Electro-Diesels Along the Sussex Straight

Written by: TrainSim-James

If you have not already, make sure you get up to date with the fascinating history behind the Class 73 and its time at the helm of the highly acclaimed Gatwick Express services by reading our collection of articles below. Get a hold of the Class 73 ‘Gatwick Express’ by visiting the Store.

The Dual-Mode Express

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The Class 73 is an electro-diesel locomotive designed as part of the British Railways 1955 Modernisation Plan. With an increase of electrification in the Southern Region, the Class 73 was designed to operate on the 650/750V DC third rail, however it was also fitted with a diesel engine to power it through non-electrified track. The diesel engine is less powerful than the third rail, so Class 73s tend to stay in the Southern region of the UK. Read more here.

Recording a Class 73

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What does it take to record a diesel locomotive? Well let’s take a look at Lewis and Adam’s trip to the Mid Norfolk Railway to do just that, record a Class 73. Read more here.

The Gatwick Express Class 73 is Out Now!


By the mid-1950s, a majority of British Railways’ Southern Region was electrified with the 750 V DC Third Rail system, however there were certain places that had either yet to be upgraded, or probably wouldn’t be. To fix this issue, BR decided to experiment with the idea of a locomotive that could utilise the electrified network yet still have the capability to operate on untouched tracks. The first plans were completed by the end of the decade, with 6 experimental locomotives ordered by 1959. Read more here.

After the Class 73 was released to to the world, we celebrated with a London to Brighton festival that included a discount on key units for the Brighton Main Line and provided a detailed history of the line and its rolling stock.

Then Vs. Now – The Class 73 Days

Then Cover

We are going to take a step back to a time when the electro-diesels ruled supreme on Gatwick Express services out of London Victoria and on the Brighton Main Line. There was no such thing as a third rail Electrostar, the Class 442 Wessex was only to be seen in the South West, and many multiple units still clung onto their old Network SouthEast stripes. Welcome to the late 1990s. Read more here.

A History

History Cover

We are delving into the history of the classic Brighton Main Line as well as some of the most popular multiple units that run between London Victoria and Brighton. Read more here.

The Wessex in Sussex


We are going to take a look at some of the common scenes found on the Brighton Main Line within recent years. The Class 442s have defected over to Gatwick Express, the slam door units have long gone and the railway is at its highest ever capacity, with privatisation colours dressed upon units old and new. Read more here.

Class 73 Launch Special Gameplay

After showing the Advanced Preview for the Shanghai Maglev on our Twtich Channel, we released the Class 73 as a surprise and introduced it to the world live! Check out our video of the Class 73 Launch Special below, and feel free to look back at the Maglev section earlier in the video.


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