British Rail Class 319 - Notable Units

Notable Units

Units 319008 and 319009 are notable for two reasons:

  • On 10 December 1993 they travelled through the Channel Tunnel to Calais-Fr├ęthun and back with a party of invited guests, after the construction consortium TransManche Link (who were responsible for the construction of the Tunnel) had transferred responsibility for operations and management over to Eurotunnel. Their pantographs were modified at Selhurst Depot beforehand to account for the higher OHL height at Cheriton and in the tunnel. For the subsequent "Folkestone 1994" event on 7 May 1994, which saw the first paying members of the public taken into the tunnel by train. On 26 March 1994 units 319008 and 319009 were named "Cheriton" and "Coquelles" respectively at Victoria and plaques adorned with the Union Flag and Tricolore were installed on their motor carriages.
  • Also on 26 March 1994 they set a record for the shortest London to Brighton journey time, at 37 minutes 57 seconds. This was improved upon in 2005, with the Speed Run event by Southern, using its Class 377 units 377472 and 377474. The new record is 36 minutes 56 seconds.

Both units were denamed after being transferred from Southern to First Capital Connect. However, recently 319008 has been noted with its "Cheriton" nameplates re-applied, and on March 5, 2012 319009 was re-united with its "Coquelles" nameplates too.

  • 319215 is in a Switzerland Advertising Livery
  • 319365 and 319364 are in Thameslink Programme rainbow livery
  • 319218 has recently been vinyled into Lyca Mobile livery and is in service.

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