Class 488

As with the Class 438 the Class 488 were unpowered sets of trailers given TOPS numbers in the Southern Region EMU band. The Class 488 was formed from redundant Mark 2f coaching stock (many of which were now surplus after the arrival into service of the HST [1]) for a modernisation of services from London Victoria to Gatwick Airport. A dedicated Gatwick Airport Express was created with a fifteen minute interval [2]. Two (488/2) and three (488/3) car sets were formed and were sandwiched between a Class 73/1 locomotive and a Class 489 Motor Luggage Van.

Information
Number built: 77 (10 2-car and 19 3-car sets)
Built: (Mark 2 Coach) 1973-74
(Conversion) 1983-84
Builder: BR Derby
(Conversion) BR Eastleigh
Engine: N/A
Formation: (488/2) Trailer First Open Lavatory Handbrake (TFOLH)+
Trailer Second Open Lavatory Handbrake (TSOLH)
(488/2) TSOLH+Trailer Second Open Lavatory (TSOL)+TSOLH

The coaches were rebuilt for their new role with reduced seats, easier access and greater luggage space [3]. They had high-level control and air brake connectors fitted and were semi-permanently coupled with bar couplings and buck-eye couplings on the outer ends. They remained in service until 2005 when they were replaced by Class 460s. Following withdrawal a number have been preserved and others found new roles with Network Rail (ten coaches found new roles [4]) and Northern Ireland Railways.
488 202 preserved at Wirksworth, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway (with a 489)

Ex 488 309 coach 6070 now Network Rail Plain Line Pattern Recognition Vehicle 72639
Ex 488 316 coach 6094 now RTC Structure Gauging Train Support Coach 72630

[1] John Glover, BR Diary 1978-1985 (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 99
[2] Colin J. Marsden, Motive Power Recognition 2: EMUs (2nd Edition) (Ian Allan, 1986) p. 100
[3] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 372
[4] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), "Former EMUs with Network Rail", Modern Locomotives Illustrated 231 (Departmental Multiple Units) June-July 2018, p. 72