Chichester [CHR]

Celebrity Class 313 201 in BR Blue and Grey, heads East from Chichester on the West Coastway, with the Cathedral spire in view background right. Image Credit Geoff May

Welcome to Chichester Branch of the RCTS

We meet once a month from September through to May.

During the Covid pandemic we have kept in touch with our members by moving our meetings on to Zoom. We have now returned to face to face meetings in Chichester at:

Bassil Shippam Centre, Tozer Way, St Pancras, Chichester. PO19 7LQ

We will supplement these meetings with further Zoom meetings in the future.

Meetings cover a range of illustrated railway related subjects, presented by experienced speakers.

Our next meetings / events can be found further down this page.

We normally start at 19:15 with the presentation ending at 21:30

Everybody is welcome to join us and enjoy the friendly atmosphere with the common interest of all things railway.

We also organise outdoor events for our members to places of railway interest, often visiting areas not normally open to the public, always looking for ideas to enhance our activities both indoor and outdoor.

October 2023 Walk Along Part Of The Midhurst - Chichester Disused Railway

Alan Wallbank (left) and branch elder statesman Joe Whicher (right) enjoying a branch visit to the Centurion Way seen at the entrance to West Dean Tunnel. 05 October 2023

What's on


Click the venue name to see more


Roger Sandford
tel: 02392 215919
52 Knowsley Road, Cosham, Portsmouth PO6 2PF



Geoff May
tel: 01243 528708

Committee Members

Geoff Adams, John Barrowdale,


Newsletter Editor

Ian McKey


Much appreciated assistance with meetings in various roles to:

Douglas Meany, Roger Jones, John Robbins, Mike Petherbridge, Alan Wallbank



Branch Newsletters

January 2024
February 2024
March 2024
April 2024
May 2024
June 2024
JULY 2023
August 2023
September 2023
October 2023
November 2023
December 2023

Meeting reports

22 May 2024 With Lance King in Ulster: The Great Northern Lines: 1957-65

Presenter: Leslie McAllister On 22 May we were treated to an excellent presentation about the Railways of Ulster by Leslie McAllister  Before the presentation the only thing I knew about…

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24 April 2024 The 1968 Hixon Level Crossing Disaster

Presenter Malcolm Garner Perhaps it is because railways are such a relatively safe form of transport that the subject of railway accidents is a topic of much interest and indeed…

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27 March 2024 Eastleigh from Railway Junction to Railway Centre

Presenter: Gordon Adams Eastleigh has been very much a focal point in the South of England for those interested in railways. However, this presentation focused on the history of the…

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28 February 2024 That Was the Year That Was – 1962

Presenter Geoff Plumb: The branch was entertained by well known RCTS member Geoff Plumb who regularly presents both face-to-face and zoom shows for our Branches, this time with ‘That was…

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08 February 2024 109 Years of Southern Electric

Presenter: Stuart Hicks On the afternoon of 8th February an audience of 40 heard Stuart Hicks give an illustrated talk about the 109 years of Southern Electric. Prior to 1923…

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24 January 2024 Steam in the British Isles

Presenter: Tony Bowles 2024 for Chichester Branch started with an enjoyable Zoom presentation from Tony Bowles, entitled “Steam in the British Isles”.  We were entertained with Tony’s photos from all…

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13 December 2023 The Railways of Colonel Holman Stephens

Presenter: Chris Jackson Chris Jackson travelled from London to give an eagerly anticipated talk on The Railways of Colonel Holman F Stephens, the well known pioneer of Light Railways, built…

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22 November 2023 The Coming of the Railway to Southampton

Presenter: David Brace The title of the talk gave our speaker the opportunity to give a wide ranging and well researched presentation on the building of one of the principal…

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25 October 2023 The Welshpool & LLanfair Light Railway

Presenter: Simon Bowden Our speaker joined the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway as a volunteer as a teenager in 1966. He later completed 50 years as a driver and for…

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27 September 2023 – An American Rail Rover

Presenter : John Day Chichester welcomed John Day’s long awaited ‘American Rail Rover’ talk which was first mooted back in 2019 and the wait was well worth it. John has…

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24 May 2023 – The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

Presenter: Mike Pearce On 24th May Mike Pearce gave a talk on the Lynton and Barnstable Railway to some 40 attendees. The line was the ambition of the publisher George…

