List of British Rail electric multiple unit classes

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This page lists every electric-powered multiple unit allocated a TOPS classification or used on the mainline network since 1948 (i.e. British Railways and post-privatisation). British Rail operated a wide variety of electric multiple units for use on electrified lines.

  • AC units operate off 25 kV alternating current (AC) from overhead wires. Where clearances for the overhead wires on the Great Eastern Main Line and London, Tilbury and Southend railway routes were below standard, a reduced voltage of 6.25 kV AC was used. The Midland Railway units used 6.6 kV AC. Under the computer numbering, AC units (including mixed-voltage units that can also work off a DC supply) were given a class in the range 300-399.
  • DC units operate off 650-850 V direct current (DC) from a third rail on the Southern Region and North London, Merseyside and Tyneside networks. The Manchester-Bury Railway line used 1,200 V DC from a side-contact third rail. The Manchester South Junction & Altrincham and "Woodhead" and initially the Great Eastern Railway routes used 1,500 V DC from overhead wires. Under the computer numbering, DC units were given a class in the range 400-599.

AC EMUs and dual-voltage EMUs[change | change source]

First generation[change | change source]

TOPS class Pre-TOPS class Name or Information Image
Ex-MR units   Lancaster-Morecambe-Heysham
Class 300   Proposed parcels units
  AM1 25kV AC prototype units
Class 302 AM2 London-Tilbury-Southend LTS unit (class 302) 298 1964 Barking.jpg
Class 303 AM3 Strathclyde Class 303 at Wemyss Bay (April 1984).jpg
Class 304 AM4 Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham BR multiple unit at Altrincham station - geograph.org.uk - 199795.jpg
Class 305 AM5 Chingford, Enfield 305-plat-8-broken-down-Stratford.jpg
Class 306 AM6 Shenfield (inner-suburban) Class 306 Green.jpg
Class 307 AM7 Southend (outer-suburban) 307-blue brute Liv-St-Stn.jpg
Class 308 AM8 Eastern Region lines British Rail Class 308 at Leeds 1996.jpg
Class 309 AM9 Clacton Express Class 309 NSE & Jaffa Cake.jpg
Class 310 AM10 Euston outer-suburban 310-blue-Harrow&Wealdstone2.jpg
Class 311 AM11 Strathclyde 311104 at a station.jpg

Second generation[change | change source]

TOPS class Built for Current Operator(s) Builder Number built Image
Class 312 BR Eastern Region
(Great Eastern and Great Northern suburban) and
BR London Midland Region
(Euston suburban)
(out of service) BREL York 1966-74 49 x 4-car sets 312792 at Shoeburyness.jpg
Class 313 BR Eastern Region
(Great Northern suburban)
London Overground,
First Capital Connect
BREL York 1975-78 64 x 3-car sets 313060 at Kings Cross.jpg
Class 314 BR Scottish Region
(Argyle Line)
First ScotRail BREL York 1979 16 x 3-car sets British Rail Class 314.jpg
Class 315 BR Eastern Region
(Great Eastern suburban)
National Express East Anglia BREL York 1980-81 61 x 4-car sets Class 315s at London Liverpool Street.jpg
Class 316 (I) (AC Networker prototype) (never used in passenger service, now out of service) converted from class 210 and 313 cars 1 x 4-car set British Rail Class 457 - unit 7001 - vehicle 67300.JPG
Class 316 (II) (test unit) (never used in passenger service, now out of service) converted from class 307 1 x 3-car set
Class 317 Network SouthEast
('Bedpan' and Great Northern lines)
National Express East Anglia,
First Capital Connect
BREL York 1981-85 72 x 4-car sets 317338 at kings cross 1.jpg
Class 318 Provincial ScotRail
(for Strathclyde PTE)
First Scotrail BREL York 1985-87 21 x 3-car sets
Class 319 Network SouthEast
(Thameslink services)
First Capital Connect,
Southern, Northern
BREL York 1985-88 86 x 4-car sets 319445 at St Pancras 2.jpg
Class 320 Provincial ScotRail
(for Strathclyde PTE)
First ScotRail BREL York 1986 22 x 3-car sets Firstscotrail cl 320.jpg
Class 321 Network SouthEast
(Great Eastern and Euston services); and
Regional Railways
(for West Yorkshire PTE)
National Express East Anglia,
Northern Rail,
London Midland
BREL York 1986-89 117 x 4-car sets 321446 at Marks Tay.jpg
Class 322 Network SouthEast
(Stanstead Express service)
First ScotRail BREL York 1988-90 5 x 4-car sets Drem Station 01.jpg
Class 325 Rail Express Systems
(for Royal Mail)
FirstGBRf ABB Derby 1995 16 x 4-car units 325016-Crewe-01.jpg

Modern Generation[change | change source]

These use electrical switching devices (thyristors and transistors) and have electronic power control.

