It was announced on 30 January 2008 that as part of the Department for Transport's Rolling Stock Plan, the London Midland operated EMUs would be split between two other train operating companies (TOCs) after the arrival of the 37 additional Class 350/2 'Desiro' EMUs currently on order.
They were transferred as follows:
- 17 4-car units to National Express East Anglia sets 321421-321437
- 13 4-car units to First Capital Connect sets 321401-321410/321418-321420
First Capital Connect received their first Class 321, No. 321404, on 5 March 2009. All Units transferred to First Capital Connect have been internally refreshed at Hornsey TMD and re-painted into First Capital Connect livery. 321418 - 321420 have since also transferred to First Capital Connect.
321411 - 321417 will remain with London Midland for peak time journeys and branch-line, low capacity use. 321411 was the first Class 321 to carry LM livery.
321421 - 321437 were fitted with dot-matrix passenger information systems following their transfer to NXEA. They have also had their First Class area reduced and were fitted with the facility to lock-out Power Operated Doors within the unit, in the same way that 321438 - 321448 were treated many years before. These changes standardised them operationally with the rest of the 321/4 fleet that was already operating on that route (Note: these 17 Units retain the First Class style 2+2 seating in the de-classified First Class section however, rather than having been converted to 3+2). All have been progressively re-painted into National Express livery as they went through a C6 overhaul, in common with the rest of the Class 321 fleet at NXEA. In March 2012, Greater Anglia commenced an interior 'refresh' on these units and installation of internal CCTV (CCTV had already fitted to the rest of the Greater Anglia fleet at the start of the NXEA franchise). The refresh consists of new floor coverings and seat covers throughout, replacement and re-painting of interior panels and re-painted grab poles and door handles. Tables are also removed, to ensure consistency with the rest of the Class 321 fleet. The first unit treated was 321425.
Read more about this topic: British Rail Class 321