British Rail Class 411

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British Rail Class 411
1586 at London Victoria.jpg
Class 411 4 Cep no. 1586, about to depart London Victoria on 18 March 2003, with a service to Ramsgate. The unit was painted in the old Network SouthEast livery, and was operated by Connex South Eastern (later South Eastern Trains). This was the unit's last train before being withdrawn from traffic later the same day. It has since been scrapped.
In service 1956–2005
Manufacturer BR Eastleigh
Number built 135 trainsets
Formation power car + 2 trailer cars + power car
Operator British Rail, Network South East, South West Trains, Connex South Central, Connex South Eastern, South Eastern Trains
Specifications
Car length 265 ft 8 12 in (80.988 m)
Width 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
Height 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m)
Maximum speed 90 mph (140 km/h)
Weight Total - 159.4 t (156.9 long tons; 175.7 short tons)
Power output 4 x 250 hp (190 kW) traction motors
total 1,000 hp (750 kW)
Electric system(s) 750V dc third rail

The British Rail Class 411 (or 4 Cep) electrical multiple units were built at Eastleigh works from 1956-63 for the newly electrified main lines in Kent. These units were based on the earlier Southern Railway 4 Cor design, built in 1937. Variants of the class 411 design included the class 410 and class 412 4 Bep units, which contained a buffet car in place of a standard trailer. They were later used on services in Sussex and Hampshire; following the privatisation of British Rail in 1995, the units were used by the Connex South Central, Connex South Eastern and South West Trains franchises. They were replaced by Juniper and Electrostar units. The fleet's lifespan was 49 years. These units are the longest-lived BR Mark 1 EMUs.

Description[edit]

A total of 133 units were built, as two different types. The majority of units were 'standard' passenger-only units, complemented by units containing a buffet car.

Standard units[edit]

The standard units contained passenger seating only, and formed the backbone of the new fleet. 111 units were built in several batches, initially numbered in the range 7101-7211. Units 7101-7104 were the prototype units, and were followed by 'Phase 1' units (7105-7153) and subsequently 'Phase 2' units (7154-7211).

Units were formed of two outer driving motors cars with 2nd class (later Standard Class) seating in open saloons, sandwiching two intermediate trailer cars - one a corridor second and the other a First/Second corridor composite.

4 Bep units[edit]

The 4 Bep units were similar to the standard units, but contained a buffet car in place of the second class open trailer. 22 units were built, initially numbered in the range 7001-7022. The first two units (7001-7002) were prototypes, and were followed by 'Phase 1' units (7003-7012) and 'Phase 2' (7013-7022).

The 4 Bep fleet were classified as Class 410 by British Rail under the new computer numbering system introduced in 1968.

Vehicle numbering[edit]

The numbering of individual vehicles and details of when units were built are shown in the table below.

Phase Type Unit Nos. Years Built DMBSO TCK TSK (*TRB) DMBSO
Prototypes 4 Cep 7101-7104 1956 61033-61039 (odd) 70037-70040 70033-70036 61034-61040 (even)
4 Bep 7001-7002 1957 61041-61043 (odd) 70041-70042 69000-69001* 61042-61044 (even)
Phase 1 4 Cep 7105-7110 1958 61229-61239 (odd) 70235-70240 70229-70234 61230-61240 (even)
7111-7153 1958-59 61304-61388 (even) 70303-70345 70260-70302 61305-61389 (odd)
4 Bep 7003-7012 1958-59 61390-61408 (even) 70346-70355 69002-69011* 61391-61409 (odd)
Phase 2 4 Cep 7154-7202 1960-61 61694-61790 (even) 70552-70600 70503-70551 61695-61791 (odd)
7203-7204 1961 61868-61870 (even) 70043-70044 70241-70242 61869-61871 (odd)
7205-7211 1963 61948-61960 (even) 70653-70659 70660-70666 61949-61961 (odd)
4 Bep 7013-7022 1961 61792-61810 (even) 70601-70610 69012-69021* 61793-61811 (odd)

Refurbishment[edit]

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, British Rail recognised that the 4 Cep fleet was in need of refurbishment. This was carried out at BR's Swindon Works. Refurbishment included moving the guard's compartment from both the motor cars to one of the intermediate trailers. Many of the 4BEP fleet were converted to standard units, since the requirement for buffet cars had declined.

