Saturday, 19 February 2022

Ken Jones Takes A Day Out in February

 Roger Burdett and Ken Jones decided to take an out and back railway trip which was short enough to be done in daylight bearing in mind it is still February, but it was still an interesting trip nevertheless.

The 360 Desiro is an electric multiple-unit class that was built by
Siemens Transportation Systems between 2002 and 2005.
360102 awaits departure at Corby.

Ken & Roger chose to travel Corby to London Bridge utilising cheap day return tickets booked in advance and utilising the EMR Connect electric service from Corby to Luton Airport using class 360 units and then Thameslink to London Bridge, using class 700 units, and stopping at some stations for photographs. 

New [red] and old [blue] liveries for the EMR Connect 360 units.

When new, the 360's were primarily used on Great Eastern Main Line services from 
London Liverpool Street to Clacton-on-SeaColchester Town and Ipswich
Since moving to EMR the 360's have been modified for 110 mph (180 km/h) operation

They drove to Corby, and to get the best value tickets they caught a train from Corby after 9.30 and left London Bridge before 3pm. 
Neither had done this route before, and it is worth pointing out you always need to do some research before booking tickets, because if you use the trainline to book tickets for this route they recommend EMR Connect to London St Pancras, with onward journey by London Underground to London Bridge station. 
The EMR class 360 units were previously by Greater Anglia working out of Liverpool Street station.

Thameslink 700135 approaching Luton Airport Parkway with
the semi fast service to London and beyond

An article about EMR Connect from Corby can be seen here

 An article about rebuilding London Bridge station can be found here

 More information about the Grade II listed signal box at St Albans (below) can be found here

More information about the DART rapid transit system being built at
Luton Airport Parkway can be found here

Southern trains use the terminal platforms at London Bridge station, whereas South Eastern and Thameslink trains use the extended through platforms.

Northbound 700153 seen at City Thameslink Station

For those not interested just in railways the Shard and London Bridge bus terminus are just outside the railway station.

The shard dominates the skyline at London Bridge station

The most picturesque station on this route is London Blackfriars which sits over the Thames.

 700159 snakes its way into Blackfriars station

There are stabling points at Kettering, Bedford, and Cricklewood. Again, research before you go is as important as researching the prices. You can view the stopping stations on companies’ websites as a starter and decide whether to use fast or stopping services, we used a mixture of both.

Other things to look out for include the abandoned Kings Cross Thameslink platforms, and some steep gradients on the approaches to Thameslink stations in London.

Northbound service approaching City Thameslink station showing the gradient. South of here the units run on 3rd rail current, so drivers have a sign reminding them to lower pantographs

There’s a café at Corby station and very friendly EMR staff. Communication on Thameslink trains is very good including the driver telling us that inbound train would not be stopping at Farringdon due to fire alarm going off. 

There are no connecting doors between carriages on the Thameslink trains allowing 
unimpeded access between coaches

All the trains we saw were running as long trains to help get people travelling again. The 360 units run in pairs but no connection between the units, and the Thameslink 700 units are either 8 or 12 cars.

Thameslink 700155 carries “Pride” livery at each end

View from Blackfriars station

South Eastern 375805 seen at London Bridge station

South Eastern and Thameslink units at London Bridge station

Unit 375910 is seen entering London Bridge station

Class 707 units seen on the other through lines at London Bridge Station

South Eastern and Southern trains are seen entering and leaving London Bridge station

Southern units – class 377 – use the terminal platforms at London Bridge station

The architects have made the concourse much lighter, and opened up the former London Bridge station. The second picture is part of the access route to toilets and underground

Next to the Thameslink platforms and connected by a bridge, where London 
Underground Metropolitan S stock can be seen

222102 is seen heading through St Albans City station with a northbound
train from St. 

Thameslink units at St. Albans city station

EMR 360 units seen at Luton airport Parkway heading for Corby

The new building and track for the new DART system at Luton Airport Parkway which will connect the main line station with the airport

222018 hurries through Luton Airport Parkway. The new escalators being built will take passengers from the platforms to the new DART shuttle concourse

360 units heading for London St. Pancras at Luton Airport Parkway – full fleet
on the side and unit number on the ends

Interior shot of EMR Connect 360 unit as we head back to Corby

Many thanks for Ken Jones for compiling this posting. If you've got reports  on transport trips or rallies please send them to