British Rail Class 175

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British Rail Class 175 Coradia
Newport railway station MMB 12 175011.jpg
175011 operating an Arriva Trains Wales service at Newport in 2009.
Llandudno railway station MMB 04 175112.jpg
Standard Class interior of 175115 at Llandudno in 2009.
In service 2000–present
Manufacturer Alstom[1]
Built at Washwood Heath, Birmingham[2]
Family name Coradia[1]
Constructed 1999–2001[1]
Number built 27 trainsets[1]
Number in service 27 trainsets
Formation 175/0: 2 cars per train set (DMSL-DMSL)
175/1: 3 cars per train set (DMSL-MSL-DMSL)[1]
Capacity 136 seats per 2-car unit[1]
Operator(s) current:
Arriva Trains Wales
First North Western, First TransPennine Express
Depot(s) Chester
Car body construction Steel[1]
Car length Driving end vehicles 23.71 m (77 ft 9 in)
Centre cars 23.03 m (75 ft 7 in)[1]
Width 2.73 m (8 ft 11 in)[1]
Doors Swing plug at vehicle ends[1]
Articulated sections Flexible diaphragm within unit only[1]
Maximum speed 100 mph (160 km/h)[1]
Weight 97.85 t (96.30 long tons; 107.86 short tons) or 144.14 t (141.86 long tons; 158.89 short tons) per trainset[1]
Prime mover(s) One per car,
Cummins N14 diesel [1]
Power output 450 hp (340 kW)[1]
Transmission Voith T211 hydraulic transmission
ZF final drive[1]
2 axles driven per car
Braking system(s) Friction/Hydrodynamic retarder (Retarders bypassed due to unreliability)
Safety system(s) AWS, TPWS
Coupling system Scharfenberg[3]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The Class 175 Coradia is a type of diesel multiple unit passenger train used in the United Kingdom. The fleet of 27 sets were built from 1999 to 2001 by Alstom at Washwood Heath in Birmingham. They are part of the Coradia family of trains along with the Class 180. They are the basis of Arriva Trains Wales's express fleet, but cannot operate on all lines (including those fitted with ETCS).

The entire fleet is owned by the rolling stock operating company Angel Trains. They were originally leased to First North Western, but the fleet has since been transferred to Arriva Trains Wales. For a brief period, units were also sub-leased to First TransPennine Express.


In September 1997, North West Trains placed an order with Alstom for 27 train-sets. The original order was for eleven two-carriage units with a top speed of 100 mph, seven three-carriage units with a top speed of 100 mph and nine three-carriage units with a top speed of 125 mph. This was reconfigured to eleven two-carriage and sixteen three-carriage units all with a top speed of 100 mph, worth £78 million,[4] built to allow for the replacement of elderly Class 101 'heritage' DMUs and locomotive-hauled trains to Bangor and Holyhead. As they were constructed, the old locomotive sheds at Chester were replaced with a purpose-built facility in order to service the Class 175 units.[2] Units were tested at low speed at the Severn Valley Railway before further testing and driver training at the Old Dalby Test Track from November 1999.[5] The first unit entered service on 20 June 2000.[4]

The two-carriage units are numbered 175001–011, and the three-carriage units 175101–116. Carriages are labelled as coaches A–B–C, with two-car units having no coach B. Each train has provision for two disabled passengers in coach A, and storage for two bicycles in coach C.[6]

Early reliability problems meant that some services were operated by old rolling stock at short notice.[7][8] Remedial work included improving brakes and bogies,[9] and the reliability of the units is now greatly improved.[10]

Class 175 Coradias are fitted with a passenger information system, which consists of onboard LED display and audio announcements of train destinations and arrivals.[1]


The entire Class 175 fleet was operated by First North Western from their introduction in 2000 until October 2003, when franchise changes led to North Wales Coast Line services being transferred to Wales & Borders; as a result most of the fleet was then used by Wales & Borders: First North Western's branding was removed from all the units, but the livery remained largely the same.[11]

The fleet was transferred to Wales & Borders' successor Arriva Trains Wales in 2004, with some being sub-leased to First TransPennine Express, who took over First North Western's long-distance routes. First TransPennine Express took delivery of new Class 185 Desiro units in 2006, and the sub-leased Class 175s returned to ATW. The units have been based at the Chester depot throughout, and they have been operated in Wales, North-West England and the West Midlands.

