British Rail Class 319

The Class 319 EMU operated the first service I was traveled on in England during my trip this year. She was operated by First Capital Connect on the line referred to as the Thameslink. The Thameslink is one rarity because it crosses London in the north-south direction. Originally I had planned to take the Southern or Gatwick Express service from Gatwick Airport to London Victoria. I would then hop onto the Underground Victoria Line to London St Pancras and change to the East Midland Trains service to Sheffield. But as I was reading the departure screens, I saw this interesting service going all the way from Brighton to Bedford, with London St Pancras as an intermediate station (I had originally thought St Pancras was a stub end station, but there were actually 2 underground tracks that went through!) and decided to try it out. It was a busy rush hour ride and the train was packed. The trip itself was interesting nevertheless, as the train hopped on and off different lines across London and took me beneath London St Pancras in the Kings Cross Tunnel (and King’s Cross, since the two are just across the street from each other).

To accommodate the different electrification systems south and north of London, the Class 319 equips both third rail shoes and pantographs. Built between 1987 and 1990, she was one of the later products to roll out of British Rail Engineering Limited York Works. She comes in a 4-car consist, operates in frequent-stop services, and has a top speed of 100 mph.


M-NL said…
5 abreast seating in a 2,75m wide train? That must be cramped indeed.
I even find the 4 abreast seating in a 2.9m wide Thalys PBKA cramped.

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