Class 321 (BREL York ER/LMR Outer Suburban Services)

The Class 321 was built for Network South East for services out of London Liverpool Street into Essex along the Great Eastern Main Line. A second batch was built for semi-fast services between London Euston and Birmingham New Street on the West Coast Main Line [1]. A third and final batch was built for West Yorkshire PTE services between Doncaster and York. Two sister classes were also built, the Class 320 for services in the Strathclyde area and the Class 322 for the Stansted Express [2]. The DC EMU Class 456 also has a similar appearance.

Following the negative reaction in some quarters to earlier EMUs built in the 1980s the Class 321 had a deal of attention paid to its external appearance with the aim to produce a train "eye catching" on the outside and comfortable on the inside [3].

Number built: 468 (117 4-car units)
Built: 1988-90
Builder: BREL York
Motor: 4 Brush TM2141B traction motors (25kV AC OHLE)
Power: 1, 438 hp (1, 072 kW)
Formation: (321/3) Driving Trailer Composite Open (DTCO)+Motor Standard
Open (MSO)+Trailer Standard Open Lavatory (TSOL)+
Driving Trailer Standard Open (DTSO)

The original NSE batch became known as the 321/3 with the London Midland batch the 321/4 (they have more first class seats than the 321/3s [4]) and the Yorkshire units 321/9. Unlike the other sub-classes these units did not have first class seating and so had 2 DTSOs instead of a DTCO and a DTSO.

321/3s still work on the Great Eastern route, thirty of the units are receiving a "Renatus" refurbishment and upgrade which includes new air conditioning, seating and wi-fi. Some 321/4s have been transferred to bolster the 321/3 fleet. The Class 321 may also be fitted to test hydrogen fuel cells.

Class 321s are currently operated by Greater Anglia and Northern. Both fleets are due for replacement by new build EMUs at the end of the decade.
Greater Anglia 321 434 and 339 at London Liverpool Street

Inside a Greater Anglia 321

Greater Anglia (but in Great Northern livery) 321 408 at Romford

321 408 heads off Colchester bound

Renatus refurbished 321 at Southend Victoria
Greater Anglia 321 339 at Stratford
[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 256
[2] David Lawrence, British Rail Designed 1948-97 (Ian Allan, 2016) p. 236
[3] Alec Swain, Overhead Line Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1990) p. 76
[4] John Glover, Eastern Electric (Ian Allan, 2001) p. 131

Harsco Rail Stoneblower

Stoneblowers are specialised machines used by Network Rail to maintain ballast under track. Sensors on the Stoneblower measure the alignment of the ballast under the track down to 0.5mm, and then if needed the track is lifted and small stones are blown into any spaces found [1] using compressed air. This is claimed by Network Rail to be more durable than using a tamper as it doesn't disturb the existing trackbed and can extend the life of track [2].

Number built: 14
Builder: Pandrol Jackson / Harsco Rail

Network Rail maintains a fleet of stoneblowers built by Pandrol Jackson who were later bought by Harsco Rail. Eleven work on straight track with three Multipurpose Stoneblowers for switches and crossings. The latter three were developed by Harsco Rail and Network Rail, who are considering replacing their older machines with more of these advanced multipurpose machines.
Two views of DR80201 passing through Warwick

On the front of DR80201 is a crane used for loading stone

[1] Royston Morris, Railway Maintenance Vehicles & Equipment (Amberley Publishing, 2017) p. 15
[2] Network Rail. Track treatment fleet <>

Class 168 Clubman

The Class 168 Clubman were the first new DMUs to be ordered after rail privatisation. They were built for the Chiltern routes providing much needed extra capacity and remain on these routes today operated by Chiltern Railways [1]. The 168s are used on fast and semi-fast services out of London Marylebone and are capable of 160kph / 100mph [2].

Number built: 67 (19 3 or 4-car sets)
Built: 1997-2006
Builder: Adtranz Derby later Bombardier Derby
Motor: MTU 6R183TD13H diesel per car
Power: 1, 688 hp (1, 260 kW) or 1, 266 hp (945 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL)+Motor Standard Lavatory
(MSL)+Motor Standard (MS)+DMSL or DMSL+MS+DMSL or

The original five Class 168/0s are 4-car sets based on the Networker cab design (they were originally 3-car but were strengthened to four), the subsequent and later built 168/1s and 168/2s use the Turbostar design and are very similar to the Class 170. These two sub-classes are a mixture of three and four car sets.

The Class 168s are fitted with trip cock equipment as they share lines with London Underground stock on the Harrow-on-the-Hill to Amersham route. This equipment applies the brakes if a LU signal is passed at danger [3].

The Chiltern fleet has being strengthened with a new sub-class 168/3 formed by transferred Class 170s from Trans Pennine Express [4].
Chiltern 168 111 at Haddenham & Thame Parkway

168 003 at High Wycombe

168 325 passes through Lapworth

At Beaconsfield

168 109 at Chalfont & Latimer

168 113 at Hatton

[1] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 154
[2] Gavin Morrison, British Railway DMUs in Colour (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 45
[3] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), "Class 168 Clubman", Modern Locomotives Illustrated No. 216 December 2015-January 2016 (Second Generation DMUs Classes 165-185) p. 22
[4] "TPE goes for new loco-hauled trains for new franchise", Today's Railways UK No. 173 May 2016

Class 395 Javelin

The Class 395 Javelin has been built for domestic services on the HS1 route in Kent and also other commuter routes in the South East. The Javelin is built for high speed and can reach up to 225kp/h (140mp/h) on the 25v AC electrified HS1 route and 161kp/h (100mp/h) on other routes electrified by DC third rail [1].

