Class 375 "Electrostar"


photograph by John Lewis

This photograph of 375330, one of the South Central 3-car units, was taken at Brighton on 15th February 2003 at 10:50:38, if the clock was right!

Class 375 units, part of the "Electrostar" range from Adtranz/Bombardier, were first ordered by Connex for South Eastern services. They are related to the class 357 25kV ac units in service with c2c on the former LT&S lines. By way of elements of common design, construction and equipment packages they are also related to the same manufacturer's Turbostar diesel hydraulic family of units (classes 168 & 170). This particular variant of the Electrostar has corridor connections at unit ends, air conditioning and a mixture of facing and uni-directional seating in a 2+2 (express) and 2+3 (outer suburban) configuration. Initially the only significant difference in first class accommodation is antimacassars fitted to otherwise standard class seats and generally the units are regarded as single class but "proper" first class accommodation is due to be retro-fitted. As with the class 365 Universal Networker units this class is capable of 750 V dc third rail and 25kV ac overhead operation, though the majority of units will be dc only.

photographs by Michael Taylor.

375604 a 4-car unit member of class 375/6 showing Driving Motor Second N° 67804 & Pantograph Trailer Second N° 74204 while still in undercoat at Ramsgate depot on Thursday, 21st September 2000.


The lowered pantograph on PTS 74204.

On 22nd April 2002 375629 plus another unidentified class 375 unit worked the 10:05am Victoria to Ramsgate service, seen here at Victoria station's platform 4 shortly before departure. Both units are in the new Connex white & grey with yellow public doors colour scheme.

photograph by Colin Duff

An initial order was placed in July 1997 for 120 vehicles to replace the Connex South Eastern class 411 fleet followed by a further order for 90 vehicles to replace CSE's small fleet of class 421s. These have been funded by HSBC Rail. A further order was then placed for both Connex's SE and South Central services. However, with the loss by Connex of the South Central franchise from May 2003 and the takeover of South Central services by Govia South Central from the 26th August 2001 the South Central portion of the order was adopted by Govia - these and subsequent South Central orders will be detailed later. Subsequently Connex was removed by the SRA from the SE franchise which is now being run by South Eastern Trains. The total 112 unit fleet for South Eastern services is as follows:
375/3 3 car express dc only units, formed DMSO-TSO-DMSO - 10 units
375/6 4 car express dual voltage units, formed DMSO-MSO-PTSO-DMSO - 30 units
375/7 4 car express dc only units, formed DMSO-MSO-TSO-DMSO - 15 units
375/8 4 car express dc only units with modified shoegear, formed DMSO-MSO-TSO-DMSO - 30 units
375/9 4 car outer suburban dc only units, formed DMSO-MSO-TSO-DMSO - 27 units
375619 375619 at Dover on 27th April 2003, with a train for Victoria.

photograph by Paul Ferbrache.

All dc only units are capable of becoming dual voltage with the installation of extra equipment, the rolling stock provision now being devised with the possibility of leasing units to other TOCs in the future in mind. The construction of the cars is aluminium with steel ends. Multiple operation up to twelve cars will eventually be possible. Tightlock couplers were originally fitted to /3, /6 and /7 batches and Dellners to /8 and /9 but it is believed that the Tightlock fitted units will be retro-fitted with Dellners. Unlike South Central units this will not result in a change to the unit class number. Four car sets have six axles motored, each axle with a 250kW traction motor controlled by an independent inverter drive. The units' regenerative braking will not be used except in its rheostatic mode until the power supply system is proven to be capable of accepting the additional intermittent power input. Bogies are of the Bombardier P3-25 (power) and T3-25 (unpowered) designs.
Interior of a class 375 unit.

photograph by John Arkell.

Class 375 Interior
The first unit departed Adtranz's Derby works in April 1999 to Chart Leacon for testing and mileage accumulation as part of the lengthy Railtrack Safety Case procedure. Construction of the remainder of the order began in January 2000. The cars are supplied in overall white livery, Connex/South Eastern Trains colours and brandings being applied with vinyl overlays. Maintenance of the SET 375 fleet is at Chart Leacon as a SET/Bombardier joint venture. Introduction to service of the class has been slow whilst de-bugging takes place and the contractual reliability targets achieved, however full introduction to service which would allow major service improvements is impeded until the power supply systems are upgraded. There were initial difficulties with coupling and uncoupling en route which resulted in services being recast to avoid the need for this operation. A further problem occurred in January 2004 due to problems with the cab doors and this resulted in a temporary withdrawal of all SET Electrostar units.
A possible future configuration which is being considered is a five car variant by adding another MS to a four car formation. In August 2003 this was trialled with a temporary reformation of 375604 containing additional car 74253 (from 375603) marshalled next to motor coach 67804. 5 car unit testing was completed in September of that year. All SET Electrostars had selective door opening enabled in August 2003.

In 2004 375s were fitted with dedicated 1st Class sections in the 12 seats behind each driving cab. This meant that on a 12 car train formed from 4 car units there are 6 sections of 1st Class, four of which have to be open so people can move through the train.

375321 South Central Electrostar unit 375321 arriving at platform 5 at Portsmouth Harbour from Brighton on 24th January 2003.

photograph by Paul Ferbrache

Connex Electrostar 375613 waits at Faversham with a Victoria to Dover service on 16th March 2003.

photograph by Paul Ferbrache

375323 South Central Electrostar Nº375323 pauses at Clapham Junction with a Brighton to Victoria express on 26th May 2003.

photograph by Paul Ferbrache

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This page was last updated 15 May 2004

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