British Rail Class 466

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British Rail Class 466 Networker
Reliveried Class 466034.jpg
A southeastern class 466 in the new blue livery
In service 1993 – Present
Manufacturer GEC Alsthom (Metro-Cammell)
Family name Networker
Replaced Class 415 Class 416 Class 423 Class 508
Constructed 1993 - 1994[1]
Refurbishment 2011 - May 2013
(at Wabtec, Doncaster)
Number built 43 trainsets
Formation 2 cars per trainset[1]
Fleet numbers 466001 - 466043
Capacity 168 Standard seats[1]
Operator Southeastern
Car length 20.89 m (68 ft 6 in) (DMOS)
20.06 m (65 ft 10 in) (DTOS)[1]
Width 2.81 m (9 ft 3 in)[1]
Height 3.77 m (12 ft 4 in)
Maximum speed 75 mph (121 km/h)[1]
Weight Total - 72.4 tonnes (71.3 long tons; 79.8 short tons)
Power output 804 hp (600 kW)
Electric system(s) 750 V DC third rail
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
466022 in trial southeastern livery at Sheerness-on-Sea in 2011

The British Rail Class 466 Networker electric multiple units were built by GEC Alsthom (Metro-Cammell) between 1993 and 1994, which operates with Class 465 EMUs in southeast London and Kent on the Southeastern network. It is a member of the Networker family of trains.


The Class 466 EMUs were built between 1993 and 1994 by GEC Alsthom in Birmingham, for the Network SouthEast sector of British Rail.[2] They were inherited by Connex South Eastern and its successors South Eastern Trains and currently Southeastern. Each of these units is formed of 2 coaches that have dimensions of 20.89 m × 2.81 m (68 ft 6 in × 9 ft 3 in) and a top speed of 75 mph (121 km/h).[2] There are just 43 units, numbered 466001 to 466043.

Class 466 units are used by Southeastern Metro routes in multiple with Class 465/0, Class 465/1, Class 465/2 and other Class 466 units. Additionally, Class 466 units are now also operating on outer suburban routes with Class 465/9 units, although quite a few routes are being replaced with Class 375 Electrostars. They are also used as individual units on rural routes, mainly the Sheerness Line between Sittingbourne and Sheerness, displacing the Class 508/2s which operated on this branch line.

The Class 466s were also used on the Medway Valley Line between Strood, Maidstone West and Tonbridge, and in the leaf fall and winter season of 2011, the Class 466s were doubled up to make 4 car units on the Medway Valley Line to help stop the poor adhesion along the line when only a single unit runs. They also ran doubled up or coupled with a Class 465 on the Sheerness Line during the winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11. From the May 2012 timetable changes, 466s will no longer be used on the Medway Valley line and the main units on this line will be Class 375/3 Electrostars.

These two-car EMUs are formed of a driving motor carriage (DMOS: Driving Motor Open Standard) and a driving trailer carriage (DTOSL: Driving Trailer Open Standard Lavatory); all on board seating is standard accommodation.[2] A Solid State Traction Converter package controls 3-phase AC Traction motors, which allows for Rheostatic or Regenerative Dynamic braking. Primary braking system is electro-pneumatically actuated disc brakes, which is blended with the Dynamic brakes. Speed Probes on every axle of the unit provide for Wheel Slip/Slide Protection. A solid state Auxiliary Converter provides 110 V DC and 240 V AC supplies; this is the source of the loud buzzing noise which can be heard when the train is stationary. The Aux Converter is located on the driving trailer, along with the toilet. The units use air-operated sliding plug doors.

There are a total of 43 Class 466 EMUs on the UK rail network. These are all owned by Angel Trains, leased and operated by Southeastern. All these units have recently been fitted with new information boards with automatic announcements.