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26 April 2023 – An LMR Journey from London to Carlisle between 1958 and 1968

Presenter: David Cross David Cross travelled from his home in Essex, to present a collection of his father’s,  Derek, railway slides. The subject covered was the West Coast Main Line…

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22 March 2023 The Great Train Robbery

Presenter:  Ian Boskett   The ‘Big Freeze’, the ‘Profumo Affair’, the assassination of a U.S. President  and the ‘Great Train Robbery’  ensured that 1963 was no ordinary year. Ian Boskett…

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22 February 2023 – Steam In Africa

Presenter and Image Credit:  Guenter Oczko The Branch was delighted to have Guenter Oczko back again, direct from Germany by Zoom, this time with his Steam in Africa show. The…

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25 January 2023 Through the Lens, Through the Years – Cornwall

Presenter: NIgel Tregoning We returned to Zoom for the first of two winter meetings. Nigel, a Cornwall resident, lead us through what may best be described as a life time…

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14 December 2022 – Mid Hants Archive, Alresford to Winchester Jcn, Part 2

Presenter Keith Brown: As an active volunteer on the Watercress Line, Keith Brown was well qualified to give an absorbing and comprehensive presentation on the history of the Winchester to…

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23 November 2022 – A Toss of the Coin

Presenter: David Maidment David’s talk was a summary of his life and work within the rail industry. Unlike many of his contemporaries, David does not come from a line of…

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26 October 2022 Six Decades of Steam Railway Photography

S15 30828 leaving Chichester with the Maunsell Wessex Special. 02 May 1995. Image Credit Tony Storey Presenter: Tony Storey Originally we had planned to be taken on an American Rail…

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28 September 22 The Selsey Tramway

Presenter: Joe Whicher An audience of 50 started our new season to hear a well-researched and illustrated talk on the local Selsey Tramway by Joe Whicher. Joe moved to Chichester…

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18 May 2022 Roaming Around London With A Camera

Presenter: Geoff Brockett A well constructed fast moving presentation began with a little nostalgia including engineering trains, a glimpse of Kings Cross Goods Yard, a Class 90 on a Kings…

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27 April 2022 Southern Medley & Cuba Revisited

Presenter: Alan Wallbank Alan is an accomplished amateur film maker who on two previous visits to Chichester Branch has shown that the standard of his productions is worthy of a…

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23 March 2022 Ninth Colour-Rail Journey

Presenter: Paul Chancellor Paul Chancellor of Colour Rail was our first live face to face guest speaker for exactly two years at Chichester on the 23/03/22 following the Covid outbreak…

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23 February 2022 Magnus Volk and His Amazing Railways

Unmistakably we are in Brighton, on the seafront, admiring The Volks Railway.   Presenter: Ian Gledhill Whilst Volk’s railway in Brighton is known by many, the life, and times of…

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26 January 2022 The Ken Nunn Collection 1898-1961

Presenter Jeremy Harrison It was a pleasure to witness this unique collection of Southern Region images acquired by the Locomotive Club of Great Britain, who retain the ‘showing rights’ whilst…

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08 December 2021 – World Steam

Presenter Guenter Oczko Opinions may vary on the plusses and minuses of ‘Zoom’ presentations but no one can deny that the technology has given the opportunity for a much wider…

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24 November 2021 – B.R. Steam – The Final Years

Presenter:  Derek Huntriss The attraction of the final years of Steam on B.R. never seems to wane, especially when there is the prospect of a high quality presentation. Derek did…

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27 October 2021 – Building the Direct Line from Lymington Junction to Christchurch 1884-1888

Presenter: Philip Benstead A tale of self-interest, optimism, naivety, fraud, bankruptcy, incompetence, arrogance, violent deaths, royalty & religion with congratulations to the non-participants & ignorance of the achievers. Philip’s presentation…

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Railways of Scotland 2013 – 2018

Presenter: Stephen Bigley The Branch welcomed back Stephen Bigley, a well-known local enthusiast, for his presentation called ‘Railways of Scotland 2013 – 2018’. This mainly covered his activities from the…

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26 May 2021 · Three Decades of Change on the Footplate

Presenter: Lee Davies For the last presentation of the current season, Chichester Branch, including the many virtual attendees from elsewhere, were treated to a wonderful selection of anecdotes from Lee…

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28 April 2021 · Trans-Pennine Steam and Modern Traction in the 1980s

