. Shoreham-by-Sea. 8.6.18crop

The first of the 64 strong fleet was 313001. Now numbered 201 and owned by Beacon Rail who’ve repainted it into a version of the original BR livery, the unit works Southern services along the South coast, along with 18 of its brethren.  It’s seen at Shoreham-by-Sea on the 8th June 2018.

Let’s take a look at the units working the services they were originally built for, the Great Northern services.

DG00043. 313061. Harringay. 12.2.04crop

NSE liveried 313061 calls at Harringay station on the 12th February 2004

DG00523. Catching the 16.20. Moorgate. 19.4.04.crop

Catching the 16:20 to Stevenage from Moorgate on the 19th April 2004. Note the new high back seats fitted in place of the originals.

DG00817. 313053. Stevenage. 6.5.04.crop

313053 stands at Stevenage after working in from Moorgate on the 6th May 2004. The unit’s still in NSE livery although most of the GN units were in white undercoat by this stage.

DG01565. 313039. Alexandra Palace. 10.8.04.crop

On the 10th August 2004 Undercoat liveried 313039 trails one of the handful of NSE liveried units through Alexandra Palace on their way to Moorgate.

DG01929. 313043. Harringay. 24.9.04.crop

313043 arrives at Harringay on the 24th September 2004. This was one of 5 units advertising the WAGN family travelcard.

DG02311. 313058. Moorgate. 6.1.05.crop

313058 sits at Moorgate before working a service to Hertford North on the 6th January 2005.

DG04134. 313026. Crews Hill. 12.8.05.crop

Sporting WAGN’s new deep purple livery, 313036 calls at Crews Hill on the line from Hertford East on the 12th August 2005.

DG06919. 313052. Hitchin. 24.7.06.crop

A year later on the 24th July 2006 313052 calls at Hitchin en-route to Moorgate. The units in WAGN liver but sporting First Capital Connect branding. FCC had taken over the franchise in the 1st April 2006.

DG16969. 313063. 313042. Alexandra Palace. 11.6.08.crop

Fast forward to the 11th June 2008 and all the 313s had FCCs ‘Urban lights’ vinyls applied. I’ve always thought this livery suited them very well. Here’s 313063 and 313042 passing at Alexandra Palace.

DG39627. 313027. Harringay. 11.11.09.crop

On November 11th 2009 313027 pulls away from Harringay with a service for Welwyn Garden City.

DG49622. 313018. Essex Rd. 22.4.10.crop

After 23 of the fleet were converted for duties on the North London line, 313018 became the lowest numbered 313/0. It’s seen here arriving at Old St on the 22nd April 2010 whilst working a service to Moorgate

DG174921. Interior. 313043. 1.4.14.crop

Here’s the interior of 313134 with the original low backed seating on the 1st April 2014. This is one of three ex NLL units that were transferred back to GN services after the units were displaced by Class 378s. The two others are 313122 and 313123.

DG186308. 313054. Welwyn Garden City. 14.7.14.crop

On the 14th July 313054 waits to work back to Moorgate from Welwyn Garden City

DG194581. 313030. 313029. Kings Cross. 21.9.14.crop

313030 and 313029 stand at London Kings Cross on the 21st September 2014. This shot shows of the flat front ends to good effect.

DG261483. TSGN pax. Highbury and Islington. Drayton Park. 12.12.16crop

How many passengers saw the 313s. An unidentified unit pulls into Highbury and Islington on the 12th December 2016.

DG261549. 313043. Drayton Park. 13.12.16crop

13th December 2016. 313043 stands at Drayton park on the Moorgate branch. It’s at this station the units switch over from the overheads to the 3rd rail (or vice versa).

DG290780. 313033. Alexandra Palace. 28.2.18crop

The 313s have carried commuters in all weathers for over 40 years. Here’s 313033 in a snowstorm at Alexandra Palace on the 28th February 2018.

If you want to know more about the new Siemens Class 717 trains that are replacing the 313s, have a look at this blog. I visited the German factory where they were build and also had a run on one on the Wildenrath test track.