North West and West Midlands[edit]

From their introduction in 2000,[12] First North Western (FNW) operated the Class 175s until 2003, when the fleet was transferred to Arriva Trains Wales.

The units were used on various services:

In 2003, the trains transferred to the Wales & Borders franchise and subsequently ATW. However, under a contractual agreement, 11 units were leased back daily from ATW to FNW and then later to First TransPennine Express for use on the Manchester Airport to Blackpool and Cumbria services until mid-December 2006, when that contract expired. They also continued to work the First North Western morning peak service between Chester and Manchester Piccadilly via Altrincham until December 2004.


175113 rounds the bend into Deganwy with a service from Llandudno.

The entire Class 175 Coradia fleet was transferred to ATW when it took over responsibility for the North Wales Coast Line in 2004. The fleet is based at Chester Depot.

Since fully taking over the fleet ATW now uses Class 175s on Cardiff Central to Manchester and Holyhead service. Some South Wales bound services continue beyond Cardiff to Maesteg, Carmarthen Fishguard Harbour and Milford Haven. They also continue to operate in the North West on Llandudno to Manchester Piccadilly services and the three trains daily extend to Manchester Airport. Since the installation of ERTMS signalling on the Cambrian Coast in 2008, the Class 175s are not used on services to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli because they lack the necessary equipment. These services are operated with Class 158 Express Sprinter units.

Fourteen Class 175 Coradia units are in operation on daily Welsh Marches Line services to South Wales from Manchester and Holyhead, while ten are in operation on the North Wales Inter-Urban services between Manchester/Crewe and Chester/North Wales. One Sunday-only service sees the unit travel from Holyhead to Birmingham New Street via Stafford.

They have been cleared by Network Rail to operate the lines from Cardiff Central to Maesteg,[13] Cheltenham,[14] and Ebbw Vale.[15]

All will pass with the Wales & Borders franchise to KeolisAmey Wales in October 2018, however are scheduled to be withdrawn in 2021/22.[16]

Accidents and Incidents[edit]

On 16 January 2010, 175103 operating the 08:30 service from Manchester Piccadilly to Milford Haven struck two cars at Moreton-on-Lugg crossing between Hereford and Leominster.[17] The front seat passenger in one of the cars was fatally injured, although there were no casualties on the train. The train did not derail. The signaller had raised the barriers in error when the train was approaching the crossing,[18] and he was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in July 2010.[19][20]

The same service collided with a trailer on the Morfa Main level crossing near Kidwelly on 31 January 2011. No-one was injured, but the unit involved, 175108, received nearly £82,000 worth of damage due to striking the trailer at 75 miles per hour (121 km/h). The farmer in charge of the trailer was sentenced to a 36-week suspended jail sentence and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community work.[21][22]

On 19 December 2011, 175002 collided with a lorry at the Llanboidy level crossing near Whitland.[23] The train was operating the service from Milford Haven to Manchester Piccadilly and the driver of the lorry was arrested on suspicion of endangering safety.[24]

Class 175 units have caught fire in 2004 at Preston (175008), 2009 at Prestatyn, 2011 at Manchester Piccadilly and 2017 at Shrewsbury (175109).[25][26][27][28]

In February 2018, the entire Class 175 fleet was temporarily withdrawn from service for safety checks.[29]

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. built Year built Cars per set Unit nos.
Class 175/0 Arriva Trains Wales 11 1999–2001 2 175001 – 175011
Class 175/1 16 1999–2001 3 175101 – 175116

Named units[edit]

Some of the class have received names:

