British Rail Class 333

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British Rail Class 333
333002 A Leeds.JPG
wyMetro 333002 arrives at Leeds
333010 Leeds DMSO Interior.JPG
The Standard class interior of a Class 333 EMU
In service 2000–present
Manufacturer Siemens AG and CAF
Built at Zaragoza, Spain
Constructed 2000
Refurbishment 2008–9
Number built 16 trainsets[1]
Formation 4 cars per trainset[1]
Fleet numbers 333001–333016
Capacity 360 seats
Operator(s) Northern
Car length
  • 23.74 metres (DMSO)
  • 23.35 m (TSO, PTSO)
Maximum speed 100 mph (161 km/h)[1]
Weight 186.4 t (183.5 long tons; 205.5 short tons)
Power output 1.4 MW (1,900 hp)
Electric system(s) 25 kV 50 Hz AC Overhead
Current collection method Pantograph
Braking system(s) Regenerative air brake
Track gauge 1,435 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; they were built by Siemens and CAF in 2000.

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


Sixteen three-car units were introduced in 2000 by Northern Spirit and are now operated by Northern. They replaced the Class 308 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 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 South Yorkshire PTE, despite rarely running in South Yorkshire, to ensure that four-car units are available on Doncaster services.[4]

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]

Along with the Class 321 and Class 322 units, these trains were fitted with free wi-fi facilities in 2015.[6]


The units are capable of 100 mph (161 km/h), but the maximum speed on their routes is 90 mph (145 km/h); their brisk acceleration and high power makes them well suited to commuter services with generally short distances between stations in the hilly part of Yorkshire. They have Standard class only 2+3 high-density seating, and each set has one toilet.[citation needed]

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos. Formation
Class 333 Northern 16 2000 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 (81).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Free On-Board WiFi? Now That's Entertrainment!". Northern Rail. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015. 

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]