The Class 465/2s/9s & 466s are being repainted at Wabtec Rail, Doncaster into a variation of Southeastern's new livery, It is identical to the livery the 465/0s & /1s are receiving except the vinyl lower band has not been applied. The first 465/9 to be refreshed was 465906 but it was returned in an incorrect' livery of just fully painted yellow doors. Since then all units have returned in the correct livery. It seems the 465/2/9s have been put on hold (since April 2011), to allow Wabtec Rail to concentrate on repainting the 466s.[citation needed] The first 466s to be sent up were 466022 & 466039.[citation needed] 466022 returned one month later on its own and 466039 two months later. The 466s were sent up/returned as single units until recently when they have begun being sent up two at a time. Since March 2010 Wabtec Rail had been returning the 465s/466s on a monthly basis.

Production and numbering[edit]

466018 at Bromley North operating the Bromley North Line shuttle
Class Introduced/Built Manufacturer Number Range Comments
Class 466 1993-94 GEC Alsthom (Metro-Cammell) 466001-043 - Repainted units: All units now in the new southeastern livery.

Fleet details[edit]

 Specification   Sub-class 
 465/0   465/1   465/2   465/9   466 
Currently owned by: Eversholt Rail Group Eversholt Rail Group Angel Trains Angel Trains Angel Trains
Operated by: Southeastern
Routes used on: Metro & Outer Suburban Metro & Outer Suburban Metro & Outer Suburban Outer Suburban Metro, Outer Suburban & Branch Lines
Built: 1991–1993 by BREL York 1993–1994 by ABB York 1991–1993 by GEC Alsthom (Metro-Cammell), Washwood Heath 1991-1993 by GEC Alsthom (Metro-Cammell), Washwood Heath
Refurbished 2005 by Wabtec, Doncaster
1993–1994 by GEC Alsthom (Metro-Cammell), Washwood Heath
Construction: Welded aluminium alloy
Doors: Air powered sliding plug
Gangways: Within 4-coach unit only Within 2-coach unit only
Electrical Equipment: Hitachi IGBT inverter technology GTO inverters
Traction motors: Four Brush TIM970 three-phase induction motors of 280 kW GEC-Alsthom G352AY three-phase induction motors of 280 kW
Couplers: Tightlock (with underslung electrical/air connector box)
Suspension: Primary: spring Secondary: airbag
Bogies: BREL P3/T3 SRP BP62/BT52 BREL P3/T3
Maximum speed: 75 mph (121 km/h)
Dimensions: 20.89 or 20.06 m (68 ft 6 in or 65 ft 10 in) × 2.81 m (9 ft 3 in)
Train brakes: Primary: Disc, Secondary: Rheostatic (and Regenerative capable but currently not used)
Mass: 28.6–38.9 tonnes (28.1–38.3 long tons; 31.5–42.9 short tons)
Multiple working: Within Class 365, Class 465 and Class 466. Additionally Class 319 by use of Coupling Changeover Switch for Assistance/Rescue purposes in the Thameslink corridor only.
A class 466 in trial southeastern livery.

February 2007 Collision[edit]

From the RAIB report:[3]

On 5 February 2007 a bridge inspection unit working on the M20 was deployed over a railway bridge between Maidstone Barracks and Aylesford stations. The gantry on the bridge inspection unit was struck by a scheduled passenger train, causing significant damage to the leading carriage and wrecking the gantry. The train driver and the sole passenger were slightly injured. Nobody was on the gantry at the time.

At 22:25 hrs on 5 February 2007 Southeastern train 2T83, the 21:57 hrs Paddock Wood to Gillingham (Kent) struck the "Moog" gantry which was foul of the up line. The train was a 2 car electric unit of class 466 (466041) and was carrying a driver and one passenger.
The collision speed was 65 mph (105 km/h). The leading carriage suffered substantial damage to the cab and forward saloon areas. The driving cab roof was ripped open at the right hand side.


  1. ^ a b c d e f 466 - GEC-ALSTOM - Angel Trains. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Classes 465 and 466 - Welcome to the Southern E-Group Web Site. Retrieved 17 December 2010
  3. ^ "Collision between a train and a road vehicle, M20 overline bridge, Aylesford". RAIB. September 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 

External links[edit]