Posted by Jio Butler on 23 February 2017 04:13 PM
The Class 313, which populated the North London Line for decades, has arrived on Steam for contemporary Train Simulator service!
Capacity concerns in North London, plus the recent electrification of commuter lines out of Glasgow and the East Coast Main Line, necessitated new traction. It would be BR’s Second Generation of EMUs that would fulfill the role, starting with the Class 313. The oldest and most versatile of the family, the Class 313, was built between 1976 and 1977 to form a 64-strong fleet for the North London Line & suburban services on the East Coast Main Line.
In the 1980s, the Class 313s were selected for use on the Watford DC branch out of London Euston. Willesden-based units were naturally chosen for the upgrades required to perform the new service, and once modified with extra shoegears they were reclassified as the Class 313/1. The units for the East Coast Main Line never received this change, however they were limited to 30mph third rail operation as this was the speed limit of the Moorgate Branch.
The Class 313s definitely spoke “revolution”, they were the first units to be fitted with multi-function Tightlock couplers, which allowed for complete coupling and supply line operations from the cab; and they were the first dual-voltage units with both a 25 kV AC pantograph and 750 V DC shoegear.
In 2009-2010, the Class 378 ‘Captialstar’ gradually replaced the Class 313 on North London and Watford DC services. Subsequently, the displaced 313s were sent to work for First Capital Connect for the ECML, and Southern for Coastway services; those that were sent to the latter received major refurbishment. The Southern fleet was reclassified as 313/2 following the refresh. The Class 313/2s featured a modernised cab, refitted interior with high-backed seating, a unique take on the Southern livery, depicting various destinations on the East & West Coastways, and the pantograph was removed.
ECML units, now operated by Great Northern, are due to be replaced in 2018 by brand new Class 717 ‘Desiro City’ EMUs, ending an era of 313 passenger operations in the capital. Not all the ex-North London Class 313s were taken by Southern and FCC however, 313121 was acquired by Network Rail for European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) testing purposes on a short section of the Hertford Loop. 313121 was the last unit to wear the Silverlink livery, however this was quickly changed to an all-over bright yellow, standard for departmental stock.
Armstrong Powerhouse, in association with Waggonz, brings the Class 313 to life in Train Simulator, and their depiction of the ex-Silverlink ‘London Overground’ livery has come to Steam for authentic pre Capitalstar-dominative operations. See an entire list of simulated features below:
Both an ‘Advanced’ (ADV) and a ‘HUD’ variant of the Class 313 are included, the former of which is fully-featured and will require you to learn various operations; the latter allows for a simplified journey should you still be learning or just want to drop in and drive. A total of 3 Career scenarios are included for the North London Line, and there are two versions of each scenario which utilise either the ADV or HUD version of the Class 313.
The London Overground Class 313 is available now, head to the Store for details! ■