British Rail Class 333

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British Rail Class 333
333002 A Leeds.JPG
333002 arrives at Leeds
333010 Leeds DMSO Interior.JPG
The standard class interior of an unrefurbished Class 333 EMU
In service2000–present
ManufacturerSiemens Mobility and CAF
Built atZaragoza, Spain
ReplacedClass 308
Number built16 trainsets[1]
Formation4 cars per trainset[1]
Fleet numbers333001–333016
Capacity360 seats
Car length
  • 23.74 m (DMSO)
  • 23.35 m (TSO, PTSO)
Maximum speed100 mph (160 km/h)[1]
Weight186.4 t (183.5 long tons; 205.5 short tons)
Power output1.4 MW (1,900 hp)
Electric system(s)25 kV 50 Hz AC Overhead
Current collection methodPantograph
Braking system(s)Regenerative air brake
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 333 is an electric multiple unit with a top speed of 100 mph (160 km/h); they were built by Siemens and CAF between 2000 and 2001.

These trains are operated by Northern and are based on the Class 332 units operated by Heathrow Express.


Sixteen three-car units were introduced between 2000 and 2001 by Northern Spirit and are now operated by Northern. They replaced the Class 308 slam-door units on the Wharfedale and Airedale lines in West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire (between Leeds, Bradford Forster Square, Ilkley and Skipton).[1] They are based at the Neville Hill depot in Leeds and painted in the livery of West Yorkshire Metro, the local passenger transport executive.

Due to increased passenger numbers, the units were lengthened to four cars, 333001–333008 in 2002 and 333009–333016 in 2003, funded by [West Yorkshire Metro and the Strategic Rail Authority.[2] However, this funding ran out in 2007 and as a consequence of this the fourth cars could have been removed.[3] Had this happened the four-car Class 321s would have been removed from Doncaster services to Wharfedale and Airedale services. This means that the fourth cars are now funded by the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, despite rarely running in South Yorkshire, to ensure that four-car units are available on Doncaster services.[4]

Units 333002 and 333004 received the new livery by September 2008, but the finish of the vinyls was unsatisfactory. New vinyls were acquired and the whole fleet was reliveried by mid-2009.[5] Beginning in late 2018 (and expected to be completed sometime in 2019), the entire fleet of 16 is going under a complete refurbishment. There will be new seats, a new livery and a refreshed interior. At-seat plug points and customer information screens will be installed at a later date.[6]

Along with the Class 321 and Class 322 units, these trains were fitted with free Wi-Fi facilities in 2015.[7]


The units are capable of 100 mph (160 km/h), but the maximum speed on their routes is 90 mph (140 km/h). They have standard class only 2+3 high-density seating, and each set has one toilet.[8]

They are fitted with Scharfenberg couplers at each end and are only compatible within their own class.[9]

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos. Formation
Class 333 Northern 16 2000-2001 4 333001–333016 DMSO-PTSO-TSO-DMSO



  1. ^ a b c d Electric Multiple Unit Class 333, UK - Siemens Mobility References. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Rail Working Group: Rolling Stock" (PDF). West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority. 7 December 2005. Retrieved 1 September 2009.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^,[dead link]
  4. ^ Hill, Neville (May 2015). "0-60!". Rail Express. No. 228. p. 27. ISSN 1362-234X.
  5. ^ Today's Railways UK (81). Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Milner, Chris (April 2019). "Class 333 refurbishment unveiled by Northern". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 165 no. 1, 417. Horncastle: Mortons Media. p. 107. ISSN 0033-8923.
  7. ^ "Free On-Board WiFi? Now That's Entertrainment!". Northern Rail. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Class 333 makes its debut". Railway Gazette. 1 May 2000. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Regional Passenger Trains | Angel Trains". Retrieved 3 August 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • "RRNE confirms orders for 16 Class 333 EMUs for West Yorkshire". RAIL. No. 327. EMAP Apex Publications. 25 March – 7 April 1998. p. 10. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.

External links[edit]