Thameslink bids farewell to final Class 319s

The last train at Brighton. Credit: GTR.
The last train at Brighton. Credit: GTR.

Thameslink have retired the last of the operating Class 319s almost 30 years after they first entered service.

On August 27, units 319217 and 319435 were coupled together as an eight-carriage service to make a final southbound journey, leaving Bedford at 15:06 for Brighton before arriving back at 20:59.

Class 319 trains were introduced in 1988 and designed to operate using overhead power lines north of London and the electric third rail to the south.

They have been retired to the Long Marston storage facility and replaced with Class 700 trains.

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Class 700 at Blackfriars. Credit: GTR.
Class 700 at Blackfriars. Credit: GTR.

Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates the Thameslink service, engineering director Gerry McFadden said: “Our new Class 700 trains are a vital part of the government-sponsored Thameslink programme which will help deliver greater capacity as we modernise the railway to meet the massive growth in passenger numbers.

“Now the 319s have gone it allows us to transform our depot at Bedford from a maintenance facility for 4-carriage units into a stabling and servicing facility for 12-carriage Class 700s.

“This will allow us to introduce even more longer Class 700 trains to the Bedford to Brighton route.”

In September, Thameslink’s remaining Class 377 trains will be withdrawn, creating a Class 700-only fleet on the Thameslink route.


  1. With most of the Class 319’s now heading to Northern with some to be converted into Class 769 “Flex” Bi-Mode multiple unit for Northern and Arriva Trains Wales.

    Whilst London Midland has got 7 Class 319’s that operates between London Euston-Milton Keynes Central, Tring, Hemel Hempstead, Northampton, Coventry, Rugby and Birmingham New Street semi-fast and stopper services and between Watford Junction-St. Albans Abbey that has replaced the Class 321’s to Scotrail (now known as Class 320’s). With some extra Class 319’s that could be transferred to London Midland if necessary.

    The Class 319’s have dominated the Thameslink network since they came into service in 1987/88 and 1990. They are such amazing trains and have been reliable on Thameslink for nearly 30 years. Working on AC 25kv Overhead north of Farringdon and DC 750v 3rd Rail south of Farringdon. Plus they were used on Bedford-Moorgate before the section between Farringdon and Moorgate was closed forever which the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines now operates which only takes 5-8 minutes between Farringdon and Moorgate with Barbican station in between as the former platforms at Barbican is now being used for the development of Crossrail.

    The Class 700’s (60 Class 700/0 8-Car and 55 Class 700/1 12-Car) (115 Class 700’s in total) EMU fleets have taken over the Thameslink network and will also extend to Peterborough, Cambridge and Kings Linn once the link between St. Pancras and the East Coast Main Line north of Kings Cross is opened and will take over most of Great Northern services.

    As more Class 700’s are to be delivered from Germany and Class 717’s to be built and to be delivered next year so it can replace the Class 313’s on the Moorgate line between Moorgate-Hertford North & Letchworth Garden City and even extended to Cambridge North if possible.

  2. I’ve heard rumours that the new franchise that will take over the West Midlands franchise known as “West Midlands Trains” (Abellio+Mitsui/Japan Railways Co) will not be using the Class 319’s and the 7 Class 319’s are to be transferred to Northern or to be converted to Class 769 Bi-Mode “Flex” Units for Northern and/or Arriva Trains Wales.


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