Freedom Pass Project – Update

This week, with some unpleasant weather, I put off my trips until Thursday and Friday. On both days I wanted to get photos of the Southern’s Class 455 units before they bow out on Saturday. Thursday’s target terminus was Caterham. Like a lot of branch lines, especially those that form part of the tangled web in South London, I have never been along these tracks before. It’s a plus that the project is making me explore👍

After travelling to London Bridge, I began the day with 455805 (working with 455815) on a stopping service to East Croydon. From there it was a case of waiting for a Caterham service. This was formed of 455802 & ‘804. I initially sat in the rear unit, unaware that at Purley, I would be asked to move to the front unit. This is because some platforms on the Caterham Branch are too short for an 8-coach train and the 455 units are too old to have station specific door locking. No problem for me as it meant I rode both units 🤣 Here’s 455802 at Caterham…

455802 at Caterham

I popped outside the station to take a quick look around. Unfortunately, I missed the chance to photograph one of the local Southdown buses – that would have made a change from the usual TfL red. However, I did get a truck for the collection 😎…

Jacksons GN15OHJ in Caterham

Back on the station I admired their meadow flowers in the centre of the platform…

Caterham Station Wild Garden

…Then I photographed 455819 arriving with ‘814…

455819 at Caterham_2

I rode 455814 back as far as Kenley station where I caught 455812 on camera with the next Caterham bound train…

455812 at Kenley

Kenley is an interesting station with a ‘blockhouse’ style ticket hall on the London bound platform…

Kenley Station

…while, on the other side there is a unique station house…

377601 at Kenley

5-coach Class 377, 377601 arrives en route to Caterham. The 455’s and 377’s share the branch but, from Sunday 14th May, the 377’s will have it all to themselves. After my photo-stop, 455837 took me back to East Croydon.

While grabbing a quick bite of lunch, I was able to catch 66013 hauling a train of stone hoppers from Newhaven through East Croydon…

66013 at East Croydon

…The passengers seem blissfully unaware of what’s creeping up behind them – I wonder what would happen if the driver used the horn🤣

That was my trip to the Caterham Branch – I did some other rides in the afternoon but I think they’ll keep for another post😎👍


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