4Vep/3Vep/4Vop (Class 423)

The last type of the 1963 design BR(S) EMUs to be introduced was the 4 Vep - vestibuled EPB. Electrically they are similar to the contemporary 4 Cigs/Bigs, also built to the later Mk1 body design, and with a single non driving motor brake coach with two power bogies. Being designed for stopping and outer suburban services they have a door to each seating bay, and with 3+2 high density seating in standard class. The first twenty units were delivered in 1967 for use on the newly electrified Bournemouth line, with later batches going to all three divisions. The early batches of Veps were delivered in overall blue, small yellow warning panels and with raised aluminium double arrows below their driving cab side windows.

In 1978 twelve units were adapted with some seats replaced by luggage racks to provide a dedicated Victoria to Gatwick Airport service. These units were reclassified class 427 4 Veg - the "G" standing for Gatwick, and were identified by a sage green cantrail stripe in second/standard class and with bodyside lettering "Rapid City Link Gatwick London" and an aeroplane symbol. However the level of comfort provided by this typical Southern expediency did not meet the standards expected by international air travellers and they were replaced by dedicated Mk2 push-and-pull stock (itself recycled) in 1984. The Veg units were converted back to Veps.

In March 1968 three brand new units originally numbered 7739/41/42 never made service in their Vep form. From their formations three motor brake second saloons, four driving trailer composites and a modified loco hauled buffet car were put together the unique 8 Vab (Vep+buffet) unit 8001 to make up for a shortage of 4 Rep units on the Bournemouth fast services. The 8 Vab was disbanded in December 1974 when more Reps became available. Veps 7741/42 were formed but 7739 could not since in the interim some cars had been used to replace accident damaged vehicles in other units.

Around 1995 the Veps were rebuilt to increase passenger accommodation by eliminating the very under utilised luggage cage in the guards van area and installing an additional two bay seating saloon. Although South West Trains Veps have remained largely unaltered since their conversion Connex South Central have continued to modify their fleet.  Some units have had their trailer second open removed and the driving trailer composite converted to a driving trailer second open - these becoming 3 Veps.  On the 29 May 1999 CSC introduced its first new sub-class 423/9 (4 Vop  "vestibule open plan") by converting the DTC to a DTSOL in a similar fashion to the conversion of Ceps to Cops, however unlike the 3 Vep conversion the Vops remain 4 car units.

Vep 7801 is pictured here in its original overall blue livery complete with aluminium double-arrows and window frames, but with the later full yellow cab end.

photograph by David Smith

7767 Vep 7767, showing the compartment side of the DTC, captured in low lighting levels at Woking during June 1970 on an Alton semi fast service.

photograph by Michael Taylor

7757, between Bishopstone and Newhaven Harbour, is working the 6:35pm ECS Seaford to Lewes, 27th June 1973.

photograph by Glen Woods

7875 Unit 7875 (which became 3175 under TOPS numbering) is seen working a Victoria to Dover Priory (hopefully slow!) service past Snowdown Station in April 1974.

photograph by Michael Taylor

7722, with 76836 leading, arrives at Newhaven Harbour with the 3:40pm shuttle from Newhaven Town to Seaford, due to engineering works, 8th April 1979.

photograph by Glen Woods

7783 7783 departs from Preston Park on a semi-fast from Victoria to Brighton.

photograph by Glen Woods

4 Vep 7875 heads an 8 car formation past the closed St Lenoards West Marina station towards Hastings on a Sunday in early March 1985. The signalbox just visible in the distance soldiered on until the spring of 1997.

photograph by Mark Westcott

7790 7790 heading an East Coastway train at Polegate's former station in September 1985.

photograph by Mark Westcott

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This page was last updated 16 March 2003

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