The Ruby Rover Railtour
Sunday 23rd May 2010
© copyright photographs by Colin Duff

 

First Class Ticket 0001 To celebrate its 40th anniversary on Sunday 23rd May 2010 the Southern Electric Group, in conjunction with Southern, operated the Ruby Rover Railtour. Utilising two class 442 units this ran from Victoria (Eastern) to London Bridge (reverse) via Selhurst Depot, thence to Crawley (reverse), Redhill (reverse), Tonbridge (reverse), Redhill (reverse), Lewes, Eastbourne (reverse), Brighton (reverse), Preston Park (reverse), Hove Yard (reverse), Preston Park (reverse), Hove (reverse) and finally back to Victoria (Central).

 

London Victoria
The ECS arriving at Victoria (Eastern) platform 2 led by 442406 The 5Z40 ECS move from Hove Yard, stopping at Three Bridges to load the Southern Electric Group sales stall, arrived at Victoria (Eastern) platform 2 at 09:30, seven minutes early.
Cabs of 442406 and 442413 arriving at Victoria

At the head of the formation was 442406 and to great delight following was 442413. So this became the second time the Southern Electric Group has used 2413 for a railtour because this unit was used for The Coming of Age (i.e. 21st anniversary) Railtour on 7th December 1991. 2413 is the favoured unit because it is the reverse number of the group's 4 Cor unit 3142. (I intend publishing a very small selection of pictures from the Coming of Age Railtour as soon as possible.)

So the tour started with 442406 at the London end and 442413 at the country end.

 

London Bridge
442406 at the country end and 442413 at the London end of London Bridge platform 13 Commencing its 1Z40 London Victoria to Crawley leg on time at 10:00, the tour travelled via platform 2 at Selhurst into Selhurst T&RSMD, using the departure road through the depot. I regret I was not best positioned to take pictures through the window as we passed through the depot so this part of the tour remains unillustrated. We left Selhurst T&RSMD about five minutes late for a short trip to London Bridge, where we used platform 13. 442413 was now at the London end and 442406 at the country end.
Two LOROL class 378/1 unist at New Cross Gate depot as the railtour passes Re-tracing our steps we passed LOROL's New Cross Gate Depot - where a number of almost new class 378/1 units could be seen - and down the Brighton Main Line, using the Quarry Line, as far a Three Bridges where we turned right for Crawley, thus becoming the first passengers ever to get to Crawley in a class 442. It was a tight reversal at Crawley and we were not let off the train. Sorry, no offence intended Crawley, but the view from the train's window did not merit a photograph so I also did not record this part of the tour.

 

Redhill
442406 and 442413 at Redhill during the first reverse We then became the 1Z41 Crawley to Eastbourne working, which commenced with a relatively short trip north to Redhill where we reversed in platform 2. The spacious layout permitted a view of the entire length of the 10 car train. These two pictures are of the first reversal at Redhill.
First Great Western 166201 approaching Redhill with the 11:03 Reading to Gatwick Airport service with the front of 442406 in the next platform Whilst waiting to reverse at Redhill First Great Western's Networker DMU 166201 came into platform 1 from Reading (departing Reading at 11:03) to reverse to Gatwick Airport.

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