Last flail on the 302's , July 4th 1998

 

 

At Leighton station an up liners stormed South behind 2 x 47 whilst the first of 3 Northbound 319's followed in quick succession. At Berkhamsted the up "Highlander" overtook us with 90028 as power. The Ovaltine factory thermometer was registering just 14C. Watford mini buffet's bacon rolls registered much more.

 

319004 had quickly turned round at the Keynes and arrived right time with the 0744 Gatwick. Willesden Yard had the usual 47's and 90's along with the rarer sight of 73107, 73114, 73141 and 56117 all in the Transrail yard. Near Old Oak a top and tail 47'8 passed us with the Wembley bound Penzance sleeper empties.  

 

 The hoped for freight block at Kenny failed to materialise, the highlight being a Eurostar ECS heading South. A sizeable crowd of nearly 100 gathered for 1O88 0658 Birmingham New St - Ramsgate. About 10 minutes before departurre time Deltic 55022 droned into view.   

 

The 13 mile run that followed was fast with that distinctive thrash clearly audible despite our third coach position. On arrival at Bromley South an excited group of kids shouted "its a Virgin train". 55022's departure from Bromley South was slow and smoky and once out of sight we joined CEP 1602 on a Victoria bound service. This tottered via Catford and dropped down onto the low level lines adjoining the virtually closed Stewart's Lane which contained 37227 and a graffiti attacked 09.

 

Metrobus M848 on the 11 took us, front seat style from Victoria passing Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, appropriately chiming out its 10 o' clock bongs. Trafalgar Square saw a change onto the front seats of RML 2641. Less impressive was the lack of 310's once we reached Fenchurch St, at least 312785 was on a Grays.      

 

Our spirits dropped a little on seeing 302225, 302226 and 302227 dumped outside EM depot. Barking station's info screen even had which units were on the 1108 to Fenchurch St. 302216 duly produced. This rattled us back to Fenchurch St from where 310064 returned us to Barking. The highlight of the day followed where in the first sun of the day 302201 and 302228 arrived with the 1105 Shoeburyness - Fenchurch St. Back at Fenchurch St we wandered around admiring the unit's "Farewell 302 weekend - EM depot" headboard.  What would be oour last ever 302 departure from Fenchurch St followed, friendly toots being exchanged as we crossed 302216 near Barking flyover. Some serious fast running followed between Barking and Upminster, this was a good send off.

 

310049  returned us to Barking to await 302230. 60084 passed on ARC hoppers for Purfleet, before 302230 arrived with the 1320 Fenchurch St - Southend. his unit too stormed to Upminster for last phots before rounding the Ockenden curve.

 

An elderly enthusiast with video camera and loud, suspect commentary was getting normal's ridicule but he was in his own world. Our luck was in with 310047 returning us to Barking for 51333 and 51400 on the Gospel Oak. This took us across the rooftops of North London followed by a Victoria line tube from Blackhorse Road.  321424 on the 1454 returned us to a grey Leighton, as we reflected on another small chapter of railway history drawing to a close.

 

Class 302 brief history

 

302 units rarely strayed from their Fenchurch St line duties so Barking rush hours were sometimes done to rake them in. When being overhauled at Wolverton Works they were sometimes seen on the WCML being dragged by class 31/37 in the 70's and 80's, working under their own power in the early 90's

 

231073 Mo Barking 2h 15m evening rush hour spell.

293,271,270,244,283,294,317,1796,314,262,232,279,1705,272,256,249,273,256,249,273,258,247,250,

316,277,241,287,271,308,242,272,272,261,235,279,314,256,239,310,302,307,300,244,301,268,281,

270,303,243,5825,315,266,286,254,247,258,264,320,276,241,277,316,6832,253,318,321,230,265,

257,297,226,278,283,242,308,285,229,235,261,313,289,234,252,238,294,319,309,317,305,312,269,

255,237,236,259,233,301,307,314,279,285,311,284,243,303,227,263,275,264,254,245,286,240,282,

257,253,297,265,256,232,229,274,262,317,294,237,255,302,310,239,309,319,261,235,279,272,314

284,5825,275,268,227,273,250,286,254

 

 

The 302's passenger careers ended that July 98 weekend, several were converted to 302990-992 as parcels units.

These didnt last long either, the whole class being cut except for two driving trailers E75033  and E72550 from units 302201 and 302227. These were preserved and  remain active as hauled stock at the excellent Mangapps Farm Museum. 

 

 

The moves, 040798 (sat)

 

321421  0616 Rugby - Euston                                                L.Buzzard - Watford Jn         

319004  0718 M.Keynes - Gatwick                                        Watford Jn - Kensington O

55022    0658 Birmingham - Ramsgate                                  Kensington O - Bromley South

1602      0825 Dover - Victoria                                              Bromley S - Victoria (via Catford, SL low level)  

312785  1035 Fenchurch St Grays                                         Fenchurch St - Barking

302216  1047 Grays - Fenchurch St                                       Barking - Fenchurch St

310064  1130 Fenchurch St - Shoeburyness                           Fenchurch St - Barking

302201} 1105 Shoeburyness - Fenchurch St                          Barking - Fenchurch St

302228}                                 

302228}  1230 Fenchurch St - Upminster                              Fenchurch St - Upminster

302201}

310049    1220 Shoeburyness - Fenchurch St                         Upminster - Barking

302230    1320 Fenchurch St - Southend C                           Barking - Upminster

310047    1305 Shoeburyness - Fenchurch St                         Upminster - Barking

51333}    1405 Barking - Gospel Oak                                    Barking - Blackhorse Rd

51400}                                   

321424    1454 Euston - Birmingham                                     Euston - L.Buzzard    

 

 

Phots from the day

 

040798550220658birrambswebr.jpg Seems unlikely today, was pretty unusual even on July 4th 1998. Deltic 55022 on a service train making her Bromley South booked call on 1O99 SO 0658 Birmingham NS - Ramsgate

 

302fllyerwebr.jpg LTS publicity for the big day

 

040798302228n2011105exshoewebr.jpg 302228 and 302201 at Fenchurch St after working the 1105 ex Shoeburyness, 040798 which was the final day of op for these classic units

 

040798600084webr.jpg 60084 passes Barking with stone for Ripple Lane, 040798

 

0407983022301320fssvwebr.jpg 302230 at Upminster with the 1320 Fenchurch St - Souhend C on 040798

 

 

Any more class 302 memories to share?

 

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