Gordon Goes to Ilford

Unit 3417 Moves from Clapham Junction to Ilford

On Saturday 4th October, the SETG are moving the Bluebell Railway’s 4VEP unit No. 3417 from long-term storage to Bombardier’s Ilford Carriage Works in Essex.

The train will run as 5L23, 07:50 Clapham Sidings to Ilford EMU Depot.

The preliminary work to enable this move has been carried out over the last fortnight. On Saturday 20th September SETG volunteers removed 3rd-rail collector shoe gear from the 4VEP to enable the unit to be hauled ‘off-region’ without coming into unintended contact with ballast or line side equipment. The equipment removed was stored on the unit and will be serviced and refitted at a later date.

Seven days later, SETG volunteers returned to Clapham Yard to carry out further work on the unit. A full brake test was carried out, lubrication on each axle was checked and replenished and the unit was shunted a trains length in either direction to check that the unit rolled freely. Having successfully carried out the required work, the unit was pronounced “fit to run.”

GBRf are providing two Class 73 Electro-Diesel locomotives to haul the unit from Clapham to Ilford, making a typically Southern consist and providing a rare electro-diesel movement via the North London Line. The SETG and Bluebell Railway are deeply grateful to GBRf for their efforts to accommodate the transfer move amongst their other duties.

The SETG expect the 4VEP to remain at Ilford for some time.

A joint statement regarding the work to be carried out on the unit whilst at Ilford will be issued by the Bluebell Railway and SETG early next week.

Bluebell Railway members will be able to read about the transfer in more detail, as well as the background work and future plans for the unit, in the upcoming ‘Bluebell News’, which will be published on the 10th October.