British Rail Class 333

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British Rail Class 333
333002 A Leeds.JPG
WYPTE Metro 333 002 arrives at Leeds
333010 Leeds DMSO Interior.JPG
The Standard class interior of a Class 333 EMU
In service 2000 - Current
Manufacturer Siemens AG and CAF
Built at Zaragoza, Spain
Constructed 2000
Refurbishment 2008 - 2009
Number built 16 trainsets[1]
Formation 4 cars per trainset[1]
Fleet numbers 333001 - 333016
Capacity 360 seats
Operator(s) Northern Rail
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 AC Overhead
Braking system(s) Regenerative air brake
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)

British Rail Class 333 electric multiple units built by Siemens and CAF 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 Rail. They replaced the Class 308 units on the Wharfedale and Airedale lines in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England (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 the South Yorkshire, to ensure that four-car units are available on Doncaster services.

Despite changes to the franchise, until 2008 the units still carried the combined Northern Spirit and Metro livery of all-over red with a large N vinyl. From summer 2008 a new livery was introduced, combining the current operator (Northern) and Metro.[4] 333 002 and 333 004 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]


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.

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos. Formation
Class 333 Northern Rail 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. 
  3. ^,[dead link]
  4. ^ "333 Relivery". Northern Railways. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  5. ^ Today's Railways (81).  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]