7105 was the first production Cep built for phase 1 of the Kent Coast electrification being reported new in August 1958 (69013 as part of 7014 in January 1961). Not all of the 111 Cep's and 22 Bep's were needed in Kent, some were used by the Central and South Western divisions, 7205-11 were ostensibly built for the South Western. Until the early 70's the production Cep's were common user between the divisions, so any unit could turn up anywhere; but by February 5th 1973, 7105-12 were shown allocated to Brighton until refurbishment started. At that time all of the Cep's returned to the South Eastern to cover units away at Swindon. On refurbishment in January 1982, 7105 emerged as 1537 (69013 emerging as 69345 in January 1984 as part of Bep 2305) and remained at Ramsgate until displaced by new stock when it was transferred to the South Western.
By the time refurbishment started the requirement for buffet cars was diminishing and most of the Bep's were converted to Cep's using ex loco hauled TSO's to replace the buffet cars which were scrapped. A case was made for retaining seven Bep's however and these were refurbished and reformed as 2301-2307. Initially they retained their Mark 4 motor and Commonwealth trailer bogies, they were all Phase 2 units, and were allocated to Portsmouth line services.
With the advent of the 442's, the SWD became a 100 mph railway and the 400 series units were allegedly causing pathing problems. In 1989 it was decided to modify some Cig's and the Bep's to accelerate and reach their 90 mph maximum speed more quickly by fitting inductive chokes in their weak field circuit. These units were to become known as Greyhound Units, 2305 being one of the last two to be completed in either late 1989 or early 1990. To improve riding the Bep's were fitted with Mark 6 motor and B5(S) trailer bogies which the Cig's already had.
Eventually the continuing demise of buffet cars rendered the remaining Bep's redundant and the buffet cars were decommissioned. South West Trains wanted to maximise the potential of the 'Greyhound' units by increasing seating so swapped the buffet cars for TSO's from Cep's and renumbered the former Bep's 2311-2317. This in spite of them now being technically Cep's (class 411 not 412), an anachronism acknowledged by Porterbrook Leasing who owned them. The donor Cep's became 2321-2327 of which 1537 became 2325 receiving the buffet from 2305 in September 2002 which had been part of Phase 2 1961 built Bep 7014. 7105's TSO is now in preservation on the Eden Valley Railway as part of Cep 2315.
The last known working with South West Trains was on 8th December 2003 when it ran empty from Southampton to Portsmouth Harbour to form the 06:54 to Waterloo then 09:08 back to Portsmouth Harbour and finally the 10:51 empties to Fratton.
Our aim is to return our unit to as near original condition as possible. Some compromises will be unavoidable and the unit will always have an identity crisis being a Phase 1 Cep with a Phase 2 Buffet car. Bachmann used our unit and advice to produce their excellent models and have generously sponsored the move to Eastleigh.