British Rail Class 370

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British Rail Class 370
Advanced Passenger Train–Prototype
370003 Carlisle 1.jpg
370003 at Carlisle
In service 1980-1986
Manufacturer BREL
Family name APT
Number built 3 trainsets
Formation 14 cars per trainset
Operator InterCity
Line(s) served West Coast Main Line
Height 3.5 m (11 ft)
Maximum speed 155 mph (249 km/h) (Design)
125 mph (201 km/h) (service)
Weight 434 tonnes (427 long tons)
Electric system(s) 25 kV AC Overhead
UIC classification 2'2'2'2'2'2'2'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+2'2'2'2'2'2'2'
Further information: Advanced Passenger Train
APT-P Driving Trailer Second (DTS) unit, in revised APT branding, with a black "mask" around the driver's window
APT-P Non-Driving Motor (NDM) unit, with Stone Faiveley AMBR pantograph

British Rail's Class 370 tilting trains, also referred to as APT-P (meaning Advanced Passenger Train Prototype), were the pre-production Advanced Passenger Train units. Unlike the earlier experimental gas-turbine APT-E unit, these units were powered by 25 kV AC overhead electrification and were used on the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Glasgow Central. The APT-P is the most powerful domestic train to have operated in Britain, the eight traction motors fitted to the two central Motor Cars giving a total output of 8,000 horsepower (6,000 kW). This enabled the train to set the UK rail speed record of 162.2 miles per hour (261.0 km/h) in December 1979, a record that stood for 23 years until an InterCity 225 set reached 162.6 miles per hour (261.7 km/h) in a test run on Stoke Bank.[1]

Due to ongoing technical problems with these pre-production units, and a lack of cash or political will to take the project forward, the planned APT-S (Advanced Passenger Train Squadron Service) production-series units were never built, but did influence the design of the later InterCity 225 sets designed for the East Coast Main Line electrification. The influence is strongest with the Class 91 locos which took many features from the APT powercars. The technology was later sold to Fiat and used for improving their second generation Pendolino trains which have been used worldwide, including the West Coast Main Line.


Units were numbered 370001-370006 (plus a spare driving car labelled 370007) and were formed as follows:

  • 48101-48107 - Driving Trailer Second
  • 48201-48206 - Trailer Second
  • 48401-48406 - Trailer Restaurant Second Buffet
  • 48301-48306 - Trailer Unclassified
  • 48501-48506 - Trailer First
  • 48601-48606 - Trailer Brake First
  • 49001-49006 - Non-Driving Motor

A full train was made up of two units running back-to-back, with the two motor cars adjoining. The motor cars had no seating accommodation or through-gangway, so the two halves of the train were unconnected for passengers.


Preserved Class 370 no. 370006 at Crewe Heritage Centre in 2006

All six units were withdrawn during 1985-1986, and most cars were quickly scrapped. Only a handful of cars have survived;

  • 49006 is a Non-Driving Motor Car, and is at the Electric Railway Museum, Warwickshire, near Coventry on loan from the National Railway Museum.
  • Crewe Heritage Centre, a museum located next to Crewe station, has a rake of six cars formed into a single train:
    • 48103 - Driving Trailer Second
    • 48404 - Trailer Restaurant Second Buffet
    • 48603 - Trailer Brake First
    • 49002 - Non-Driving Motor
    • 48602 - Trailer Brake First
    • 48106 - Driving Trailer Second

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Train smashes speed record". BBC News. 2003-07-30. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 


External links[edit]