Class 308

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Class 308

Postby pdeaves » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:33 pm

I make no secret of the fact that my interest lies in the railway rather than the trains. As such, my 'train' records are limited and I hope that the good inhabitants of RCTSforumland can help.

What is the history behind electric multiple units 308994 and 308995? I've found that 308991-993 were parcels units and there is as much information as you want (it seems) online about them, but I can find almost nothing about 308994 and 308995 apart from these photos, all on the same site:

308994 http://80srail.zenfolio.com/p723755944/h328F44B3#h294b3e8d and http://80srail.zenfolio.com/p723755944/h328F44B3#h328f44b3

308995 http://80srail.zenfolio.com/p723755944/h328F44B3#h3a9794e9 and http://80srail.zenfolio.com/p723755944/h328F44B3#h3b0f10bd

I think you will agree that the photos are quite clear what the painted numbers are (rather than being something blurry and open to interpretation).

What units/vehicles were they converted/renumbered from? When? Why the secrecy that means almost no one has heard of them?

Thanks all!
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Re: Class 308

Postby MisterC » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:46 am

Nine class 308/2s, originally 313-321, were constructed with a motor luggage van (MLV), for use on Tilbury boat trains. The requirement for these diminished rapidly, as sailings to/from Tilbury reduced, and 313-316 had their motor cars converted to passenger accommodation in 1971. This left 5 units 317-321 in class 308/2 with MLV. Here's a pic of 317 in 1980, the MLV is the 2nd car:
In 1983 317-321 were reduced from 4 cars to 3, by removal of the non-driving trailer, and renumbered to 308991-995, see ROs 07-10/83.
As you have found gen on 308991-993 being converted to parcels units, perhaps you could say when that happened, to give a pointer on where to look for gen on what happened to 308994 and 308995.
This sort of question is a classic example of where the society is missing out by not creating its own internet database of locomotive and rolling stock changes, based on the comprehensive contemporaneous data published in RO, other RCTS publications, and members own records. Fortunately I have a shelf full of old ROs, a rough idea of which years to look at, and time to do it, but it should not have to be like that. If the society was taking full advantage of the digital age then the answer to this question would have been available instantly!
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Re: Class 308

Postby pdeaves » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:26 pm

Thanks MisterC. One place that mentions 308991-993 as parcel units is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_308 (with usual caution regarding the source); as you can see it doesn't mention 308994/995 at all. Additionally, I found something about 308991-993 on http://www.railuk.info/ but I can't for the life of me find it again now!

You say that 308317-321 became 308991-995. Were they done in sequence or randomly?
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Re: Class 308

Postby Ian Prince » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:15 pm

The class number was not carried until the later years on the ends. Normally they just had the three digit unit number displayed in the 1960/70s.

As the Wiki article says regards dates:-

"In 1983, three former Class 308/2 units (nos. 314/319/321) were converted into Class 308/4 postal units by the Parcels sector, with the removal of the intermediate trailer, and renumbered 308991–993. These units were replaced by three converted Class 302/9 parcels units in 1992".

(Again its wiki, so careful with this latter info).
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