British Rail Class 365

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British Rail Class 365 Networker Express
Ely, Class 365 in TSGN livery.JPG
Class 365 517 at Ely in new TSGN livery, January 2014
365530 B Internal.JPG
The standard class interior of a refreshed First Capital Connect Class 365
In service 1995 - Current
Manufacturer ABB York
Family name Networker
Constructed 1994 - 1995[1]
Refurbishment 2007 - ? (Hornsey Depot)
Whole fleet re-liveried from NSE to First Capital Connect in 2006 - 2007.
Second refurbishment: 2013-2016 (Ilford Depot)
Number built 41 trainsets
Number in service 40 trainsets
(one was written off in the Potters Bar rail crash in 2002)
Formation 4 cars per trainset
Fleet numbers 365501 - 365541
Operator Great Northern
Car length 20.89 m (68 ft 6 in) (DMCO)
20.06 m (65 ft 10 in) (Other vehicles)
Width 2.81 m (9 ft 3 in)[1]
Height 3.77 m (12 ft 4 in)
Maximum speed 100 mph (161 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 AC Overhead
750 V DC Contact shoe (removed)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)

The British Rail Class 365 "Networker Express" are dual-voltage (25 kV AC and 750 V DC) electric multiple units built by ABB at York, from 1994 to 1995. These were the last units to be built at the York factory before its closure. All Class 365 units in service 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".[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 EMUs (Class 465/466) and DMUs (Class 165/166) 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 365501 to 365516, 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-volt third-rail system[6] (with the exception of unit 365502, 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.

However, the 365s retain the original 750-volt 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).

Basic equipment consists of;

  • DMOC A - 4x 3-phase AC traction motors, traction inverter, sander
  • TOSL - Compressor, auxiliary converter, disabled toilet
  • PTOSL - Pantograph, transformer, auxiliary converter, small toilet
  • DMOC B - 4x 3-phase AC traction motors, traction inverter, sander

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.

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

Current operations[edit]

Great Northern[edit]

Class 365, No. 365530 arriving at Cambridge on 15 May 2004, with a service from King's Lynn. This unit is operated by Great Northern and has a modified front end with cab air conditioning. It is shown still painted in obsolete Network SouthEast livery.

Thameslink and 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 older Class 317 and Class 321 units, although 365s are seen more frequently. Services generally fall into two categories:

These services usually stop more frequently than the East Coast expresses with which they share the southern section of the East Coast Main Line, although there are exceptions, notably the non-stop services to Cambridge (many of which go on to King's Lynn), operated almost solely by Class 365 units.

First Capital Connect 365538 rolls into Cambridge on a service from London Kings Cross.

All 40 units in service have received an interior refresh by FCC. This involved retrimming the carpet, dado panels and seat moquette, and the two toilets were repainted. Externally these units are all in FCC livery, with the exception of four units carrying WAGN's special advertising liveries.

Starting from January 2014, the first trains in the fleet will undergo a refurbishment by Bombardier Transportation at their Ilford site, some of which will be completed on a two-part basis with a second stage starting from the summer of 2014.[8] The first unit to be put back into service is 365 517, which began operations on 16 January 2014.[8] The initial refurbishment comprises new seat upholstery, new flooring, interior and exterior repaint and an engineering overhaul to maintain reliability.[8]

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.[8] Work is due to be completed in Autumn 2016.[9]

Former operations[edit]

South-eastern England[edit]

The first 16 sets were fitted for use on the 750V 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 of these units were transferred to WAGN in 2004. Govia Thameslink Railway now has all the Class 365 units.


  • 365526 - DMOC B and PTOSL were damaged in the Potters Bar rail crash in 2002.[10] 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) whilst the PTOSL, which sustained damage to the drag box and sole bar, 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]
  • 365531 - Leading DMOC was damaged in a fatal collision with a tractor at Black Horse Drove crossing in October 2005.[11]
  • 365532 - DMOC A was damaged in a collision with a tractor at Hatson's User Worked Crossing in September 2011[12]
  • 365512 - DMOC B was damaged in a fatal collision with a car at Pleasants crossing in July 2012.[13]
  • A class 365 was in collision with another electric multiple unit at Cambridge on 30 May 2015. Three passengers sustained slight injuries.[14]

Fleet details[edit]

Class No. Built Cars per set Year Built Operator No. in Traffic Unit nos. Comments
Class 365 41 4 1994-1995 Great Northern 40 365501-365525
365526 stored out of use after Potters Bar rail incident.


In March 2015 it was confirmed that 21 Class 365s will be released from Great Northern services once they come off-lease to be cascaded to First Great Western to operate services in the Thames Valley.[15]


A total of ten units have been named however only eight currently retain their names:[16]

  • 365506 - The Royston Express[17]
  • 365513 - Hornsey Depot
  • 365514 - Captain George Vancouver
  • 365517 - Supporting Red Balloon
  • 365518 - The Fenman
  • 365527 - Robert Stripe - Passengers' Champion (denamed)
  • 365530 - The Interlink Partnership
  • 365533 - Max Appeal
  • 365536 - Rufus Barnes - Chief Executive of London Travelwatch for 25 years
  • 365537 - Daniel Edwards - Cambridge Driver 1974-2010 (denamed)

Special liveries[edit]

Four units carry advertising vinyls for places along the Great Northern route.

  • 365510 - Cambridge and Ely
  • 365519 - Discover Peterborough
  • 365531 - Norfolk-Nelson's County
  • 365540 - 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. unknown: Ian Allen. ISBN 978-0-7110-3277-4. 
  3. ^ a b Class 365 Networker Express - Kent Rail
  4. ^ a b Class 365 Networker Express - Welcome to the Southern E-Group Web Site. 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. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  7. ^ Connex South Eastern: Train Operating Manual Classes 365,465,466. p.A.6 (Unit information) January 1998. Retrieved 14 February 2011
  8. ^ a b c d "New-look train enters service on Great Northern route". 16 January 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Improved accessibility for passengers on Great Northern trains - Rail Magazine. Retrieved 2015-02-25
  10. ^ Office of Rail Regulation - ORR: Accident & Incident Investigation - Potters Bar. Retrieved 13 February 2011
  11. ^ Black Horse Drove - RAIB Accident Report. Retrieved 11 February 2011
  12. ^ Hatson's Crossing - RAIB Accident Report. Retrieved 25 October 2013
  13. ^ Pleasants Crossing - London Evening Standard. Retrieved 1 January 2014
  14. ^ George, Martin. "Low-speed train crash injures three people at Cambridge Station". Eastern Daily Press. Archant. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "EMU Formations". AbRail. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  17. ^ Ewan Foskett. Train named for town at special ceremony Royston Crow, 2011.