The first refurbished unit was no. 7153, which was later renumbered to 1500. This unit was experimentally refurbished in 1975 at Eastleigh Works. Following evaluation, the contract for the refurbishment of the rest of the fleet was awarded to BR's Swindon Works. Subsequent refurbished standard units were renumbered in the range 1501–1621, and reclassified as Class 411/5. Only seven 4 Bep units were retained and refurbished, being renumbered in the range 2301–2307, and reclassified as Class 412/3. The remaining 4BEP units were converted into 4CEP units by replacing the buffet car with a standard trailer converted from conventional locomotive-hauled coaching stock.

4 Tep units[edit]

Between 1983 and 1986, several 4 Big units required extensive refurbishment. To cover their workings, four temporary 4 Tep units were created, formed of three carriages from a refurbished CEP unit, with an unrefurbished buffet car from a BEP unit. The units were renumbered in the range 2701–2704. They were based at Brighton depot and operated mostly on the London to Hastings line. The units were disbanded by 1986, once the refurbishment programme was complete, and were reformed as standard 4 CEP units. The unrefurbished buffet carriages were scrapped.[1]

Unit formation are given below:

Unit No. Vehicle Nos.
New 4 Tep Ex. 4 Cep Ex. 4 Bep DMSO TBC TSRB DMSO
2701 1556 (ex-7144) 7011 61371 70336 69010 61370
2702 1557 (ex-7127) 7022 61337 70331 69021 61360
2703 1560 (ex-7152) 7021 61387 70344 69020 61386
2704 1558 (ex-7139) 7018 61361 70319 69017 61336

Final operations[edit]

After rail privatisation in the mid-1990s, the different divisions of British Rail were divided up into different franchises. The three former SR division; South-Eastern, South Central and South-Western; all operated 4 Cep units, and are dealt with separately here.

Connex South Central[edit]

The South Central (SC) division, operated as Connex South Central, briefly operated 4 Cep units in the period 1995–1998. Three standard units were converted to Class 411/6 by fitting them with high-speed Mk.6 motor bogies. These units were renumbered into the series 1697–1699. They were chiefly employed on London Bridge to Brighton express services. However, as the units were non-standard in the SC fleet, they were withdrawn and transferred to South West Trains.

South Eastern Trains[edit]

The South Eastern (SE) division inherited the largest fleet of 4 Cep units. The franchise was originally operated by Connex as Connex South Eastern, but after Connex lost the franchise it became South Eastern Trains. In 1996, when the franchise was awarded, a fleet of 85 standard units were in traffic. Many of these were quickly withdrawn from traffic, or transferred to the SW division. In early 1999, five units were converted to Class 411/9 3CEP units, with the removal of the second class open trailer. These removed trailers had not had so much work carried out on them at the time of refurbishment (as they were basically unchanged apart from cosmetic appearance and installation of hopper windows) and many had become severely corroded. This was necessary, as some stations could only accommodate 11 carriages. A further 13 units were later converted. The 3 Cep units were renumbered into the series 1101–1118.

The Connex fleet contained two 'celebrity' units. The first, no. 1592, was repainted by staff at Ramsgate depot into its original Green livery, to commemorate the final months in traffic for these units. The second, no. 1602, was the only 4 Cep unit repainted into Connex livery, after it received derailment damage outside London Bridge station, and had to be repaired at Eastleigh works. Both of these units were popular with railtours and excursion trains.

Withdrawal of units started in 1999, after they were replaced by new Class 375 'Electrostar' units. The original aim was to totally replace the 4 Cep fleet by 2000. However, poor reliability of the new units saw the 4 Cep's retained beyond this date. By the end of 2002, the fleet was again being reduced, with many standard units being sent to Immingham for scrap. The 3 Cep units were all withdrawn by March 2003, as units in traffic beyond this date had to be fitted with TPWS equipment. In the event, only seven units, nos. 1562, 1590, 1592, 1593, 1594, 1602 and 1615 were retained. These became known to enthusiasts as the "Magnificent 7".

By the beginning of 2004, the seven units were withdrawn as they were due overhaul. They were replaced with units cascaded from South West Trains, which included the three Class 411/6 units. However, these units were themselves slowly retired, and it was expected the final units would have been withdrawn from service before the end of 2004. However, the Class 411/6 units were eventually withdrawn in July 2005, following the introduction of refurbished Class 465/9 "Networkers". Units 1697 and 1699 were sent for scrap, but 1698 was retained for working railtours. Due to a unit shortage It was later reinstated in August 2005, and remained in traffic until late September. It was one of three units to work a Ramsgate to Weymouth railtour, the others being 4 Cig 1866 and 4Vep 3545. Following this, it was quickly despatched for scrap.