Number built: 174 (29 6-car sets)
Built: 2007-09
Builder: Hitachi
Motor: Hitachi traction system (16 motors) (25kV AC OHLE &
750v DC third rail)
Power: 2, 253 hp (1, 680 kW)
Formation: Pantograph Driving Trailer Standard Open (PDTSO)+
Motor Standard (MS)+MS+MS+MS+PDTSO

The Class 395 is based on Hitachi's 400 Series Mini Shinkansen and A-Train train families. The trains were built as part of the upgrade to the capital's transport infrastructure before the 2012 Olympics and entered service in 2009. The Javelin fleet is operated by South Eastern and has greatly reduced commuter travel times into London St Pancras.
A Javelin waits at St Pancras 
Two 6-car sets head into St Pancras, the nose code retracts to allow coupling

Another Javelin at St Pancras

Side view of a Javelin

[1] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 298

Leicester Corporation Tramways

Leicester Corporation Tramways took over tram operations (which had been running in horse drawn form since 1874) in the city in 1901. The system was electrified, being one of the last of Britain's major cities to adopt electric tramways [1], and greatly expanded. It opened for electric operation in 1904 and included the rather busy Clock Tower Junction where six tram lines converged, the junction requiring over one hundred tons of track and rather complicated overhead lines. To launch the new service fifty nine new double decker electric trams were bought in early 1904 from the Dick Kerr Electric Railway & Carriage Company of Preston, forty more coming later the same year of which Number 76 (see below) was one of.

Twenty more trams arrived in 1913/14 for a new initiative in "Pay as you enter" boarding [2] (see photo below) with colour coded pre-paid tickets. The final trams arrived in 1920. Not long afterwards the Corporation began operating motor buses and in the early 1930s started to replace trams with buses. However the tram service managed to survive until after the Second World War with the last tram running in 1949.

Information for original trams
Number built: 99
Built: 1904-05
Builder: Electric Railway & Tramway Carriage Company of Preston
Motor: 2 Dick Kerr electric motors (550v DC OHLE)
Power: 50 hp (37 kW)

One of the survivors of the Leicester Corporation fleet is Number 76 . It was originally built as an open topped tram though a cover was added as with the rest of the fleet just before the First World War, inclement weather cutting into revenue. The tram continued to have open platforms and balconies but these were covered as well in 1929.

Number 76 survived in service until 1947. The body was sold to become a cricket pavilion in Yorkshire though in 1960 it was preserved at the Crich Tramway Museum and restored to it's 1920s condition though not with the original truck. One of the original batch of trams, Number 31, also still survives and is currently being preserved after decades serving as an outbuilding on a farm.
Survivor #76 at Crich

Abbey Road Tram Shed, public domain image [1]

Building of Clock Tower Junction, public domain image [1]

The Mayor and local politicians celebrate the start of Pay As You Enter, public domain image [2]

Another view of #76

[1] "The Leicester Corporation Electric Tramways",  Street Railway Journal (Vol XXIII No. 23, June 1904) p. 830
[2] "Prepayment zone system inaugurated in Leicester", Electric Railway Journal (Vol XLI No. 16 April 1913) p. 720

Class 455 (BREL York Suburban Services 4-car)

The Class 455 electric multiple unit uses were built by BREL York [1] in the early 1980s to replace 4-SUB and EPB stock on Southern Region routes and are an example of 1982 Standard High Density Stock. All in all one hundred and thirty seven sets were built between 1983 and 1985. Currently they are operated by Southern and South Western Railway on commuter lines out of Waterloo, Victoria and London Bridge.

Number built: 548* (137 4-car sets)
* including 43 cars from Class 508s
Built: 1983-85
Builder: BREL York
Motor: 4 EE507-20J traction motors per set (750v DC third rail)
Power: 1, 000 hp (746 kW)
Formation: Driving Trailer Standard Open (DTSO)+Motor Standard Open (MSO)+
Trailer Standard Open (TSO)+DTSO

The units were based on the work behind the prototype Class 210 DEMUs and are related to the Class 317 and 318, like them being derived from the British Rail Mark 3 coach [2]. There are 3 sub-classes: 455/7, 455/8 and 455/9 all of which remain in use, a major visual difference is that the /7 and /9 sub-classes have a more rounded roof than the /8 which despite the numbering was built first. 455/7s were built as 3-car sets but included a carriage (TSO) taken from the Class 508 EMUs which they replaced to make them 4-car. Since privatisation the Southern 455/8s have lost their cab gangways in favour of an air conditioning unit and now look different from the other sub-classes.

They were set to remain in service into the 2020s following refurbishment and the fitting of new traction motors to some units [3]. (It is worth noting that the replaced motors are reconditioned English Electric motors from older SR EMUs such as the Class 405 and indeed dated from the early post-war period!) However the change in the South West Trains franchise in 2017 to South Western Railway will probably see these 455s withdrawn by 2020 [4] though as yet there are no plans to replace Southern's 455s.
SWR 455 746 at Clapham Junction

SWT 5917 at Guildford

Southern 455 810 at Peckham Rye

Aboard an SWT 455

SWR 455 849 at Guildford

SWT 5712 at Vauxhall

[1] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 351
[2] Brian Haresnape & Alec Swain, Third Rail DC Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1989) p. 77
[3] "Vossloh Kiepe UK to deliver traction upgrade to South West Trains’ Class 455 fleet">
[4] "Class 455 Death Sentence", Modern Railways (May 2017) p. 25