1997

SUB PAGE

FORMATION OF THE 

BRIGHTON THAMESLINK DEPOT

TWO DEPOTS ONE BRANCH, TRIES TO EXPLAIN THE 

FORMATION OF BRIGHTON THAMESLINK DEPOT AND THE 

VARIOUS ISSUES THAT IT ON THE DRIVERS AT BRIGHTON 

DEPOT. 

THE THAMESLINK DEPOT WAS CREATED TO CATTER FOR 

THE THAMESLINK BUSINESS THAT OPERATED IN AND OUT 

OF BRIGHTON

By the mid 1990’s a new concept for future Drivers was being considered and this was to recruit people not already on the Railway or in other positions not connected with operating Trains (i.e. Ticket collectors or Platform Staff) as Trainee Drivers with the intention of intensively training them to become Drivers within 18 months. This has now become the way all Drivers are recruited.
It must be noted that during this period there was a lot of Drivers moving from the Brighton Connex South Central depot and not just to the Thameslink depot. This was due to drivers relocating in other parts of the country or moving to alternative companies to seek better work and or working conditions. Some Drivers moved to depots that were once considered “Dead Man’s Shoes” depots and working trains that once upon a time their seniority would never have allowed them to work as this was deemed to be Top Link Work. 
During the mid 1990’s the railway industry started to be carved into business sections ready for privatisation by the then Conservative Government. This brought about major changes to depots across the whole of British Rail. Dedicated company based depots started to materialise across the network. Brighton was no exception and was hard hit by theses changes. 
Brighton had many various types of work at this time which included: - Aggregate,Engineers, Inter-City, Thameslink, Regional trains, Post Office/Parcel, Departmental and Commuter/Local passenger work at the depot. Slowly the work was either moved out of the depot to alternative depots or withdrawn from the railway altogether. Brighton was soon left with three types of workings the day to electric passenger, the Thameslink and Inter-City work. With the privatisation of the railways the Central Division of the old Southern Region was franchised to the Private Rail Company Connex South Central in October 1996.
On the 5th October 1997 the depot saw the first of two depot splits due to the Privatisation of British Rail. The first being the formation of the Thameslink Depot. Many Brighton drivers along with other drivers within the area applied to go and work for Thameslink. The new depot consisted of mainly Brighton drivers, with a small amount of drivers from other depots. Over the coming years more drivers decided to transfer to the Thameslink depot as the depot started to grow and a firm footing become apparent within Brighton. Most of these drivers transferred from the Brighton Connex South Central depot looking for better working environment.
 
In October 2000 Connex South Central lost the South Central Franchise and this was awarded to Go Via who renamed in appropriately The Southern Railway. Connex still run the franchise until mid 2001 when Go-Via took over. In April 2006 the Thameslink Franchise was awarded to First Capital Connect.The second Depot Split came in 2000 with the formation of a Virgin Cross Country Depot with 23 drivers of which 7 transferred from the Connex South Central depot. The depot maintained a similar size through out its existence. This depot 
later closed on the 08th December 2008 with the withdrawal of Cross Country Trains from Brighton. Resulting in once again some drivers having to move all over the country to stay within the Driving Grade on Cross Country Trains or taking redundancy and leaving the industry. Luckily at the time First Capital Connect was looking to increase the amount of Drivers based at Brighton and so some of the redundant Cross Country Drivers filled these Drivers positions Both depots remained apart of ASLEF Brighton branch.
With many of the franchises all coming up for renewal in the not to distant future. What exactly the future will bring for train Drivers at Brighton and across the country nobody can really tell?
The Thameslink project, along with the London Cross-rail are both under major construction. Also there is more likely to see a major expansion with the London Overground train company, within South London area and it is inventible that current London Overground train services will be expanding even further a field. Only time will give us the answers to all these questions 

Extracted and adapted from

 BRIGHTON BRANCH MINUTES 

REGARDING THE SETTING UP OF THE

 BRIGHTON THAMESLINK DEPOT



BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETING April 10th 1995

L.D.C. Report

May(Summer) Timetable - an overall of two extra diagrams to depot, Thameslink additional 
trains - Brighton not diagrammed any of the new work. Bedford working these under D.O.O. mode.

SPECIAL D.F.C. REPORT

BRO. M. Allen, items addressed the current position over Bedford working trains D.O.O. 
made from Gatwick to Brighton. both our D.F.C. and the E.C. of A.S.L.E.& F. are demanding action on this.
Proposals to withdraw all 319/Bedford work from Selhurst, a seperate Thameslink at 
Brighton, one of a number of options being considered, P.T.&R.,in particular Clause 15 depot splits/volunteers.  

BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETING May 1st 1995

Correspondence 

Letter Ref. D.O.O. (P) Three Bridges
Issue resolve around proposals to run D.O.O. (P), when it has not been cleared. E.C. 
correspondence to the T.O.U./D.F.C. putting out union position and possible action.


L.D.C. Report

Rep’s explained proposed Thameslink set up.
 

BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETING JUNE 6th 1995

SPECIAL D.F.C. REPORT

As a result of the proposed Thameslink split at Brighton, Tony Allen was invited to address 
the Branch.
D.O.O. Brighton/ Three Bridges Area
Thameslink were to try and extend D.O.O. (P) operation to Brighton. This issue was taken up by the D.F.C. and at a meeting with the General Secretary at Head Office. Our position was reaffirmed over the method of introduction.
Tony explained the various meeting etc on this matter, and that Mr. Graham Eccles had 
assured the D.F.C. that no members would be disciplined over trains not operating D.O.O. 
(P). Three Bridges  - Brighton should Conductors/Trainmen not available to work trains.
Proposed Thameslink Spilt Brighton 
Tony explained the proposed changes at Brighton with Thameslink about to separate it’s 
operation from South Central. That at a meeting on 22nd May 1995, Thameslink stated it’s 
intention to establish a depot at Brighton, and its withdrawal from Selhurst depot.
Their proposal were to have a depot of 24 drivers at Brighton from the 24th September, a 
structured withdrawal from Selhurst with the result of two depot operation.
Tony went on to explain the various effects this would have on both Selhurst and Brighton 
depots.
What would take place under the P.T. & R. and if after the memorandum of Information of 
Intent who would (and how) be driver for Thameslink? How part-closures are taken place in 
relation to the P.T. & R.
The affects as to vacancy list and all line transfers.
Various questions on pensions were raised, also future of drivers under Thameslink.
Tony agreed that at the moment details on how and what terms staff would have to agree were few and that as and when more information becomes available, he would be willing to 
address the members.

BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETINJULY 11th 1995

D.F.C. to meet the Executive Committee on Thursday 13th July over Three Bridges - 
Brighton D.O.O. (P).
As a result of the proposed Thameslink split at Brighton

BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETING DECEMBER 5th 1995

THAMESLINK STATEMENT OF INTENT

The  Functional Council have informed local reps. Of their intention for dedicated Link 
Working at Brighton. L.D.C. The L.D.C. in conjunction with the D.F.C. are holding a open 
surgery days at Brighton to explain, listen and council Brighton Drivers on the whole issue. 
Briefly the information so far.
Dedication of work June 1996.
Volunteers Option
Possible complete separate from South Central management by the year 2000.
More information will be given when all is known.
Brighton Depot as a whole will change affecting every driver at the depot.

BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETING JANUARY 8th 1996

THAMESLINK

Question, was there any further information on Thameslink proposals for Brighton? 
The Functional Council Rep., replied that a meeting was planned for the 7th February 1996, 
with D.F.C., L.D.C. and Thameslink Management.


BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETING FEBRUARY 12th 1996

PROPOSED THAMESLINK DEPOT /LINK

D.F.C. Rep. Tony Allen explained the meeting by management D.F.C. Reps and Local Reps 
of the 7th February 1996.
Thameslink put forward plans on their proposals to have link of drivers at Brighton and their 
intention to established a depot at Brighton by June 1996.
They require 28 drivers, these would be drivers that volunteered to transfer from South 
Central Train Operating Unit (T.O.U.) to Thameslink.
In return Thameslink were prepared to sign a three year contract with South Central to release the staff and that within this period a depot would be formed and set up and the men would have to decided by the 1st March 1996. T.U.P.E. conditions would apply.
Once staff have agreed, there would be no reconsideration to remain South Central.
Possible a three to five project work with the transfer to Thameslink to be completed by June 1999.
The D.F.C. explained what information they had and what of those who declined to transfer.
Various issues were put and answers given where possible.


Matters Arising
Question, did T.U.P.E. apply and how ?
Answer, yes although after 90 days new contracts could be proposed if a new employer wish 
to change the old one.
Question, has Thameslni management showed any move to hold an open meeting ?
Answer, none as yet.
Question, would duties remain the same as they are now ?
Answer, no information was available to indicate otherwise.
Question, how would the South Central work be altered once the Thameslink work was 
removed ?
Answer, at this stage, Local Reps could not give clear answers.
Question, will Reps be available to explain further points.
Answer, yes D.F.C proposed a further two visits, 16th and 19th February.
The Branch proposed another meeting on the 19th February.

BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETING MARCH 4th 1996

THAMESLINK LINK

Bro. M. Allen spoke about the very latest developments regarding the managements 
proposals.
The position regarding why a news letter was drafted. 
The rights under the T.U.P.E. which must apply.
Reference to the position of the junior members should it arise.
Employment Relations Manager position as regards to previous meeting and the fact that 
matters were being altered against any previous agreements.
Item one, position of new letter, first letter was completely misleading, after the D.F.C. had 
meetings with management, a new revised letter seeking volunteers was sent out to all driver 
members.
Item two, position of T.U.P.E was explained as far as the D.F.C. could be clear on the 
position of the junior driver being force to go was untrue.
The Employee Relation Manager was to take part in all talks.
The volunteer dead line was on Friday 1st March and as of Monday 4th, 39 applicators were 
received, once the seniority etc had been sorted a list these members who had been placed is 
posted. Thameslink indicated a need for 28 drivers, many issues had still yet to be answered. 
The D.F.C. had reported everything to the members and it was a personal choice whether to 
go or stay and nothing had been withheld by the D.F.C. Tony had spoken at some length on 
the issue of information being given or not given.
Certain information was obtained by staff members, but had not thought to inform the staff 
Reps., this led to member accusing the Reps. of with holding information that could effect 
members decision. This Tony said was completely untrue as the members knew everything 
that they knew, the information was not being withheld, just hadn’t any to give of anyone 
was, it was Thameslink.

BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETING JUNE 3rd 1996

LDC REPORT

D.O.O. radios, Three Bridges to Brighton.
Report that some drivers have  not been able to raise the signalman due to them not 
answering calls have been put to management, response was all calls should be answered and members not getting through should report all incidents where the signalman do not answer call sent. Drivers must however set up all radios in these areas. 


BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETING AUGUST 12th 1996

A.O.B. WORKING ARRANGEMENTS AT THAMESLINK 

The secretary informed the branch that correspondence had taken place regarding the 
allegations of Bedford members working excessive hours and abrogating other working 
practices.
Letters were read out to members and the reasons why we had to put this matter before the 
E.C. Following a debate a motion was put forward.


That this Branch is disappointed by the (Ref. Resolution 811/393) in letter date 9th 

August 1996. Furthermore in view of the wide ranging abrogations of National 

Conditions of Service, and the immoral flaunting of safe working practices, this branch 

instruct the E.C. to undertake a thorough investigation and action to prevent any 

further weakening of the safety standards.

Proposed S. Weller and Seconded M. Allen.

 
Members also requested that this branch applauded the Secretary for taking up this issue. 
Question, regards to the issue of excessive hours, an allegation that a member of this Branch 
has been working excessive hours covering Thameslink Bedford diagrams by telephone 
rostering ? This matter will be put to the L.D.C. to take up and report back.
Question, a member of this branch has had his annual leave (second week) deferred to allow 
him to cover T.C.S. position, can this matter be looked into? This will beloved into, the 
D.F.C. will also be informed.


BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETING

HELD ON OCTOBER 6th 1997


Company Council Report

Bro. Roy Luxford


Thameslink Brighton

As of 6th October a new depot had been formed, 9 duties had been transferred, 15 drivers 
were starting new positions on the 6th with 11 more on the 13th October, all Thameslink work would be transferred by the end of 1997.


BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETING

HELD ON OCTOBER 6th 1997


Company Council Report

Bro. Roy Luxford

The dedicated Thameslink within Brighton never materialised and in 1997 Thameslink 
recruited externally with a large number of drivers being interviewed. The Brighton 
Thameslink depot opening in October 1997 with many drivers from Brighton along with 
drivers from Barnham, Horsham and Redhill. Over the coming years the depot become larger with many other Brighton drivers transferring over from the Connex South Central depot. 
This was caused by the harsh attitude that Connex management had towards it staff. 

BRIGHTON SPECIAL BRANCH MEETING

HELD ON OCTOBER 13th 1997


A question was also raised on the matter of Thameslink members voting on matters 

concerned with Connex and the chair replied that correspondence was in hand with Head 

Office regarding this matter, at the moment we can only rely on telephone conversations for 

advice. 