South West Trains[edit]

The South West (SW) division franchise was won by the Stagecoach Group and was operated as South West Trains (SWT). SWT did not inherit any standard 4 Cep units, but it did operate the seven 4 Bep units. However, in 1996, a shortage of trains led to SWT hiring two sets (nos. 1568 and 1589) on a short-term lease. These units were quickly followed by more, until by 1998, SWT had a fleet of 29 standard 4 Cep units. These were gradually overhauled, and were employed on a range of duties, including services to Portsmouth, Reading, Southampton, Bournemouth and Weymouth. Additionally, units commonly worked services on the Lymington branch.

The fleet stayed reasonably static until 2002, when SWT reformed several sets. The buffet cars from the 4 Bep units were inserted into seven standard units, which were renumbered 2321–2327 (reclassified as Class 412/2). The displaced carriages were inserted into the 4 Bep units, which were renumbered 2311–2317 (reclassified as Class 412/1). The reason behind this was that the 4 Bep units had faster acceleration, and the buffet cars were no longer used. Therefore the reformations allowed a higher seating capacity in the faster units.

By 2003, SWT had ordered new trains, to replace all its slam-door trains. These were designated Class 444 for express trains and Class 450 for suburban trains. The first units to be replaced were the units in the 232x series, which were due for early withdrawal. Of the seven sets, one, set no. 2323, was withdrawn in 2002 due to fire damage, but was later converted back to a standard unit. Another, set no. 2326, was reduced to a 3 Cep, for operating the "Lymington Flyer" service on the Lymington branch, and was renumbered 1199. The remaining five units lasted until December 2003, when they were withdrawn. One, set no. 2325 was preserved, whilst the rest were scrapped.

The standard units lasted until early-2004, when they were either withdrawn and scrapped, or transferred to South Eastern Trains. One of the 4 Bep units, no. 2314, was converted into a 3CEP to replace no. 1199, and was renumbered 1198. Of the remaining six 4 Bep units, four were withdrawn in October 2004, leaving just two units remaining in traffic into 2005. The 3 Cep unit, no. 1198, was withdrawn at the end of December 2004, and was preserved by the EMU Preservation Society on the Dartmoor Railway before moving in 2008 to the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway and then in 2013 to the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway. A replacement came in the form of 3Cig unit no. 1499. The final two 4 Bep units 2311 and 2315, soldiered on in traffic until withdrawal in March 2005. They were both later preserved at the Eden Valley Railway as 4Ceps.

Further use and departmental units[edit]

Over the years, several unit have seen further use as departmental units. These are listed below:

  • 7102 - Converted to Tractor Unit 932080.
  • 1500 - Converted to Tractor Unit 932081.
  • 1505 - Converted to Route-learning Unit 930082 for use by Southern, including removal of end-gangways. Later converted to static training unit at Selhurst depot. Sent for scrap in September 2005.
  • 1512 - Used as a 3-car Tractor Unit by South West Trains at Bournemouth depot. Scrapped in June 2005 after being replaced by a Class 73 electro-diesel locomotive.
  • 1545 - Converted to test unit 932545 and exported to Sweden. Scrapped there.
  • 1620 - Converted to test unit 932620 for central door locking trials. Then used for paint trials at Eastleigh Works. Scrapped in November 2005.

Preservation[edit]

Four complete units have been saved for preservation.

The full list is shown below. Complete units are highlighted:

