British Rail Class 331

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

British Rail Class 331 Civity
331001 approaching Crewe platform 1.jpg
331001 on test at Crewe on 30 October 2018
In serviceFrom 2019
Built atZaragoza, Spain[1]
Family nameCivity
ReplacedClass 321
Class 322
Class 323
Number under construction43 units to be built
Formation31 x 3-car units
12 x 4-car units
Fleet numbers331001–331031 (331/0)
331101–331112 (331/1)
Capacity204 seats (331/0)
284 seats (331/1)[2]
Train length71.4 m (234 ft 3 in) (331/0)
94.75 m (310 ft 10 in) (331/1)
Maximum speed160 km/h (100 mph)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The Class 331 Civity[3] is a class of electric multiple unit being constructed for Northern by Spanish rolling stock manufacturer CAF. A total of 43 units are to be built: 31 three-car units and 12 four-car units. Construction started in July 2017 and the trains will be phased into service in 2019.


The announcement of the new trains was made by Arriva UK Trains when it was confirmed that it would become the next operator of the Northern franchise from 1 April 2016.[4]

CAF were selected by Arriva as they were the only manufacturer able to produce both new diesel (Class 195) and electric multiple units from the same platform, the Civity, thus increasing familiarity for drivers and reducing maintenance costs once in operation.[5] Bombardier made a bid to produce electric Aventra units but was unable to offer a sister diesel unit which Arriva required.[6] Furthermore, Bombardier already had a long order book for Aventra units and Arriva believed CAF were in a stronger position to guarantee on-time delivery of the units.[6]

The Class 331 units will operate in West Yorkshire, replacing Class 321 and Class 322 trains and working alongside the current fleet of Class 333 units. The 331s will also be deployed on inter-city electrified services from Manchester Airport to Preston and Blackpool North.

Elsewhere, it is envisaged they will replace the Class 323 units on select commuter routes to Manchester Piccadilly station local services, which are due to return to Porterbrook at the end of their current lease in 2019.[7][8][9][10]

Construction started in July 2017,[11] with the first completed unit being unveiled on 31 January 2018.[12] Testing began in the UK in September 2018, and the new stock will be phased into service between December 2018 and December 2019.[13][11]

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Unit Unit nos.
Class 331/0 Northern 31 2017- 3 331001–331031
Class 331/1 12 4 331101–331112

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Clinnick, Richard. "Northern unveils its first new CAF-built train". Rail Magazine. Rail Magazine. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Northern Franchise Agreement" (PDF). Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy for the Rail Industry, Fourth Edition, March 2016". Rail Delivery Group. Rail Delivery Group. Retrieved 22 March 2016.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Intention to award Northern franchise to Arriva". Arriva Rail North. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  5. ^ Shirres, David (3 April 2018). "Northern's trains from Spain". Railway Engineer. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  6. ^ a b Lea, Robert (23 January 2016). "Spain wins £490m race to replace unloved Pacer". The Times of London. Retrieved 2018-09-15. However, the Arriva order needed a substantial number of diesel trains, too, because so much of the network in the north is not electrified. It is understood that Bombardier declined to bid for the diesel train sets. The Spanish acquisition is likely to have been determined by CAF’s ability to deliver the trains more quickly than rivals.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Likely removal of North West '323s' angers user group".
  9. ^
  10. ^ CAF to supply 98 trains for Britain's Northern franchise International Railway Journal 22 January 2016
  11. ^ a b "CAF begins production of new trains for Northern".
  12. ^ "CAF presents first Civity EMU for Northern". International Railway Journal. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  13. ^