Class 370 [Updated]

The Advanced Passenger Train (APT) project begun in the early 1970s was supposed to be the future of InterCity travel on British Rail, so much so that the High Speed Train was seen as a bit of a stop-gap. The APT unfortunately never came to fruition despite over a decade of development and failed to enter service though the Class 370 came (fairly) close.

Number built: 44 (6 7-car sets - though making 3 trains + 2 spares)
Built: 1977-78
Builder: BR Derby / ASEA
Engine: 4 ASEA/LJMA 410F traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 4, 000 hp (2, 983 kW) (per power car - 2 are used in a train)
Formation: Driving Trailer Second (DTS)+Trailer Second (TS)+Trailer Unclassified
(Restaurant) (TU)+Trailer Buffet Second (TRSB)+Trailer First (TF)+
Trailer Brake First (TBF)+Non-Driving Motor (M)+

The Class 370 was an EMU which built on the experience gained from the gas-turbine powered APT-E in the early 1970s [1]. The Class 370, often referred to as the APT-P, was designed to be able to travel at 125mp/h along the West Coast Main Line, the coaches tilting to allow for the increased speed on legacy tracks. The tilting unfortunately proved the APT's Achilles Heel causing a lot of trouble. The project was finally cancelled in the mid-1985s. It was not a complete waste however as some of the technology developed was later used on the InterCity 225 and also used on the Pendolino sets which now run on the WCML (among other places) - though these were not built in the UK.

Each of the 6 Class 370 sets built consisted of 7 vehicles, a non-driving motor car and 6 passenger carrying cars. Two sets made up an in-service rake with the 2 motor cars being in the centre of the train.

The Class 370 had a number of "interesting" features, notably the train's power cars which had no passenger gangway access meaning that there was no passenger access between the 2 halves of the train while in motion (and also wasted a lot of platform space). Buffet facilities therefore had to be duplicated. The limitations of the central power cars were well known during testing and a production (or "squadron service") version of the Class 370 would have had a single power car at one end of the train. In the end this is what was used on the Class 91.

Seven cars have been preserved including a 6-car rake at the Crewe Heritage Centre and a Motor car at the Electric Railway Museum.
370 003 at Crewe Heritage Centre

Interior view
Cab view

Preserved Motor car at the Electric Railway Museum, inset shows data panel

[1] Brian Haresnape, High Speed Trains (Ian Allan, 1983) p. 70