Unit Number
(current in bold)
Type Phase DMBS TC
(+TBC)
TS
(*TRSB)
DMBS Livery Location Notes
7016 2305 2315 - 4 Bep Phase 2 61798 70354 70229 61799 South West Trains Eden Valley Railway 70229 was in 7105 originally
7019 2301 2311 - 4 Bep Phase 2 61804 70607 70539 61805 South West Trains Eden Valley Railway -
7105 1537 2325 - 4 Bep Phase 1 61229 70235 69345* 61230 South West Trains 2 motor coaches defurbished at Eastleigh and 2 trailer coaches (including buffet car) based at East Kent Railway Unit 7105 was the first-built production unit.
7113 1524 - - 4 Cep Phase 1 - - 70262 - BR Green Hastings Diesels Operates with preserved Class 201 unit 1001.
7124 1530 1392 - 4 Cep Phase 1 - - 70273 - BR Blue/Grey Dartmoor Railway Ex 4-CIG No. 1392, Now removed from unit and stored on Dartmoor Railway.
7135 1520 - - 4 Cep Phase 1 - - 70284 - Network SouthEast Northamptonshire Ironstone -
7143 1554 1398 - 4 Cep Phase 1 - - 70292 - South West Trains Long Marston, for sale Operated in 4 Cig unit 1398.
7147 1559 - - 4 Cep Phase 1 - - 70296 - Network SouthEast Northamptonshire Ironstone -
7153 1500 1547 - 4 Cep Phase 1 - 70345+ - - Network SouthEast Sutton Bridge Unit 7153 was the prototype refurbished unit, latterly renumbered 1500.
7159 1595 1399 - 4 Cep Phase 2 - - 70508 - BR Blue/Grey Dartmoor Railway Ex 4-CIG No. 1399, Now removed from unit and stored on Dartmoor Railway.
7161 1597 - - 4 Cep Phase 2 - - 70510 - Network SouthEast Northamptonshire Ironstone -
7175 2304 2314 1198 3 Cep Phase 2 61736 70573 - 61737 Rail Blue Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway Unit 1198 was dedicated to the "Lymington Flyer" service.
7178 1589 - - 4 Cep Phase 2 61742 - - 61743 Dartmoor Railway -
7178 1589 - - 4 Cep Phase 2 - 70576+ - - BR Green Snibston Discovery Park - converted to vacuum brake
7178 1589 1393 - 4 Cep Phase 2 - - 70527 - Carmine & Cream Whitwell & Reepham railway station Operated with 4CIG unit 1393. Now loose
7182 1610 1396 - 4 Cep Phase 2 - - 70531 - South West Trains Long Marston, for sale Operated in 4 Cig unit 1396.
7198 1569 207203 4 Cep Phase 2 - - 70547 - Connex Private site, Hungerford Operated in Class 207 unit 207203.
7200 1567 207202 4 Cep Phase 2 - - 70549 - Connex East Lancashire Railway Operates in Class 207 unit 207202.

Fleet details[edit]

The final three units (nos. 1697–1699) were withdrawn in July 2005. Unit 1698 was reinstated a month later and was finally withdrawn in September 2005. All three of the final units were scrapped except for their TSO coaches, which were dispersed as follows:-

  • 1697's TSO 70294 to HM Prison, Lindholme.
  • 1698's TSO 70300 to Fighting Cocks PH, Middleton.
  • 1699's TSO 70512 to HM Prison, Lindholme.
Unrefurbished Units
Class Type No. Built

(Converted*)

Year Built

(Converted*)

No. Range Withdrawn Notes
Class 410 4 Bep 22 1957-63 7001-7022 1984 Refurbished 1979–1984.
Class 411 4 Cep 111 1956-63 7101-7211 1984 Refurbished 1979–1984.
Class 482/7 4 Tep 4* 1982* 2701–2704 1986 Converted back to standard 4CEP.
Refurbished Units
Class Type No.

Converted

Year

Converted

No. Range Operator Unit Numbers Withdrawn No. preserved
Class 411/6 3 Cep 6 1993 1401–1406 BR 1401–1406 1994 -
Class 411/3 4 Cep 1 1975 1500 SET 1500 199x -
Class 411/4 4 Cep 5 1979-84 1501-1505 SET 1501-1505 200x -
Class 411/5 4 Cep 116 1979-84 1506–1621 SET 1509/11/51/60/62/64/70/74-76/82/84-88/90-95/99,

1602/07/09/11/14-16

1517/35/39/50/55/71/78 (ex. SWT)

07/2004 -
SWT 1507/12/17/19/31/33-35/37-39/44/47/48/50/53/55,

1563/65/66/68/71/73/78/81, 1612

05/2004
Class 411/5 4 Cep 3 1995 1697–1699 SET 1697–1699 (ex. SWT) 09/2005 -
SWT 1697–1699 04/2004
Class 411/9 3 Cep 18 1999 1101–1118 SET 1101–1118 03/2003 1
2 2003-04 1198–1199 SWT 1198–1199 12/2004
Class 412/3 4 Bep 7 1979-84 2301–2307 SWT 2301–2307 12/2002* -
Class 412/1 4 Bep 7 2002 2311–2317 SWT 2311–2317 03/2005 2
Class 412/2 4 Bep 7 2002 2321–2327 SWT 2321–2327 12/2003 1

Modelling[edit]

Bachmann have released a 00 gauge model of the 4-CEP in 2009. An N Gauge version was released in late 2011 by Graham Farish.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Welch, Michael (2005). Slam doors on the Southern. Capital Transport. p. 55. ISBN 1-85414-296-8. 

External links[edit]