British Rail Classes 445 and 446

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British Rail Class 445 and 446
4PEP unit No.4002 in the sidings at Wimbledon depot
In service 1971-1980
Manufacturer BREL York
Family name 1972 design (PEP)
Number built 2 Class 445, 1 Class 446
Number scrapped 2 Class 445, 1 Class 446
Formation 2/4 cars per trainset
Capacity 280 (445)
136 (446)
Operator British Rail
Maximum speed 75 mph (121 km/h)
Electric system(s) 750V dc third rail
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The PEP Stock were prototype electric multiple units used on British Rail's Southern and Scottish Regions during the 1970s and early 1980s. They were forerunners of the BR Second Generation electric multiple unit fleet. Three units were built, one two-car unit (2001), and two four-car units (4001/4002). Under TOPS, they were allocated Classes 445 (4PEP) and 446 (2PEP).

Internal layout was for commuter services; low-backed, bus-style 2+2 seating in open saloons, wide gangways with hanging straps, and no lavatory facilities. They were the first electric multiple units designed by British Rail with electric sliding doors, outside the Scottish Region. They were unable to operate with any other stock due to their new coupling system. Externally, 2001 was finished in unpainted aluminium, while 4001/4002 were painted in all-over Rail Blue. In passenger use, they normally operated together as a ten-car formation.

Production classes[edit]

The production-run classes which are most visibly similar to the PEP Stock are the dual voltage 750V DC/25kV AC Class 313, the 25kV AC Classes 314 and 315, and the 750V DC Classes 507 and 508. However, subsequent builds have also drawn heavily on the experience gained by this stock.

The PEP units had three sets of sliding doors on each of the non-driving cars for handling dense inner-suburban traffic. However, the Class 313 and all subsequent builds, including later Mark 3-based units, have only had two sets of doors per car.

Departmental use[edit]

After the units were withdrawn from passenger service, they continued to be used by the Research department for further tests. For this purpose, the units and individual carriages were all renumbered into the departmental series. Two power cars were teamed with a newly built pantograph trailer and became TOPS Class 920, number 920001. This was then used for the development of classes 313-315.[1] The remaining cars were formed into two four car sets and became TOPS Class 935, numbered 056 and 057 in the Southern Region departmental (non-revenue earning) unit series.


All three units were finally taken out of use in the mid-1980s. None of the cars has survived; 920001 was scrapped in 1987, 056 in 1986 and 057 in 1990.


The unit formations in passenger and departmental service were:

Unit No. Class Unit Type DMSO MSO (*PTSO) MSO DMSO
Formations in Passenger Use
2001 446 2PEP 64300 - - 64305
4001 445 4PEP 64301 62427 62428 64302
4002 445 4PEP 64303 62426 62429 64304
Formations in Departmental Use
920001 920 3PEP ADB975430

(ex. 64300)

New-build trailer
- ADB975432

(ex. 64301)

(935) 056 935 4PEP ADB975848

(ex. 64303)


(ex. 62427)


(ex. 62428)


(ex. 64302)

(935) 057 935 4PEP ADB975844

(ex. 64305)


(ex. 62426)


(ex. 62429)


(ex. 64304)


  1. ^ Rail Express, September 2011.

External links[edit]