A Final Farewell To The British Rail Class 315

by | Nov 27, 2022

As a rail enthusiast it is always difficult saying goodbye to a piece of rolling stock. From the iconic legacy carried from the InterCity 125s to the often loathed Pacer railbuses they always seem to cement a legacy on the line they operate on. Running on those same rails never feels the same once something that was there is gone. Especially when there is a general feeling that the newer rolling stock feels a lot more characterless then it’s previous generation.

Most of the time, when a piece of rolling stock gets phased out it usually is followed by a farewell rail tour. These events often give enthusiasts one final time to fully appreciate a train for what it is before they are often lost to time.

Thankfully, the Class 315s got to celebrate the end of their life with just that around 2-3 weeks before their final run.

On Saturday the 26th of November 2022 The Branch Line Society, along with MTR Elizabeth Line and The Class 315 Preservation Society hosted The Class 315 Commemorative Event to celebrate the final days of service for the Class 315 PEPs and to raise funds for the Railway Children charity.

                           Class 315 804 at Enfield Town preparing for a service to Liverpool Street.

The British Rail Class 315 are 4 car AC electric multiple units built by BREL at their Holgate Road Carriage Works in York from 1980 to 1981. 61 Class 315s were built to replace the Class 306 on the Great Eastern Mainline. The 315s were the final variant of the British Rail PEP Stock, other variants include the Class 313, 314, 507 and Class 508.

Upon Privatisation The Class 315 fleet was inherited by Eversholt Rail Group. Who currently own the final units on the mainline. All but one four car unit are expected to go for scrap.

The Class 315 has seen operations on the Shenfield Metro, Romford to Upminster Branch and the Lea Valley Lines (Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town).

                                  London Overground Class 315 8?7 & 809 at Chingford station.

Whilst the Class 315 had its commemorative event on Saturday the 26th of November, they operated a few weekday morning and evening peak services from Liverpool Street to Gidea Park until December 9th. Despite their age the MTR Elizabeth Line Class 315s were awarded with a Golden Spanner Bronze Award by Modern Railway Magazine on November 25th 2022. The award celebrates the best of rolling stock maintenance and reliability.

The Class 315 came third for Ex-BR EMU, only being beaten by the ScotRail Class 320s which achieved silver, and South Western Railway Class 455s which achieved gold.


The event was split into two services, an AM service and a PM service which consisted of 2 runs from Liverpool Street to Shenfield using some rare sections of the line including the Up Avoider line at Ilford, down avoider at Manor Park and Shenfield Platform 1. Overall it was a great event to be on and a deserved way to celebrate the long career of these hard working units.

                          Class 315 856 at Shenfield Platform 1 with a special end of an era headboard.

The Class 315 Preservation Society working with Eversholt Rail Group obtained 4 car unit 315 856 in late 2022. Three of the four carriages are currently at the Dean Forest Railway while one one of the driving coaches is at its new home on The Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway. Once work begins 856 is set to be repainted into the BR Blue & Grey Livery and modern PA & PIA systems removed. We’re hoping this means 856 will be fitted with a destination box and blind.

The Class 315 Preservation Group don’t plan to keep 856 as a static exhibition, they intend to run it down heritage railways as coaching stock being hauled by a locomotive.  However their ambition is to hopefully see 856 become fully operational once again and to organise events on the mainline.

If you want to see support the groups work there are several ways to assist them which include:

Becoming A Member

Making A Donation

Or Purchasing Good Through Their Online Shop.

You can read more about their plans at https://www.class315preservationsociety.com

Thank you to MTR Elizabeth Line, The Branch Line Society and The Class 315 Preservation Society for making the commemorative event happen. We also wish the best of luck to The Class 315 Preservation Society for their project. We hope their dream gets realised.

Farewell To The Class 315.

1980 – 2022

Elizabeth Line Class 315 at Liverpool Street in 2022

              Class 315 837 coming ECS into Liverpool Street before running a Gidea Park service.