Manufacturer catalogue image
Era 7 (1972 to 1982) British Rail Blue (TOPS)
Era 8 (1983 to 1994) British Rail Sectorisation
The British Rail Class 419 Motor Luggage Vans (or MLV) were battery electric multiple unit cars built from 1951-61 by BR at Eastleigh Works. Ten of these units were built for the boat trains from London Victoria to Dover and Folkestone. Units were originally numbered in the range 68001-68010, but were classified Class 419 under the TOPS system and were then renumbered 419001-419010, the numbers actually carried on the units in service reduced to 9001-9010, omitting the first two digits.
The units were also fitted with batteries to allow them to operate over the short-distance of non-electrified line at the quayside. The batteries allowed the units to be used at low-speed for 20–30 minutes, and could be recharged when the unit was taking power from 750 V DC third-rail.
They were withdrawn from traffic in 1991/92, with the closure of Dover Western Docks railway station and the end of the boat train services. They survived in departmental service and all but two have subsequently entered preservation. Their flexibility and inter-working compatibility, coupled with a 'go-anywhere' capability makes the prototype an attractive modelling proposition if your tastes are Southern in nature!