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
Class 303 AM3 Strathclyde
Class 304 AM4 Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham
Class 305 AM5 Chingford, Enfield
Class 306 AM6 Shenfield (inner-suburban)
Class 307 AM7 Southend (outer-suburban)
Class 308 AM8 Eastern Region lines
Class 309 AM9 Clacton Express
Class 310 AM10 Euston outer-suburban
Class 311 AM11 Strathclyde

Second generation[change | change source]

First Great Eastern Class 312 units nos. 312718 and 312721 at Kirby Cross railway station.
First Capital Connect Class 313no. 313060 at Kings Cross railway station.
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
Class 313 BR Eastern Region
(Great Northern suburban)
London Overground,
First Capital Connect
BREL York 1975-78 64 x 3-car sets
Class 314 BR Scottish Region
(Argyle Line)
First ScotRail BREL York 1979 16 x 3-car sets
Class 315 BR Eastern Region
(Great Eastern suburban)
National Express East Anglia BREL York 1980-81 61 x 4-car sets
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
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
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
Class 320 Provincial ScotRail
(for Strathclyde PTE)
First ScotRail BREL York 1986 22 x 3-car sets
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
Class 322 Network SouthEast
(Stanstead Express service)
First ScotRail BREL York 1988-90 5 x 4-car sets
Class 325 Rail Express Systems
(for Royal Mail)
FirstGBRf ABB Derby 1995 16 x 4-car units

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
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
Class 333 Arriva Trains Northern
(for West Yorkshire PTE)
Northern Rail Siemens/CAF 2001-03 18 x 4-car sets
Class 334
(for Strathclyde PTE)
First ScotRail Alstom Birmingham 1999-2001 40 x 3-car sets
Class 341
proposed units for Crossrail - (never built) -
Class 342
proposed units for CTRL Domestic Services - (never built)
Class 345
Crossrail Crossrail (TfL Rail) Bombardier Derby 2016-2019 70 x 9-car sets (initially 7-car sets until 2019)
Class 350
Central Trains
London Midland Siemens 2004-05 30 x 4-car sets
Class 357
LTS Rail c2c Adtranz/Bombardier Derby 1999-2002 74 x 4-car sets
Class 360
First Great Eastern,
Heathrow Connect
National Express East Anglia,
Heathrow Connect
Siemens 2002-06 21 x 4-car sets
5 x 5-car sets
Class 365
Network SouthEast
(Great Northern and South Eastern services)
First Capital Connect ABB York 1994-95 41 x 4-car sets
Class 371
proposed units for Thameslink 2000 - (never built) -
Class 375
Connex South Eastern,
South Eastern Trains
Southeastern Adtranz/Bombardier Derby 1999-2004 10 x 3-car sets
102 x 4-car sets
Class 376
South Eastern Trains Southeastern Bombardier Derby 2004-05 36 x 5-car sets
Class 377
Southern Southern Bombardier Derby 2001-05 28 x 3-car sets
154 x 4-car sets
Class 378
London Overground London Overground Bombardier Derby 2008-2011
Class 380
First ScotRail (not yet in service) Siemens (under construction)
Class 381
proposed Network SouthEast express units - (never built) -

High Speed Trains[change | change source]

Virgin Trains Class 390 no. 390029 at Birmingham New Street
TOPS class Built for Current Operator(s) Builder Number Built Image
Class 370
prototype Advanced Passenger Train (out of service) BREL Derby 1979 6 x 7-car half sets
2 spare cars
Class 373
Eurostar Eurostar
various builders 1992-95 14 x 8-car half sets
64 x 10-car half sets
1 spare car
Class 390
Virgin West Coast Avanti West Coast Alstom Birmingham 2001-05 53 x 9-car sets
Class 395
Southeastern Southeastern Hitachi2007-009 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
2SL South London
2Wim Wimbledon-Croydon
4DD Double Deck EMU
6Cit London Bridge-Brighton
6Pan Pantry units
6Pul Pullman
London Victoria-Brighton
Class 401 2Bil
Class 402 2Hal
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
2 units still in use, on Lymington Branch Line
Class 422 4Big
Class 423 4Vep
Class 427 4Veg First stock used for Gatwick Express
Class 430 4Rep
Class 431 6Rep
Class 432 4Rep
Class 438 3TC
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
Class 483 Isle of Wight
ex LU 1938 stock
Class 485 4Vec ex LU Standard stock
Class 486 3Tis ex LU Standard stock
Class 487 Waterloo & City Line

Modern EMUs[change | change source]

South West Trains Class 455 unit no. 455713 at Wimbledon railway station.
Southeastern Class 466 unit no. 466018 at Bromley North railway station.
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.
British Rail Class 442 no. 2407 "Thomas Hardy" at Moreton railway station in Dorset on 10th April 2006.
Class 444 5Des Desiro
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
Class 455
Class 456
Class 457 DC Networker prototype
Class 458 4Jop Juniper
Class 460 8Gat Juniper - Gatwick Express
Class 465 Networker - 4 car
Class 466 Networker - 2 car
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.

Merseyrail Class 507 unit no. 507009 at Liverpool Central railway station.

TOPS classes

Class Info Image
Class 501 North London stock
Class 502 Liverpool-Southport-Ormskirk stock
Class 503 Mersey-Wirral stock
Class 504 Manchester-Bury stock
Class 505 Manchester-Altrincham stock
Class 506 Manchester-Hadfield/Glossop stock
Class 507 Merseyside stock
Class 508 Merseyside stock
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]