At Leighton station an up liners stormed South behind 2 x 47 whilst the first of 3 Northbound 319's followed in quick succession. At Berkhamsted the up "Highlander" overtook us with 90028 as power. The Ovaltine factory thermometer was registering just 14C. Watford mini buffet's bacon rolls registered much more.
319004 had quickly turned round at the Keynes and arrived right time with the 0744 Gatwick. Willesden Yard had the usual 47's and 90's along with the rarer sight of 73107, 73114, 73141 and 56117 all in the Transrail yard. Near Old Oak a top and tail 47'8 passed us with the Wembley bound Penzance sleeper empties.
The hoped for freight block at Kenny failed to materialise, the highlight being a Eurostar ECS heading South. A sizeable crowd of nearly 100 gathered for 1O88 0658 Birmingham New St - Ramsgate. About 10 minutes before departurre time Deltic 55022 droned into view.
The 13 mile run that followed was fast with that distinctive thrash clearly audible despite our third coach position. On arrival at Bromley South an excited group of kids shouted "its a Virgin train". 55022's departure from Bromley South was slow and smoky and once out of sight we joined CEP 1602 on a Victoria bound service. This tottered via Catford and dropped down onto the low level lines adjoining the virtually closed Stewart's Lane which contained 37227 and a graffiti attacked 09.
Metrobus M848 on the 11 took us, front seat style from Victoria passing Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, appropriately chiming out its 10 o' clock bongs. Trafalgar Square saw a change onto the front seats of RML 2641. Less impressive was the lack of 310's once we reached Fenchurch St, at least 312785 was on a Grays.
Our spirits dropped a little on seeing 302225, 302226 and 302227 dumped outside EM depot. Barking station's info screen even had which units were on the 1108 to Fenchurch St. 302216 duly produced. This rattled us back to Fenchurch St from where 310064 returned us to Barking. The highlight of the day followed where in the first sun of the day 302201 and 302228 arrived with the 1105 Shoeburyness - Fenchurch St. Back at Fenchurch St we wandered around admiring the unit's "Farewell 302 weekend - EM depot" headboard. What would be oour last ever 302 departure from Fenchurch St followed, friendly toots being exchanged as we crossed 302216 near Barking flyover. Some serious fast running followed between Barking and Upminster, this was a good send off.
310049 returned us to Barking to await 302230. 60084 passed on ARC hoppers for Purfleet, before 302230 arrived with the 1320 Fenchurch St - Southend. his unit too stormed to Upminster for last phots before rounding the Ockenden curve.
An elderly enthusiast with video camera and loud, suspect commentary was getting normal's ridicule but he was in his own world. Our luck was in with 310047 returning us to Barking for 51333 and 51400 on the Gospel Oak. This took us across the rooftops of North London followed by a Victoria line tube from Blackhorse Road. 321424 on the 1454 returned us to a grey Leighton, as we reflected on another small chapter of railway history drawing to a close.
The 302's passenger careers ended that July 98 weekend, several were converted to 302990-992 as parcels units.
These didnt last long either, the whole class being cut except for two driving trailers E75033 and E72550 from units 302201 and 302227. These were preserved and remain active as hauled stock at the excellent Mangapps Farm Museum.
The moves, 040798 (sat)
321421 0616 Rugby - Euston L.Buzzard - Watford Jn
319004 0718 M.Keynes - Gatwick Watford Jn - Kensington O
55022 0658 Birmingham - Ramsgate Kensington O - Bromley South
1602 0825 Dover - Victoria Bromley S - Victoria (via Catford, SL low level)
312785 1035 Fenchurch St Grays Fenchurch St - Barking
302216 1047 Grays - Fenchurch St Barking - Fenchurch St
310064 1130 Fenchurch St - Shoeburyness Fenchurch St - Barking
302201} 1105 Shoeburyness - Fenchurch St Barking - Fenchurch St
302228} 1230 Fenchurch St - Upminster Fenchurch St - Upminster
310049 1220 Shoeburyness - Fenchurch St Upminster - Barking
302230 1320 Fenchurch St - Southend C Barking - Upminster
310047 1305 Shoeburyness - Fenchurch St Upminster - Barking
51333} 1405 Barking - Gospel Oak Barking - Blackhorse Rd
321424 1454 Euston - Birmingham Euston - L.Buzzard
Phots from the day
Any more class 302 memories to share?