Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Picture of the week- 21st May 2014

207202 at London Victoria. Note the DEMU exhaust extraction fans above the unit.
205001 would lead the final 18:02 to Uckfield.

It is hard for me to believe that these pictures were really taken 10 years ago- the occasion of the very final 18:02 service from London Victoria to Uckfield. From the following week the train would continue to run from London Bridge (as the 18:10), the change being necessary as the new class 170's (later 171) units were not suitable to run in to Victoria as their exhaust would activate the fire alarms- the vents positioned for the 'Thumpers' were not to be adapted for the new units.

On this day I remember getting special permission from my parents to head up after school- still in my uniform to ride this train for the last time, and all the way through to Uckfield. Of course the usual move was done, to take the thumpers (class 205/207 DEMU's) on the 17:10 London Bridge-Uckfield as far as East Croydon, then to take any number of slam door units back to Victoria for the second set of thumpers.
To mark the occasion Southern exceptionally ran the train with two units rather than the usual 3, making an 8 car formation. The return journey from Uckfield was also run back in service to East Croydon for the benefit of the many thumper fans on board- and the distinct displeasure of the driver!!!

By the end of the year the thumpers were no more.

The window bars never did work very well...
207202 'Brighton Royal Pavillion' at East Croydon having
worked the additional train back from Uckfield.

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