The phenomenal BR Class 460, to exquisitely detailed Pro Range standard, brings the most authentic representation of Gatwick Express services yet for Train Simulator, courtesy of Partner Programme developer, Master Key Simulations!
A new millennium meant a whole new generation of services, and National Express were keen to procure a fleet of modern EMUs to replace the Class 73, Class 488 & Class 489 stock of their Gatwick Express services.
Alstom’s Juniper family had already been ordered in the UK and was under construction as the Class 334, for SPT/ScotRail, and the Class 458 for South West Trains. The Juniper line was also chosen for the new Gatwick Express stock, 64 carriages forming 8 8-car EMUs that were dedicated to non-stop express services packed with passengers and luggage. The new trains were designated the Class 460, and were built at Washwood Heath in Birmingham between 1999 and 2001.
The first Class 460 was delivered in 2000, and unlike many other EMUs of the day, featured a stylish, streamlined nose which improved efficiency at the Class 460s’ top speed of 100 mph. It was this sloping cab end that earned the class its nickname “Darth Vader”, owing to the similarity between the nose and the famed sci-fi villains’ helmet.
The 8-car trains were formed of a Driving Motor Luggage First Open, Trailer Open First Lavatory, Trailer Composite Open, Motor Standard Open, Motor Standard Open, Trailer Standard Open, Motor Standard Open, and Driving Motor Standard Open. THE ‘DMFLO’ was arranged at the London-end of every consist, as luggage was unloaded off the Gatwick Express and onto airplanes departing from the London-end of Gatwick Airport station.
Under National Express, the Class 460 fleet operated exclusively, and regularly, on non-stop services to Gatwick Airport and back. When the Gatwick Express franchise was absorbed into the South-Central franchise however, and Southern took over both ‘GatEx’ services and gained the Class 460 fleet, the branding remained but the 460s would also operate limited stop expresses between London and Brighton.
It would be the extension of services to Brighton that sparked the ‘end’ of the Class 460. Popularity meant that more stock was required, and Southern opted to lease the fleet of Class 442 ‘Wessex’ EMUs, previously withdrawn by South West Trains, for such services. After refurbishment, the Class 442s grew more favourable over the newer Class 460s, seating a handful more passengers and keeping to the timetable. The Class 442s would entirely replace the Class 460s by 2013.
Being part of the Juniper family, the Class 460 EMUs bared much technical resemblance to South West Trains’ Class 458 EMUs, and so to increase capacity on Reading and Windsor services, the Class 460s were split up, refurbished, and added to the 30 4-car Class 458s to form 36 5-car Class 458/5s. The distinct nose of the Class 460 was lost in favour of Class 450 compatibility, and their express-destined traction motors were downgraded to a much more suburban 75 mph.
Technically gone, yet still with us, the Class 460 was something of an icon for modern Southern Region travel. The Gatwick Express has always stood out among the crowd, be that with unique trains or striking liveries; and now, millennial operations are yours to command, in this exquisite reproduction of the BR Class 460 for Train Simulator!
Includes BR Class 460 'Juniper' EMU in Gatwick Express Livery and BR Class 73 ‘73202’ Electro-Diesel in Gatwick Express and Southern Liveries
Both trains feature Pro Range functionality and operation recreating the most realistic and authentic simulations to-date
Gatwick Express BR Class 460 features more than 150 operable cab elements
Includes detailed Driver Manual for the BR Class 460 and Quick Start Guide for the BR Class 73
Three challenging career scenarios for the London to Brighton Route Add-On