TOPS class Built for Current Operator(s) Builder Number Built Image
Class 323 Regional Railways
(for West Midlands PTE and Greater Manchester PTE)
Northern Rail,
London Midland
Hunslet 1992-93 43 x 3-car sets London Midland Class 323.jpg
Class 331 original classification of Class 332 - - -
Class 332 Heathrow Express Heathrow Express Siemens/CAF 1997-2002 9 x 4-car sets
5 x 5-car sets
Heathrow Express 332 008.jpg
Class 333 Arriva Trains Northern
(for West Yorkshire PTE)
Northern Rail Siemens/CAF 2001-03 18 x 4-car sets Northern-333015-03.jpg
Class 334
Juniper
ScotRail
(for Strathclyde PTE)
First ScotRail Alstom Birmingham 1999-2001 40 x 3-car sets SPT trains.jpg
Class 341
Networker
proposed units for Crossrail - (never built) -
Class 342
Networker
proposed units for CTRL Domestic Services - (never built) -
Class 350
Desiro
Silverlink,
Central Trains
London Midland Siemens 2004-05 30 x 4-car sets London Midland class 350 - 2007-11-16.jpg
Class 357
Electrostar
LTS Rail c2c Adtranz/Bombardier Derby 1999-2002 74 x 4-car sets 357036 at Southend Central.jpg
Class 360
Desiro
First Great Eastern,
Heathrow Connect
National Express East Anglia,
Heathrow Connect
Siemens 2002-06 21 x 4-car sets
5 x 5-car sets
360109 at Marks Tey.jpg
Class 365
Networker
Network SouthEast
(Great Northern and South Eastern services)
First Capital Connect ABB York 1994-95 41 x 4-car sets FirstCapitalConnect Unit365505.jpg
Class 371
Networker
proposed units for Thameslink 2000 - (never built) -
Class 375
Electrostar
Connex South Eastern,
South Eastern Trains
Southeastern Adtranz/Bombardier Derby 1999-2004 10 x 3-car sets
102 x 4-car sets
Southeastern 375801 at Waterloo East.jpg
Class 376
Electrostar
South Eastern Trains Southeastern Bombardier Derby 2004-05 36 x 5-car sets Class376londonbridge.jpg
Class 377
Electrostar
Southern Southern Bombardier Derby 2001-05 28 x 3-car sets
154 x 4-car sets
Unit 377213 Watford.JPG
Class 378
Capitalstar
London Overground (not yet in service) Bombardier Derby (under construction)
Class 380
Desiro
First ScotRail (not yet in service) Siemens (under construction)
Class 381
Networker
proposed Network SouthEast express units - (never built) -

High Speed Trains[change | change source]

TOPS class Built for Current Operator(s) Builder Number Built Image
Class 370
APT-P
prototype Advanced Passenger Train (out of service) BREL Derby 1979 6 x 7-car half sets
2 spare cars
Class 373
TGV
Eurostar Eurostar
SNCF
various builders 1992-95 14 x 8-car half sets
64 x 10-car half sets
1 spare car
Eurostar at St Pancras railway station.jpg
Class 390
Pendolino
Virgin West Coast Virgin Trains Alstom Birmingham 2001-05 53 x 9-car sets 390045 at Carlisle.JPG
Class 395
Javelin
Southeastern (not yet in service) Hitachi, Ltd. (under construction) 29 x 6-car sets

DC EMUs[change | change source]

Southern Region units[change | change source]

The Southern Railway and its successor, the Southern Region of British Rail, used three letter codes to classify their DC EMU fleets, as shown after the TOPS class numbers.

