British Rail Class 365

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British Rail Class 365 Networker Express
365535 London Kings Cross.jpg
Great Northern Class 365 No. 365535 at King's Cross
365517 Standard Class.jpg
The interior of refurbished Standard Class
In service 1995 – Current
Manufacturer ABB Holgate Road carriage works
Family name Networker
Constructed 1994–1995[1]
Refurbishment Whole fleet re-liveried from NSE to First Capital Connect in 2006–2007.
Second refurbishment: 2013–2016 (Ilford Depot)
Number built 41 units
Number in service 40 units
(one was written off in the Potters Bar rail crash in 2002)
Formation 4 cars per unit
Fleet numbers 365501 – 365541
Operator(s) Great Northern
Car length 20.89 m (68 ft 6 12 in) (DMOC)
20.06 m (65 ft 9 34 in) (Other vehicles)
Width 2.81 m (9 ft 2 58 in)[1]
Height 3.77 m (12 ft 4 38 in)
Maximum speed 100 mph (160.93 km/h)[1]
Weight 151.62 t (149.23 long tons; 167.13 short tons)
Power output 1,256 kW (1,684 hp)
Electric system(s) 25 kV 50 Hz AC Overhead
750 V DC Contact shoe (removed)
Coupling system Tightlock
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 365 Networker Express are dual-voltage (25 kV AC and 750 V DC) electric multiple-unit trains built by ABB at Holgate Road carriage works from 1994 to 1995. These were the last units to be built at the York factory before its closure. They have received front-end cab modifications to equip them with cab air-conditioning, installed by WAGN, the design of which has given them the nickname "Happy Train", as a result of its 'grinning' air intake.[2]


Class 365 with original front end

In the early 1990s, the Networker family was entering large-scale service in the Network SouthEast sector – both third-rail 'Networker' EMUs (Class 465/Class 466) and 'Network Turbo' DMUs (Class 165/Class 166) were in service, with proposals for others, including a so-called "Universal Networker", intended as Class 371 and 381, that would have dual-voltage capability. However, by 1992, no work had been done in the development of these due to a lack of funding, so a replacement plan was required. For this, the Class 465 was modified for longer-distance services – a prototype was converted from an existing unit (designated as Class 465/3) to determine suitability, before funding was authorised for the purchase of 41 dual-voltage EMUs, each of four cars. These became the Class 365.[3][4][5]


Although specified as a dual-voltage unit, Class 365s have never operated with this capability since they were built with only one system of traction current pickup. Units 365 501 to 365 516, which worked briefly for Network SouthEast before the franchise was given to Connex South Eastern, were originally supplied only with DC shoe gear for use on the 750 V third-rail system[6] (with the exception of unit 365 502, which ran briefly on the AC network during testing and commissioning and was the main reason for this unit being chosen as the one subleased from Connex South Eastern to WAGN to bolster unit availability in the aftermath of the Potters Bar Crash in 2002). In this configuration the maximum speed was 90 mph (145 km/h).[7]

When they transferred to West Anglia Great Northern for use with 25 kV AC overhead line traction supply, the shoes and associated equipment were removed and a Brecknell Willis high speed pantograph was installed, along with other operator and voltage-specific modifications and testing by Bombardier Transportation at its Doncaster Works, shortly before the works were closed.[citation needed]

However, the 365s retain the original 750 V DC bus, meaning that when on 25 kV overhead lines the current is collected as AC, rectified to DC for the onboard systems, and then inverted back to AC for the 3-phase traction motors. For running on overhead lines the maximum speed was raised to 100 mph (161 km/h).[8]

Basic equipment consists of:

Dynamic (rheostatic) braking on the two Driving Motor coaches is available in addition to disc brakes, via a system of brake blending.

