British Rail Class 334

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British Rail Class 334 Juniper
334038 sits at Edinburgh Waverley, 05 April 2013.JPG
A Class 334 in Saltire livery
ScotRail Class 334 interior, 08 May 2013.JPG
Refurbished interior, 2013.
In service 2001 – current
Manufacturer Alstom
Built at Washwood Heath, Birmingham
Family name Juniper
Replaced Class 303
Constructed 1999 - 2002
Number built 40 trainsets
Formation 3 cars per trainset
Fleet numbers 334001 - 334040
Capacity 183 seats
Operator(s) Abellio ScotRail
Specifications
Car length 21.01 m (68 ft 11 in)
19.94 m (65 ft 5 in)
Width 2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)
Height 3.77 m (12 ft 4 in)
Maximum speed 90 mph (145 km/h)
Weight Total - 124.72 t (122.75 long tons; 137.48 short tons)
Electric system(s) 25 kV 50 Hz AC Catenary
Braking system(s) Air (regenerative)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 334 is a suburban electric multiple-unit train built by Alstom in Birmingham. They are part of the Juniper family of trains along with Classes 458 and 460. The trains are operated by Abellio ScotRail on their Helensburgh/Milngavie/Balloch-Edinburgh via Bathgate and Dalmuir-Cumbernauld/Lanark/Larkhall routes. They were built for SPT/ScotRail (when part of National Express) outer-suburban services in Glasgow.

History[edit]

Their introduction saw the withdrawal of the last of Glasgow's venerable Class 303 "Blue Train" sets which had been in service since 1960. Although delivered to Strathclyde in 1999-2002, they did not enter passenger service until 2001 due to numerous teething problems (in common with other Juniper-based classes) and technical failures which plagued the new units at their introduction. SPT had ordered 38 Juniper units originally, but two were added to the order as a goodwill gesture, because of these problems.[citation needed]

SPT purchased a total of 40 units, although only paying for 38 of the units (2 were given free, with the reason stated above) which can be seen in use daily across the SPT electric network. On the maiden run of the units, 334010 and 334020 ran to Gourock. Initially the units ran Ayrshire Coast Line and Inverclyde Line but then become a common sight on the Argyle Line and North Clyde Line.

In December 2010, the Class 334s operated the Ayrshire Coast Line, Inverclyde Line, North Clyde Line and Argyle Line.

By June 2011 the class was substantially replaced by the Class 380 units on the Ayrshire and Inverclyde lines, with only occasional units seen on those routes.

Relivery and Refurbishment[edit]

334 034's unrefurbished interior
334021 in the previous livery at Greenock Central railway station.

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. Class 334 re-livery began in November 2010 in preparation for the Airdrie to Bathgate reopening.[1][2]

On 24 August 2011, ScotRail announced plans to refurbish all the fleet, with the project expected to start in November 2011 and take two years to complete.[2][3][4] 334020 was the first to be properly refurbished at Kilmarnock's Brodie Rail Works. It was there for 3 months from 3 February 2012 to 2 May 2012. The last unit to receive a full refurbishment was 334006 which left Brodie Works on 8 November 2014.[citation needed]

From early 2015, an extensive overhaul will be carried out by Alstom to the entire fleet to improve passenger conditions, which will include the retrofitting of full air conditioning, at-seat charging points, provision for wi-fi, and reliability improvements to the doors. Additionally, a new CCTV system for Driver Only Operation will be installed. [5]

Accidents[edit]

On 16 January 2008, 334017 was involved in a minor collision whilst entering Glasgow Central station. The unit was working the 08:24 Gourock to Glasgow Central service (2G16) when it collided with an empty, stationary Class 318 unit (318267). The train was travelling at less than 4 mph (6 km/h) when the collision occurred. Four passengers were slightly injured; however only one required hospital attention, and was transferred to Glasgow Southern General hospital in a taxi. The unit was undamaged.[6]

On 15 October 2015 at 17:05, 334016 was involved in a collision on the approach to Uphall railway station. The unit was working the 16:39 Edinburgh to Milngavie service when it collided with an empty red Toyota Hilux pick-up truck which was stolen and abandoned on the tracks. The train was traveling at approximately 75 mph (121 km/h) when the collision occurred. One passenger suffered minor injuries to their hand from broken glass. The unit did not derail. [7]

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos.
Class 334 Abellio ScotRail 40 1999-2002 3 334001 - 334040

References[edit]