MINUTES OF BRANCH MEETING


HELD ON NOVEMBER 3rd  1997

Members present D. Griffiths, C. Newton, M. Hawkins, J. Osborne, S. Weller, P. Edwards, M. Allen, L. Berry,C. Horlock, S. Toughey, T. Fielding, I. Osborne, D. Swaffield, 
R. Carlisle, S. Smith, A. farmer, P. White,F. Langridge, I. Breeds, H. Hasan, T. Parsons, 
A. Cole & A. Warburton.

This meeting has been called to allow “B” shift the opportunity of voting on the nominations for Brighton Staff Reps positions.
Chairman stated that the Secretary had been in contact with A.S.L.E.F. Head Office and had reached a clarification on the matter of could take part in the election. The understanding was that only members within that company could become involved; that being only Connex Rail members could vote. Each member was then given a voting paper. Sixteen voting papers were issued and sixteen papers returned to the Chairman and Secretary. These were sealed in an envolope, this to be opened at the next meeting when all papers would then be counted and the result of the election known.
The chairman announced that with the new depot of Thameslink now set up he would call for nominations for staff reps.
Bro. J. Osborne then asked the chair whether this was correct. Under the 1992/94 
Procedures, no member could stand for staff rep’s positions unless they had been with the 
company for more than six months.
Chairman stated that the Procedures was formed when B.R. was “The Company” and that we now had a new situation which was not provided for.
It was felt that members within this “New Depot” needed their own Reps who where aware of the local problems rather than being represented by a depot away from theirs.
Further comments were made on this issue by members present. Bro. J. Osborne stated that 
he just wished to make the branch aware of the uncertain ruling and that this branch was not 
in danger of being disciplined by A.S.L.E.F or the train company.

Nominations for Staff Reps.

Proposed D. Swaffield, moved R. Carlisle & seconded S. Smith

Proposed A. Farmer, moved D. Swaffield & seconded P. White.

Proposed P. White, moved S. Smith & seconded R. Carlisle.

H&S Rep

Proposed R. Carlisle, moved D. Swaffield & seconded A. Warburton

Chairman stated that at the next normal branch meeting (10th November) further call for 

nomination would be allowed plus voting. An additional meeting would also be arranged for 

voting date to be agreed. These candidates would then stand as “Official” A.S.L.E.F. 

candidates in the Thameslink Depot, Thameslink would be advised.

Mac McCabe & Richard Lewis

In the old Brighton Thameslink Booking on Point

MINUTES OF SPECIAL BRANCH MEETING

HELD ON DECEMBER 2nd 1997

Members present D. Griffiths, C. Newton, R. Carlisle, A. Penhallow, M. McCabe, S. Doyle, 

A. Warburton, A. Farmer, D. Vallence, W. Rutter, D. Penny, S. Smith & D. Swaffield.  


Chairman announced that this meeting had been called specially to elect staff reps for the 

Thameslink depot. Also that the secretary had received the following circular regarding the 

Company Council Representation.

Circular No.475/1997 Election of Company Council Represenative Thameslink. The 

Executive Committee had requested that 

Brighton Branch nominate a candidate for the position of Council Rep for a period of two 

years.

Moved S. Smith & seconded by A. Warburton. “That this branch wishes to nominate Bro. D. 

Swaffield as the A.S.L.E.F. candidate.

Local Staff Rep

Under agreed proposed procedures with District Secretary and Thameslink, two local staff 

reps should be called for to serve members of Brighton. Moved R. Carisle & seconded S. 

Doyle. “That Bro. A. Farmer & P. White are the official representatives.” Vote carried 11 

for.

H&S Rep

That following the local staff election the following nomination was received. “That this 

Branch having received only one proposal for Health & Safety position, therefore Bro. R. 

Carlisle elect as H&S Rep.” 

BRIGHTON A.G.M. BRANCH MEETING

HELD ON DECEMBER 6th 1997


Other matters Arising

Bro. P. Edwards raised the issue of working D.O.O. (P) between Three Bridges and Brighton
There had been several recent cases where drivers were requested to work without 
conductors/service supervisors between Three Bridges and Brighton.
Was it possible that a clear understanding of the way trains are worked under such occasions 
be given and posted. Also that service Supervisors have not been given safety instructions 
regarding use of flags, hand-lamps etc or train protection rules. 
Therefore unable to give safety protection in the event of an incident.
Advice was that council were aware of the on going problems and of a clause within 
Thameslink Restructure Package. All staff reps have been advised on the operating 
agreement.
This matter will no doubt be raised with management. 

   PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN 

NAME PLATE OF CLASS 319 217

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