In common with the whole Networker fleet, wheel slide protection (WSP) operates on every axle. Under braking conditions a blowdown valve releases air from the brake cylinder of any axle if the rotational speed varies significantly from the average axle speed on the train.[citation needed]

Internal LED Passenger Information Display Systems (PIDS) and Auto-Announcers are fitted across the entire fleet.[8]

Current operations[edit]

Great Northern[edit]

The first refurbished Class 365 was No. 365517 and is seen at London King's Cross
The interior of the refurbished First Class cabin

Great Northern, which took over the service formerly operated by First Capital Connect until 14 September 2014, and previously WAGN until 1 April 2006, uses Class 365s on outer-suburban services from King's Cross. These services are shared with Class 387 units. Services generally fall into two categories:

These services usually stop more frequently than the Virgin Trains East Coast expresses with which they share the southern section of the East Coast Main Line, although there are exceptions, notably the non-stop service to Cambridge.

Starting from January 2014, the fleet has been undergoing a refurbishment by Bombardier Transportation at their Ilford site, some of which were completed on a two-part basis with a second stage starting from the summer of 2014.[9] The first unit to be put back into service was 365 517, which began operations on 16 January 2014.[9] The initial refurbishment comprises new seat upholstery, new flooring, interior and exterior repaint and an engineering overhaul to maintain reliability.[9]

The second stage of upgrades will bring the units in line with the latest disability regulations by installing two wheelchair bays, new external door buttons and vestibule grab handles, a new wheelchair-accessible toilet, a new fully automated passenger information system with audio and visual announcements, and a call-for-aid in the wheelchair and toilet areas. This will be retrofitted to units that have already undergone refurbishment prior to the start of works.[9] Work is due to be completed in Autumn 2016.[10]

Former operations[edit]

South-eastern England[edit]

The first 16 units were fitted for use on the 750 V DC lines, entering service on 16 August 1996 for Network SouthEast. Following franchising, they became part of the South Eastern franchise, operated from 13 October that year by Connex South Eastern, then by South Eastern Trains.[3][4] All were transferred to WAGN in 2004. Govia Thameslink Railway now has all the Class 365 units.


  • 365 526 – DMOC B and PTOSL were damaged in the Potters Bar rail crash in 2002.[11] Three coaches are in store at Railcare's Wolverton Works. The DMOC was written off as it was deemed to be beyond economical repair (and was used and eventually destroyed by the MoD for training purposes) while the PTOSL was deemed to be repairable if needed. The vehicles were bought from the insurance company, Lloyds, by HSBC Rail (UK) Ltd, the leasing agents of the Class 365s at that time, as a source of spare bodyshells and parts.[citation needed]
  • 365 531 – DMOC A was damaged in a fatal collision with a tractor at Black Horse Drove crossing in October 2005.[12]
  • 365 532 – DMOC A was damaged in a collision with a tractor at Hatson's User-Worked Crossing in September 2011[13]
  • 365 512 – DMOC B was damaged in a fatal collision with a car at Pleasants crossing in July 2012.[14]
  • A class 365 was in collision with another electric multiple unit at Cambridge on 30 May 2015. Three passengers sustained slight injuries.[15]
  • 365 520 - DMOC B was damaged in a collision with a Land Rover at Nairns User-Worked Crossing in August 2016[16]

Fleet details[edit]

Class No. Built Cars per unit Year Built Operator No. in Traffic Unit nos. Comments
Class 365 41 4 1994–1995 Great Northern 40 365 501-365 525
365 527-365 541
Remaining vehicles of 365 526 stored out of use after the Potters Bar rail crash.


In 2017, the Class 365 fleet will be replaced on services to Cambridge and King's Lynn by newer Class 387 "Electrostar" units. Great Northern plan to retain 19 Class 365s[17] to operate peak-time limited stop services between London King's Cross and Peterborough.[18]

In March 2015, it was confirmed that the remaining 21 Class 365s, would be cascaded to Great Western Railway once released from Great Northern services, to operate newly electrified services in the Thames Valley.[19] However, in June 2016, GWR ordered additional Electrostar units for these services, so the 365s will not be transferred.[20]

In late 2015 Eversholt Rail has awarded a contract for a First in Class installation of ETCS Level 2 for a Class 365 train operated by Govia Thameslink. It includes an option to retrofit the rest of the fleet in time for the installation of ETCS Level 2 on the East Coast Main Line.[21]


A total of ten units have been named. Vinyl nameplates with a pink backing were applied to the driving vehicles, behind the cab doors, by First Capital Connect. Following a repaint into Thameslink Great Northern colours most were removed, however several have since been reapplied in the same style but with a light blue backing.