Presenter: Derek Huntriss Derek’s presentation consisted of two-parts, the first half covering what was, in the 1980’s “Modern Traction” and the second half covered Mainline Steam in the same period.…

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24 March 2021 · The Last Year of Southern Steam

Presenter: Derek Spicer Derek took us back to an era which never fails to attract much interest. Touring the South during 1967 he captured many fascinating steam images and set…

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24 February 2021 · In Search Of The Red Dragon

Presenter: Colin Brading Colin started his presentation with a nostalgic reminder that ‘The Red Dragon’ was a name bestowed in the 1950’s upon an up morning service from Carmarthen to…

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27 January 2021 · Local Film Night

Presenter: Alan Wallbank On Weds 27 Jan 2021, the Chichester branch enjoyed a return visit from Branch Member, and former Footplateman, Alan Wallbank, who showed two further films which he…

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16 December 2020 · NCB Steam 1970 – 1981

Presenter: John Barrowdale Industrial steam had been noticeably absent from the Chichester Branch meeting agenda for a long time but John Barrowdale finally filled the gap with this excellent and…

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09 December 2020 · Sixties Southern

Presenter: David Jackman This was our first virtual AGM evening at Chichester, so the opening half was spent on Branch formalities. Following a ten minute interval to ‘recover’ we were…

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25 November 2020 · Diesels and Electrics in the South East 1950s – 1970s

Presenter: David Brown David presented a very special collection of images depicting scenes from the middle of the last century in and around the South East of England. The first…

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28 October 2020 · The ‘Modern Scene’ Today Part 2

Presenter: Julian Clark On Wednesday 28th Oct we welcomed Julian Clark from our own local RCTS committee to our second Zoom meeting entitled ‘The Modern Scene Today, Part 2’ Those…

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23rd September 2020 · A Half Century Has Passed

Presenter: Geoff May After a seven month absence we returned with our first virtual meeting. Our speaker Geoff May took us back to the final months of steam on BR…

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26th February 2020 · Island Treasures – Railways of the Isle of Wight

Presenter: Colin Brading The lure of the Isle of Wight attracted a bumper audience to County Hall. Colin began by explaining the unique geography of the area and how the…

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22nd January 2020 · The ‘Modern Scene’ Today

Presenter: Julian Clark The Chichester Branch is fortunate in having Julian as a member whose photographic talents have been recognised in both the RO and RCTS publicity material. His wide…

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11th December 2019 · Amberley Industrial Museum Railway

Presenter: Geoff Boote Our December meeting was held two weeks earlier than our normal monthly meetings to avoid the Christmas period. The Branch AGM comprised the first part of the…

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27th November 2019 · Women on the Railway

Presenter: Liam Kenchenken In 2015 the Mid Hants Railway was awarded almost £900,000 towards the £1.5 million cost of therestoration of Merchant Navy Class 35005 Canadian Pacific, built at Eastleighin…

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23rd October 2019 · Classic Southern Electric in Colour

Presenter: David Brown The October meeting of Chichester Branch was entitled Classic Southern Electric in Colour, presented by David Brown, one of our own members, who also sits on the…

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25 September 2019 · The Mid Hants Line, Then and Now

Presenter: Keith Brown An encouraging audience of fifty gathered for our first meeting of the new season to hear Keith Brown give an illustrated presentation entitled ‘The Mid Hants Railway…

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09 June 2019 · Branch visit to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway

A dozen or so Chichester members went abroad on Sunday 09 June. Well almost! We visited the Isle of Wight Steam Railway on a lovely warm sunny day. Perfect weather…

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22nd May 2019 · The Railways of Paris

Presenter: Michael Bunn For our final indoor meeting of the season we crossed the English Channel, to explore the French capital. Michael put together a superb presentation, beginning by outlining…

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24th April 2019 · London Underground, Then and Now

Presenter: Brian Hardy Over 40 members and supporters attended this excellent meeting in which Brian Hardy demonstrated the changes that have taken place within the London Underground (LU) throughout the…

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6th April 2019 · Branch visit to Arlington Fleet Eastleigh

14 Chichester members plus a guest from Surrey branch enjoyed an escorted tour of the Eastleigh works site. Our lead guide, Norman, was an expert on all things connected with…

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27th March 2019 · Strictly Freight Only Part 2

