Former ‘Wessex Electrics’ are put in store, but could they see further use on their old stamping ground with the next South West Trains franchise?
As of late November, more than half of the Class 442 fleet had been moved to the Potter Group site at Ely for secure storage pending future use.
One set is to be used by Rail Operations Group on a charter train at the end of December, while Alliance Rail hopes to use these units on its Grand Southern services between Southampton and Waterloo from December 2017 should its plans come to fruition (see Headline News).
It is understood there has also been interest from at least one bidder for the next South West Trains franchise, which could result in the units returning to their former stamping ground on trains between Waterloo and Weymouth, where they operated until 2007.
Movements of units in recent weeks have included No. 442404 as the 5O86/13.00 Three Bridges-Eastleigh Works on November 3, hauled by No. 37884. After being prepared for storage, it departed on November 9 behind No. 47815 as the 5L46/10.30 Eastleigh Works-Ely. The same day saw No. 442411 moved by No. 37884 as the 5O86/12.49 Three Bridges-Eastleigh Works, the unit then being taken to Ely with No. 442418 by No. 47812 on November 18.
Another unit arriving at Ely for storage during November was
No. 442420 on November 4 (hauled from Eastleigh by Nos. 37884 and 47812). Moving in the opposite direction for ETS repairs on November 10 was No. 442423, moved by No. 47812 as the 5O86/07.52 Ely-Eastleigh Works.
With the only booked workings of Class 442s now being on morning and evening peak services to and from London Bridge, the appearance of
No. 442413 at Victoria on November 22 is worthy of note.
The cancellation of an earlier working saw the unit work the 1A84/17.30 Victoria-Brighton.
Read more News and Features in January’s issue of Rail Express