All except for Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru were named by First North Western. The nameplates have now all been removed as the fleet now wears standard Arriva colours.[37]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Class Data Page". Angel Trains. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Exciting new era of high speed travel". First North Western. n.d. Archived from the original on 28 November 1999. 
  3. ^ "Mechanical And Electrical Coupling Index". Rail Safety and Standards Board. Archived from the original on 21 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Angel Trains (21 June 2000). "Angel Trains delivers first of 27 Class 175 Coradia trains" (Press release). Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  5. ^ "Class 175 Coradia DMU". Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  6. ^ North Wales Coast Railway - The Trains refers to the coach labelling.
  7. ^ "Select Committee on Transport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence". 11 June 2003. Retrieved 14 March 2009. Section 2.3:unit availability was over 60% on only one occasion 
  8. ^ "About us - History". Riviera Trains. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2009. With the ongoing poor availability of Arriva Trains Wales North Wales Coast Class 175 units... 
  9. ^ "About Us". Train Maintenance Solutions. Retrieved 14 March 2009. 
  10. ^ "How do you solve a problem like Coradia?". Modern Railways (January 2007): 50. 
  11. ^ "North Wales Railway notice board". 14 October 2003. Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  12. ^ "Angel Trains delivers first of 27 Class 175 Coradia trains" (Press release). Angel Trains. 21 June 2000. Retrieved 14 March 2009. 
  13. ^ "Utilisation of Cardiff-Maesteg Service" (PDF). Network Rail. 21 November 2006. Retrieved 20 October 2008. 
  14. ^ "Introduction of Class 175 units between Gloucester and Cheltenham" (PDF). Network Rail. 3 April 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008. 
  15. ^ "Introduction to Ebbw Vale line" (PDF). Network Rail. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2008. 
  16. ^ Annex A Government of Wales
  17. ^ Hulme, Charlie (19 January 2010). "Level Crossing fatality on the Marches line". The North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  18. ^ Fatal accident at Moreton-on-Lugg, near Hereford, 16 January 2010 (PDF) (Report). Rail Accident Investigation Branch, Department for Transport. July 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  19. ^ Hulme, Charlie (26 July 2010). "Moreton-on-Lugg accident: man arrested". The North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  20. ^ "Arrest after level crossing death in Herefordshire". BBC News. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  21. ^ "Kidwelly train crash farmer 'incredibly stupid'". BBC News. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  22. ^ Samuel, A (31 October 2011). "Farmer who caused train crash given suspended prison sentence". Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  23. ^ "Train and lorry collide on level crossing near Whitland". BBC News. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  24. ^ "Whitland train crash: Lorry driver, 48, is arrested". BBC News. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  25. ^ Hulme, Charlie (14 November 2011). "Fire drama at Manchester Piccadilly". The North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  26. ^ "Train evacuated after engine fire". BBC News. 26 August 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  27. ^ Hulme, Charlie (21 November 2011). "The fire in 175 110 - update". The North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  28. ^ Rowden, Nathan. "Trains cancelled and delayed after Shrewsbury Railway Station blaze drama - with pictures and video". Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  29. ^ Austin, Sue (28 February 2018). "Rail chaos as Arriva Trains Wales cancels services for urgent safety checks on damaged wheels". Shropshire Star. Retrieved 28 February 2018. 
  30. ^ Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society (2006). "News 2006". Retrieved 17 March 2009. At Bangor station on 2nd August 2005 Bryn Terfel named 175003 Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru 
  31. ^ a b "The Encyclopaedia of Modern Traction Names - M". Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  32. ^ a b "The Encyclopaedia of Modern Traction Names - B". Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  33. ^ "The Encyclopaedia of Modern Traction Names - V". Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  34. ^ a b "The Encyclopaedia of Modern Traction Names - C". Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  35. ^ "The Encyclopaedia of Modern Traction Names - S". Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  36. ^ "The Encyclopaedia of Modern Traction Names - P". Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  37. ^ "North Wales Coast Line - Notice Board". 22 February 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2009. It is confirmed that the name Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru on 175 003 did not survive the repainting experience. ATW seem to be removing all names as trains are repainted... 

External links[edit]