Pre-Nationalisation[change | change source]

4Sub unit no. 8143 at the National Railway Museum
TOPS class SR class Name or Information
2Nol
2SL South London
2Wim Wimbledon-Croydon
3Sub
4Buf
4DD Double Deck EMU
4Gri
4Lav
4Res
6Cit London Bridge-Brighton
6Pan Pantry units
6Pul Pullman
London Victoria-Brighton
Class 401 2Bil
Class 402 2Hal
2Pan
Class 403 5Bel
Class 404 4Cor
Class 405 4Sub

Mark 1 and 2 Bodyshell[change | change source]

Gatwick Express Class 489 unit no. 489110 at London Victoria.
South Eastern Trains Class 411 unit no. 1586 at London Victoria.
TOPS class SR class Name or Information
Class 410 4Bep
Class 411 4Cep
Class 412 4Bep
Class 413 4Cap 2 x 2Hap permanently coupled
Class 414 2Hap
Class 415 4EPB
Class 416 2EPB
Class 418 2Sap 2Hap units with declassified 1st Class accommodation
Class 419 MLV London-Dover/Folkestone boat trains
Class 420 4Big
Class 421 4Cig
3Cop
2 units still in use, on Lymington Branch Line
Class 422 4Big
8Dig
Class 423 4Vep
4Vop
Class 427 4Veg First stock used for Gatwick Express
Class 430 4Rep
Class 431 6Rep
Class 432 4Rep
Class 438 3TC
4TC
Class 480 8Vab
Class 482 (I) 8Mig
Class 488 Gatwick Express Trailers
Class 489 GLV Gatwick Express driving trailers
Class 499 TLV

Tube stock[change | change source]

Network SouthEast branded Class 483 unit no.483001
TOPS class SR class Name or Information Image
Class 482 (II) Waterloo & City Line
sold to LU
65507 at Bank LUL station.jpg
Class 483 Isle of Wight
ex LU 1938 stock
Island line.JPG
Class 485 4Vec ex LU Standard stock Shanklinstn.jpg
Class 486 3Tis ex LU Standard stock Rydephstn.jpg
Class 487 Waterloo & City Line 487-TSO-Blue.jpg

Modern EMUs[change | change source]

TOPS class SR class Name or Information Image
Class 424 Networker Classic Prototype
Class 442 5Wes Wessex Express
British Rail Class 442 no. 2407 "Thomas Hardy" at Moreton railway station in Dorset on 10th April 2006.
Class 444 5Des Desiro 444026 at Waterloo.jpg
Class 445 4Pep Second Generation EMU prototype - 4 car 4 PEP unit No.4002 in the sidings at Wimbledon depot.
Class 446 2Pep Second Generation EMU prototype - 2 car
Class 447 Proposed Battersea Bullet
Class 450 4Des Desiro 450083 at Waterloo.jpg
Class 455 Gb-BeckenhamJn-455842.jpg
Class 456 British Rail Class 456 at Victoria.jpg
Class 457 DC Networker prototype British Rail Class 457 - unit 7001 - vehicle 67300.JPG
Class 458 4Jop Juniper 8030 at London Waterloo.JPG
Class 460 8Gat Juniper - Gatwick Express 460002 at East Croydon.jpg
Class 465 Networker - 4 car South Eastern Trains 465238 at Greenwich 2005-12-10 02.jpg
Class 466 Networker - 2 car Maidstone West Station 04.JPG
Class 471 Proposed Networker - Main Line Express

Other DC units[change | change source]

The 500 series classes were reserved for DC (third/fourth rail) EMUs not from the Southern Region. This included the DC (third/fourth rail) lines in North London, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. The DC electric network around Tyneside had been de-electrified by the time TOPS was introduced, and the stock withdrawn or transferred to the Southern Region.

TOPS classes

Class Info Image
Class 501 North London stock Class-501-train-B1-headcode.jpg
Class 502 Liverpool-Southport-Ormskirk stock
Class 503 Mersey-Wirral stock Image-British-Rail-Class-503.jpg
Class 504 Manchester-Bury stock British Rail Class 504 ManVic prior to Metrolink.jpg
Class 505 Manchester-Altrincham stock
Class 506 Manchester-Hadfield/Glossop stock Class 506 EMU and Class 104 DMU Longsight 1983.jpg
Class 507 Merseyside stock 507001 Hunts Cross.jpg
Class 508 Merseyside stock 508141-LiverpoolLS-01.jpg
Class 510 Original classification of Class 455

Pre-TOPS classes

Battery electric multiple unit (BEMU)[change | change source]

This was a one-off unit, withdrawn before the introduction of TOPS.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]