Presenter: Brian Ringer For our well attended March meeting, The Chichester Branch welcomed the return of Brian Ringer, with the second part of his ‘Strictly Freight Only’ presentations, the title…

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Local Chichester Members Photos

As dusk descends West Country Bulleid Pacific 34046 'Braunton' passes over Portcreek, North of Hilsea, with 1Z52 the 18:14 Chichester to Paddington, Goodwood revival return excursion. The train has reversed at Fratton with a class 47 at the head from Chichester, subsequently remaining on the rear through to London. 18 September 2022. Image Credit John Barrowdale.
The first three Class 313s 202, 214 & 217 are taken to Eastleigh for storage, hauled by Class 37 800. Seen passing Winchester 106 minutes late with the 10:24 from Lover's Walk, Brighton to Eastleigh. Friday 10 March 2023.
Schools Class loco 30925 Cheltenham pulls away from Alresford with the 16:20 to Alton at the Watercress Autumn Steam Gala. 07 Oct 2022.
A1 Stroudly Terrier 72 'Fenchurch' wagon shunting at Horsted Keynes. Bluebell 'Giants of Steam' weekend. 13 October 2023
Flying Scotsman arriving in Portsmouth seen approaching Portcreek Junction from the West. 17 June 2023
Passing over Portcreek Junction Class 50 007 heads the 08:11 Portsmouth & Southsea to Bognor Regis leg of 'The Great Britain' Saturday 23 April 2022. Image Credit: Roger Sandford
Class 158 767 & 158798 at Barnham form the last ever GWR service on West Coastway, the 17:02 Brighton to Bristol Parkway on Friday 13 May 22. Part of a Chichester member's regular Monday to Friday commute. Image Credit: Andy Perry
AK11 built by 'Alan Keef Ltd' work number 11 of 1984, now in full working order following rebuild. The Hayling Light Railway 23 Setember 2023. Image Credit: John Barrowdale

Local Branch Area Rail News

New Locomotive at the Hayling Island Railway for 2023

Hampshire’s Hayling Seaside Railway is now under new management, following the retirement of Bob Haddock, the line’s owner and creator. New operators ‘The Hayling Light Railway Trust’ are a not for profit charity set up by the volunteers of the East Hayling Light Railway Society.

Details of a new loco for the railway.

Details:  Hayling Railway HLR (

Bedhampton Station Footbridge

Alan Wallbank in March 2024 says

'I think it was in November last year that the very well used footbridge at Bedhampton Railway Station was closed for refurbishment. Scaffolding was erected on each side, followed by the removal of the wooden steps , but after that nothing seemed to happen until a very cold, showery and windy day in early January, when the metal work was being cleaned with hand held electric rotary tools, after which an undercoat was being applied. I asked one of the workmen why there had been a delay in recommencing the repairs and he said ‘they were arguing about what paint to use’! Shortly afterwards work stopped again and has not restarted.

Then about two weeks residents received a card from Network Rail to say that ‘severe structural damage has been discovered and the bridge works will now have to be suspended to allow engineers to review the design work. I took photo here about 1990 which shows John Arter who worked in the ticket office for many years. He retired quite sometime ago and is often seen walking around the Havant area.


Southern Trains West Coastway - New Timetable from 02 June 2024

Following a public consultation Southern will be introducing a new timetable encompassing all services between London/Brighton and Portsmouth/Southampton. Almost all services will change details at

Southern - West Coastway timetable changes (

A new gateline opens at Gatwick station

A new additional gateline has opened at Gatwick station.

This gateline has been installed to improve passenger flow when entering the station. The three barriers are wide access gates, which will improve the travel experience for passengers of reduced mobility as well as those with luggage, wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Find out more about the Gatwick airport station upgrade.

TRANSPORT TRUST "Red Wheel" plaques.

The National Transport Trust is a charity dedicated to the preservation of all modes of Transport and its infrastructure. The organisation supports significant transport heritage sites by funding and  by the issue and fixture of a red plaque which they term “Red Wheels”.

As the RCTS is interested in the history of railways it is appropriate to take a look at the Red Wheel scheme and pick out railway related information.

So to examine the Red Wheels story we’ll present articles in chronological order of the subject’s construction date, in this and forthcoming newsletters.

National Transport Trust Red Wheel Plaque


1839 – 1966  Designed by Sir William Tite for the London & Southampton Railway.

