West Anglia’s final 315

West Anglia’s final 315

First it was the final Class 315 on the Romford-Upminster line and just two weeks later the final one too on the ‘Jazz’ suburban route from Liverpool Street to Enfield as well as the Southbury line to Cheshunt as well as the Chingford branch.

It was said a class 315 was seen on these routes all weekend and that surpassed expectations. The class continued its unexpected forays on the penultimate day, Monday 18th October with Class 315 802/807 covering practically all the diagrams.

315807 waits out in the sun at Chingford before its final public trip to Liverpool Street and back (via Enfield Town.) The rear unit was 315802. Source: Twitter

Here’s the final timetable for the Class 315’s last turn of duty on London Overground’s lines on the 20th October 2020!

Class 315 timetable for 20th October 2020. Source: Twitter

These last few years the 315s have become the one and only stock operating the three inner suburban routes thus displacing the 317s from the branches completely. Clearly the 315s have had had a good innings and have now given way to the 710s.

The final Class 315 service 20th October 2020:

The screens at Hackney Downs announcing the train on platform 3.

315807 on the curved viaduct approaching the junction at Hackney Downs. This picture marks the end of the Class 315’s jaunts on the former ‘Jazz’ lines in public service.

The rear of the train at Hackney Downs station. The rather strong colour in this picture is due to the sunlight being bounced off the large 1960s built Hackney Downs signal box. This substantial building was closed in 2001 and operations centred on the new Liverpool Street IECC.

This was the scenes at Liverpool Street half an hour before the Class 315 arrived!

Cakes galore waiting at Liverpool Street for the arrival of the hard working train staff!

315807 just after arrival at Liverpool Street platform 7 rather than the usual platform 1 or 2.

Some of the Class 315 enthusiasts at Liverpool Street enjoying a specially framed photo session!

The hashtag #ProudtobeARL refers to the fact London Overground trains are actually managed by Arriva Rail Limited.

Guy looking up apprehensively at the departure boards no doubt asking himself ‘is this really the train I have to use? Why have they put a dodgy old train in service!’ The LO staff are enjoying a final walk along the train itself the guy is pointing at the train decor and explaining how he’ll miss it! The 710s are definitely no patch on these 315s!

Rail staff preparing for the final public trip ever by a London Overground 315!

Faithful enthusiasts waiting for the train to depart.

Enthusiasts on the London end of the platforms at Hackney Downs photographing the train’s arrival at the station.

The staff at Hackney Downs watch the Class 315 draw alongside platform 2.

Walthamstow Central station – just three more stops and that’s it!

The ubiquitous level crossing at Highams Park (and formerly Hale End too!) This major road level crossing is the only one left on a branch line in North London.

Staff at Chingford stabling sidings wave at the train as it passes towards the terminus station. Hopefully the pictures on his Canon DSLR came out well!

As our train comes to a stop at Chingford and the doors open, this is the final moment London Overground’s Operations Manager and ARL’s Engineering Director step off a Class 315.

The two senior executives posing for the camera in front of the final Class 315 – his attention was at that very moment distracted by a dog (off screen) being walked by the guy in the grey bob hat.

Once all the rail staff had vacated the Class 315’s cab and rear lobby area another member of staff proceeded to clean all the controls and the seat, walls etc – no doubt part of the current measures to keep infections down to a minimum.

No sooner than that had been done the cab vacated and the door closed, someone should come along and peer through the windows. Is he thinking to himself ‘has that guy done his job properly?’ Does it matter now the train has been retired?

Some of us ventured to return to town and as our train left Chingford Station, a group of enthusiasts were spotted on the other platform waiting for the Class 315 to depart for the adjacent sidings.

During the final trip badges and pens commemorating the end of the 315s were handed out.

Here’s the LO pen commemorating the last run of the 315s. I photographed it in front of an LO illuminated roundel sign seen on our new Class 710 back to Central London.

Later in the day Chingford station (perhaps a turn of bitter irony) suffered a power cut. There were complaints Oysters were being charged the maximum fares because the automatic barriers were out of action!

All photos by the author (except where credited.)