British Rail Class 314

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British Rail Class 314
314212 at Patterton.jpg
ScotRail liveried Class 314 No. 314212 at Patterton
In service 1979-present
Manufacturer British Rail Engineering Limited
Built at BREL York
Family name BREL 1972 "PEP"
Constructed 1979
Entered service 26 October 1979
Refurbishment 2011-2013
Number built 16 trainsets
Formation 3 cars per trainset
Fleet numbers 314201 - 314216
Capacity 212 seats
Operator(s) Abellio ScotRail
Depot(s) Glasgow Shields Road TMD
Line(s) served Cathcart Circle Lines
Inverclyde Line
Paisley Canal Line
Car length 19.80 m (64 ft 11 12 in)
Width 2.82 m (9 ft 3 in)
Height 3.58 m (11 ft 9 in)
Floor height 1156 mm
Maximum speed 75 mph (121 km/h)
Weight 102.5 t (100.9 long tons; 113.0 short tons)
Power output 656 kW (880 hp)
Electric system(s) 25 kV 50 Hz AC Overhead
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
First ScotRail Class 314 No. 314202 at Gourock. This was the last Class 314 unit in the original SPT orange/black livery.
Class 314207 in carmine and cream livery at Gourock
Refurbished interior of 314208 at Glasgow Central station

British Rail Class 314 alternating current (AC) electric multiple units (EMU) were built by BREL York works in 1979. They were the third variety of British Rail's then-standard 1972 design for suburban EMUs, which eventually encompassed 755 vehicles and five classes (Class 313/314/315/507/508). Able to operate from 25 kV overhead line only, the fleet works inner-suburban services on the Strathclyde rail network in Scotland.


Sixteen Class 314 3-car units were introduced in late 1979 to operate on the then newly opened Argyle Line and were used on both this and the North Clyde Line routes until 2002, when the scrapping of the elderly Class 303 stock led to much stock cascading within the Strathclyde transport network. The Class 314 was based on the experimental Class 445 or "PEP" unit, the design of which spawned the sister Class 313 and Class 315 units which are used extensively in the London commuter area.

In line with the other PEP-based classes, the Class 314 units consist of two outer motor cars with an unpowered trailer vehicle in the middle, giving a technical description of DMSO+PTSO+DMSO. The coaches are of integral aluminium alloy construction based on a steel underframe. Each 3-car set can seat up to 220 people, and following the standard practice in the Glasgow suburban sector, peak time services can be formed by operating two units in multiple to form a 6-car train.

Current operations[edit]

Since 2002, they are mostly found working on the Cathcart Circle Line services to Cathcart, Neilston and Newton. A small number of units also usually work Inverclyde Line services to Gourock and Wemyss Bay, mostly during peak hours. They are also seen on the Ayrshire Coast Line occasionally, particularly when extreme weather affects the availability of other ScotRail EMUs. From 21 November 2012, the Class 314s are also seen operating the Paisley Canal Line during off-peak times following the electrification of the branch.[1]


The Class 314 units are now the oldest on the Strathclyde network and were known for their unique unrefurbished interior (the leading motor coach of unit 314203 was replaced in 1992 by an ex-Class 507 coach after the original was destroyed in the Newton rail crash and differs from the other units, whilst units 314208 and 314212 were severely damaged when they were "drowned" in an Argyle Line tunnel following the River Kelvin bursting its banks in torrential rain at the end of 1994.[2]

Overhaul and refurbishment[edit]

In May 2006, a limited mechanical overhaul programme to the units was initiated, with upgraded door mechanisms and upgrades to the electrics and Automatic Warning System (AWS) equipment. 314202 lost its classic Strathclyde orange/black livery (the last remaining operational multiple unit in Scotland to carry the old livery) in favour of the carmine/cream scheme when it passed through Glasgow Works at the end of November 2006. 314206 entered Glasgow Works on 20 July 2007. This was to be the final unit to receive a major overhaul, pending a decision on the future of the Class 314 units.

In 2009/2010, all Class 314s received a life extension overhaul (C5E), which will take them through to at least 2015. The work included:

  • Bogie change
  • Cab works
  • Various other modifications[3]

From early 2011, Class 314s are undergoing a C3 overhaul/relivery at Railcare Springburn. All 16 sets will be refurbished internally, whilst five units will receive the new ScotRail saltire livery.

  • Any corrision repairs required
  • Relivery (5 units only)
  • Internal repaint
  • Internal lino replacement on floor
  • Replacement seat inserts/covers
  • Full bogie/buckeye overhaul
  • Further reliability upgrades

However, three of the first four units only received a C4 overhaul and internal works.[4][5]

In September 2008, the Scottish Government's agency Transport Scotland announced that all ScotRail trains (including from the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport) would be eventually repainted in a new, blue livery with white Saltire markings on the carriage ends. Relivery of the first unit - 314 212 - took place in Spring 2011.[4] The last unit to receive a relivery and interior refresh was 314208 and the last unit to receive an interior refresh was 314209.[citation needed]

In 2016, one Class 314 (314209) was repainted into the Saltire livery.

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos.
Class 314 Abellio ScotRail 16 1979 3 314201–314216

Named units[edit]

One unit has been named - and since denamed.

  • 314203 - European Union (denamed)


  1. ^ " » Photo » 314204 Enters Corkerhill". Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "hiddenglasgow::Glasgow Central Low Level Railway Flood". Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Class 314 C5E Overhaul". Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "ScotRail starts refurbishment of Class 314 EMUs" (PDF). Railway Herald (264). 18 April 2011. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Class 314 Relivery and Overhaul 2011-2012". Retrieved 2 April 2011.