The Royal Pier was opened in 1833 and was the first jetty or pier at Southampton.

The London & South Western Railway (LSWR) arrived in 1840, linking London to Southampton Terminus Station (although not officially named as such until 1923), less than a mile from Royal Pier.

A temporary terminus for the line was opened at Southampton Northam Road in June 1839 because of a dispute over the crossing of Northam Road. The new terminus was eventually opened the following year.

The maritime trade grew rapidly, quays and several dry docks were built, however the Dock Company was in a poor financial position resulting in the LSWR purchasing the docks in 1892 for £1,360,000.

The fine Italianate building was designed by Sir William Tite and included a train shed and six platforms. Some tracks running through the station to the docks have been maintained for infrequent services to connect with cruise ships. The station closed in 1966 and was re-named South Western House.

The Red Plaque was erected during May 2016

Sir William Tite - Architect

The Mid Hants Railway (Watercress LIne) Autumn Steam Gala ------- All Image Credits John Barrowdale

The Southern Class 313 - The Pride of Coastway!

Built in 1977/78 nineteen of the class 313 EMUs operated on the Coastway services from 2010 between Brighton and Seaford & Portsmouth and also between Littlehampton and Bognor Regis & Portsmouth. The end came when the final units operated on Friday 19th May 2023, with the very last service being from Seaford to Brighton just after midnight. In March three of the class had already been taken to Eastleigh for storage. During May, June and July the remaining 16 units travelled in pairs under their own power to Eastleigh, where scrap work began quite quickly. The picture immediately below shows 313 210 & 313 203 crossing the River Wallington at Fareham on their final working from Hove Yard to Eastleigh on Tuesday 04 July 2023. An image of each of the Class in service with Southern follows

313 201 approaches London Road Brighton on the 14:41 Brighton to Seaford service. 05 August 2022.
313 202 Accelerating away from Hilsea towards Fratton with the 11:55 Littlehampton to Portsmouth & Southsea service. 26 August 2022.
313 203 has just arrived at Brighton Platform 2 with the 15:29 from Portsmouth Harbour. 05 August 2022.
313 204 Approaching Portcreek Junction forming the 10:02 Brighton to Portsmouth Harbour. 23 December 2019.
313 205 sits in the up platform at Chichester whilst passengers board the 16:57 Portsmouth & Southsea to Littlehampton service. 24 August 2022.
313 206 crossing Portcreek with rain threatening on the 12:00 Brighton to Portsmouth Harbour. 30 September 2022
313 207 Departing Ford, 10:57 Portsmouth & Southsea to Littlehampton. 02 September 2022
313 208 approaches Hilsea with the 11:55 Littlehampton to Portsmouth & Southsea service on Tuesday 02 August 2022.
313 209 16:13 Southampton Central to Littlehampton arriving at Cosham, diagrammed due to Engineering Work. 16 April 2011
313 210 has just passed through Hilsea with the 12:29 Portsmouth Harbour to Brighton. 02 August 2022.
313 211 16:33 Southampton Central to Littlehampton leaving Cosham diagrammed due to Engineering Work. 16 April 2011
313 212 pulls away from Hilsea with the 10:57 Portsmouth & Southsea to Littlehampton. 28 March 2022.
313 213 approaching London Road Brighton with the 14:25 Seaford to Brighton service. 05 August 2022.
313 214 at Barnham on the late running 16:57 Portsmouth & Southsea to Littlehampton service. 05 August 2022.
313 215 working a Brighton to Portsmouth service approaching Portcreek Junction. 17 November 2021.
313 216 heads North in darkening skies, next stop Havant, crossing Portcreek with the 12:29 Portsmouth Harbour to Brighton. 30 September 2022
313 217 Oh no it's not. Currently believed to be in store at Lover's Walk Brighton, the likely replacement for the remaining Class 313s is the 377/3 batch. 377 315 approaches Hilsea with the 11:55 Littlehampton to Portsmouth & Southsea., 22 September 2022
313 219 Arrives at Chichester with the 10:29 Portsmouth Harbour to Brighton service. 02 September 2022
313 220 just North of Portcreek Junction - 10:57 Portsmouth & Southsea to Littlehampton. 04 August 2022
Multiple Operation. Class 313s 219 & 204 pass through London Road Brighton with the 12:52 Brighton to Lewes via Falmer, Football Relief - 29 October 2022.
May 2024
June 2024