Attended Luggage

Written by: TrainSim-James

Main photograph above, copyright Southern Reg.

The bespoke BR Class 419 is coming soon to Train Simulator, and will be perfect for any Southern Region motor-luggage hauling!

As the Kent Coast Electrification Scheme and the subsequent widespread introduction of Electric Multiple Units on coastal services was underway, many trains such as the Dover boat train from London Victoria would soon be struggling for capacity; not of passengers, but their luggage.

Travellers would use the boat trains to reach Dover or Folkestone from the capital, and continue their journey on a connecting ferry service to mainland Europe. State-of-the-art EMUs however were not designed to handle the levels of luggage that these holiday-making passengers were carrying, and so BR looked at constructing a series of luggage vans that could hold the passengers belongings on the boat trains.

An early prototype of a Motor Parcels Van (MPV), destined for the Tyneside DC network, served as the basis for the new Southern Region rolling stock. The MPV, numbered E68000, ran off of the third rail and could provide an opportunity to carry parcels while heading a passenger service. It was decided that a unit similar to these would be ideal for boat trains.

BR Eastleigh Works constructed two of the Motor Luggage Vans (MLV) to Southern Region specification in 1959, and they were numbered as S68001 and S68002. The MLVs were not as powerful as the Tyneside MPV, but they were lighter and more suited for serving portside stations and quays. One factor that had to be taken into account is that Dover and Folkestone quay lines were not electrified for safety reasons, and so the MLVs were fitted with batteries.

The batteries on an MLV could be recharged simply by running on the third rail, and they allowed the MLVs to work away from any electrified lines, at low speed, for anything upwards of half an hour; plenty of time to haul EMUs onto the quay, detrain the passengers and luggage, and push back onto electrified rails. With this added functionality, the MLVs were classified as Battery Electric Multiple Units (BEMU).

In total, 10 of these MLVs were built for boat trains, and were capable of 90mph and could single-handedly haul anything up to 100 tons of dead weight. Some were even used on parcels services in the Southern Region, with rakes of GUV wagons in-tow. With the arrival of TOPS, the MLVs became the BR Class 419, and vehicles that were renumbered carried their new identification in standard SR fashion (for example, 419001 was 9001).

Out of all the BR Class 419 BEMUs, only two have been scrapped, the rest are either successfully preserved or in storage. With their battery-operated capabilities, the preserved examples can even run on heritage lines such as the Eden Valley and Mid-Norfolk Railways, although none have been used on the main line since 2004 (all but one Class 419 were used as the Class 931 for departmental roles).

Soon, you will be able to carry that extra load along Southern Region routes, as the distinct BR Class 419 is coming soon to Train Simulator! Keep an eye out for more updates 

We’re always happy to receive your comments below but please ensure they are related to the subject of the article, we’ll remove any that appear to be unrelated.

TrainSim-James

16 Comments

  • I am really excited for this Class 419. Any chance of in-game pictures of it before release?
    I have two train suggestions I would also like to see in Train Simulator:
    • A version of the Class 303 with it’s curved windows.
    • The Class 309 ‘Clacton’ EMU (also the curved windows version).
    How do you like my suggestions? 😉
    Many thanks!

    • Certainly will be 52_Western, I believe there’s something due to go out soon. Nice suggestions too, will get those on the list for future consideration

      • Thanks a lot for your answer, Steve!
        Very much looking forward to the pictures! 🙂

  • In real life the class 419 spent it’s life on the South Eastern Division heading from London Victoria towards Ashford, via Tonbridge or Maidstone, then to Dover Western Docks or Folkestone Harbour. The units also ran with the Class 411 emu’s which are not available in the game – will a Class 411 be made?

    Thanks

    • There are no current plans to make a Class 411 Peter749 but it is on the list to consider for the future.

  • Hurray! So awesome to see this one coming to TS will be awesome to drive along the southern network. 😀

  • It needs a 4CEP to go with it and the mainline via Tonbridge for boat trains

  • I asked on the Facebook page and sadly no reply, whilst thinking of Southern things, what has happened to the 2-HAL unit that was previewed a long time ago, but like this had no in development shots or such in the only article written?

    • The 2-HAL is still very much on the plan Matthew. It was delayed for a short while but is currently planned to arrive at a platform in October, all being well.

      • Thanks very much for the updated feedback. I’m well up for some retro stuff, shame the APT project seems to have ended up the same way the real one did, whoever was undertaking it.

        • You’re most welcome Matthew 🙂

  • Fabulous to see another variety of slam door stock coming to TS2017!

  • Is the class 419 created by Dovetail Games or a third party developer and also which route will the scenarios be for?

    • Created by us Northrail1, I believe the intention is to create the scenarios for South London Network.

      • South London Network? But if the article is calling them Boat Trains as they take luggage from London Victoria to Dover or Folkestone, would it not be better for it to have scenarios for Chatham Mainline or London Brighton?

        • As we don’t have a 4CEP, which the MLV requires for Boat Train services, the focus for the MLV is centred around their other duties on parcel workings, operating into and out of London Bridge station. Chatham Main Line doesn’t feature London Bridge Station so South London Network is used to replicate authentic operations and allows for more extended parcel workings as was often the case.

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