  • 365 506 – The Royston Express[22]
  • 365 513 – Hornsey Depot
  • 365 514 – Captain George Vancouver
  • 365 517 – Supporting Red Balloon
  • 365 518 – The Fenman
  • 365 527 – Robert Stripe – Passengers' Champion (denamed)
  • 365 530 – The Interlink Partnership
  • 365 533 – Max Appeal
  • 365 536 – Rufus Barnes – Chief Executive of London Travelwatch for 25 years
  • 365 537 – Daniel Edwards – Cambridge Driver 1974–2010

Special liveries[edit]

Four units were given advertising vinyls, for places along the Great Northern route, by West Anglia Great Northern. These trains no longer have the branding and are now in the Great Northern livery. 365510 was the last to be repainted out of these four. Below is what train had what livery.

  • 365 510 – Cambridge and Ely
  • 365 519 – Discover Peterborough
  • 365 531 – Norfolk-Nelson's County
  • 365 540 - Garden Cities of Hertfordshire



  1. ^ a b c Class 365 Electric Multiple Unit – Eversholt Rail Group. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  2. ^ Reed, Brian (2007). Traction Recognition. Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-3277-4. 
  3. ^ a b Class 365 Networker Express – Kent Rail
  4. ^ a b Class 365 Networker Express. Southern E-Group. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  5. ^ Class 365 Networker Express – TheRailwayCentre.Com. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  6. ^ Connex South Eastern: Train Operating Manual Classes 365,465,466. p.A.9 (Class 365 Unit Formation) January 1998.
  7. ^ Connex South Eastern: Train Operating Manual Classes 365,465,466. p.A.6 (Unit information) January 1998.
  8. ^ a b First Capital Connect: Class 365 Drivers' Guide p.3 (General information & differences between 313’s, 315’s, 317’s & 365’s) 2009.
  9. ^ a b c d "New-look train enters service on Great Northern route" (Press release). First Capital Connect. 16 January 2014. Archived from the original on 28 January 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Improved accessibility for passengers on Great Northern trains". Rail (Peterborough). 24 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  11. ^ Office of Rail Regulation – ORR: Accident & Incident Investigation – Potters Bar. Retrieved 13 February 2011
  12. ^ Black Horse Drove – RAIB Accident Report. Retrieved 11 February 2011
  13. ^ Hatson's Crossing – RAIB Accident Report. Retrieved 25 October 2013
  14. ^ "Driver killed in crash with train on 'user operated' level-crossing". London Evening Standard. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2014
  15. ^ George, Martin (30 May 2015). "Low-speed train crash injures three people at Cambridge Station". Eastern Daily Press. Norwich. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Probe after train hits Land Rover on track". BBC News. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  17. ^ "Rolling Stock Perspective" (PDF). Department for Transport. May 2016. p. 38. 
  18. ^ "Improvement Factsheet: Great Northern Outer Services". GTR. p. 2. 
  19. ^ "First Great Western plans AT300s to Cornwall". Railway Gazette. London. 23 March 2015. 
  20. ^ Rail magazine 802
  21. ^ "Intelligence Market", Railway Gazette International, 172 (1): 17, 2016, ISSN 0373-5346 
  22. ^ Foskett, Ewan. "Train named for town at special ceremony". Royston Crow. 5 February 2011.

Further reading[edit]

  • "Networker Express brake defect not a safety threat says Connex". Rail (344). Peterborough. 18 November 1998. p. 6. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699. 

External links[edit]