British Rail Class 375

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British Rail Class 375 Electrostar
Refurbished and repainted 375306 sits in Strood.
The interior of a Refurbished Class 375
In service April 2001 - Current
Manufacturer ADtranz Derby (now Bombardier)
Family name Electrostar
  • April 2015 - 2018
Number built 140 trainsets
Number in service
  • 112 trainsets
  • (28 trainsets Renumbered to Class 377/3)
  • 375/3 - 3 cars per set (DMOC-TOSL-DMOS)
  • 375/6 - 4 cars per set (DMOC-PTOSL-MOSL-DMOC)
  • (Refurbished - (DMOS-PTOSL-MOCL-DMOS))
  • Others - 4 cars per set (DMOC-TOSL-MOSL-DMOC)
  • (Refurbished - (DMOS-TOSL-MOCL-DMOS))
  • 176 seats (375/3)
  • 236 seats (375/6/7/8)[1]
  • 273 seats (375/9)
Operator(s) Southeastern
Car length 20.4 m (66 ft 11 in)[1]
Width 2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)[1]
Height 3.78 m (12 ft 5 in)
Maximum speed 100 mph (161 km/h)
  • 133.1 tonnes (131.0 long tons) (375/3 only)
  • 173.6 tonnes (170.9 long tons) (others)
Power output
  • 1 megawatt (1,300 hp) (375/3 only)
  • 1.5 megawatts (2,000 hp) (others)
Electric system(s)
Coupling system Dellner[2]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 375 Electrostar electric multiple unit train was built by Bombardier Transportation (previously ADtranz) at their Derby Works, from 1999 to 2005. The Electrostar family, which also includes classes 357, 376, 377, 378, 379 and 387, is the most numerous type of EMU introduced since the privatisation of British Rail.

These units form the basis of Southeastern's mainline fleet.


Driving cab of a Class 375

These trains are owned by Eversholt Rail Group (formerly HSBC Rail) and leased to Southeastern for operation from London to Kent and parts of East Sussex.[3]

The first batch of 30 trains (Class 375/6) were fitted with both a pantograph and third-rail shoes for dual voltage, where the remainder of these trains have one coach in each unit with a recess where the pantograph could be fitted, allowing for future conversion to run on AC power from overhead lines. Although the units are normally operated on 750 V DC lines only, the class is numbered in the 3xx series which usually refers to AC operation. The option is available for the 375/6 units to be leased to a network which operates on 25 kV AC overhead lines.

Southern's Class 375 units have since been converted to Class 377. The ex-375s, now Southern 377/3, have a mixture of grey, plum and blue seats as opposed to the 377/2 and 377/4 (there were two batches of the 377/1: 101-139 All have the mixed seating colours, whereas 140-169 have green uniformed seating). The 375/3, 375/6 and 375/7 types all have smaller headlight and a slightly different interior than the 375/8 and 375/9. The 375/3, 375/6 and 375/7 all have glass overhead racks, and the poles in the train bend straight down.

The class 375/8 and 375/9 have holes in the overhead racks, and the poles bend right the way around. Out of all the seating arrangements in 375s, the 375/9 stands out as it has 2+3 seating layout, unlike all other 375 series. The layout in the interior is also different. On the exterior of a 375/8 and 375/9 there are a few small differences with the headlights. The 375/8 and 375/9 have bigger headlights and they are of the LED type which can change to white or red.

The Class 375 is the principal new train used by Southeastern, and has replaced the life expired slam door Mark 1 derived stock which came to an end of their useful lives on mainline services to Kent and East Sussex and which did not meet up with modern health and safety requirements. All the Southeastern units have also been converted from Tightlock to Dellner couplers,[2] but unlike the Southern fleet, they have not been reclassified as 377s. The 375/8 and 375/9 sub-classes were built with Dellner couplers from new. The only noticeable difference from the class 377 is that none of the 375's have external CCTV.

The Class 375 has GPS-based Selective Door Opening (SDO), so if the train configuration is too long for a particular station, the doors which are overhanging the platform will not open. An example of this is at Elephant & Castle Station which can only hold 8 cars.

Interior prior to refurbishment
Exterior prior to refurbishment

From August 2011, Southeastern has begun a minor refresh of the interiors of the units, with a full re-trim of the seating in the company's new purple moquette (as seen on the refreshed 465/466 units) and the addition of new CCTV cameras. The seats in first class have now been fitted with larger, more prominent seat bolstering to distinguish them from the standard class seats and the first class areas have been re-carpeted.


In May 2015, unit 375301 was moved from Ramsgate Depot to Derby Litchurch Lane for a full refurbishment. On 16 May 2015, it was returned to the Kent depot wearing a new livery, similar to, but not based on the 'Highspeed' livery carried by the high speed Class 395 EMU, with a more vibrant shade of blue on the saloon doors and bolder stripes to highlight First Class and Disabled areas. Internally, the unit has received new carpets and lino flooring, new table top covers and the grab poles, side panels and table legs have been re-powdercoated. The existing seatcovers have been retained, but were dry cleaned to provide a brighter, cleaner interior. This work will also involve combining the two separate First Class sections on four car units into one section in the end of MOSL coach. It is intended for all class 375 units to receive this refurbishment between 2015 and 2018. The first 50 units (starting with 375/3s, then 375/6 & 375/7s) will be refurbished by Bombardier in Derby, before the work is transferred to Bombardier's Ilford works for the remaining units. On the 19th September 2015 the last 375/3 unit no 375310 went to Derby for refurbishment. The following week on the 26th September the first 375/6 went to Derby for refurbishment.[4]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 8 November 2010, a passenger train operated by unit 375 711 failed to stop at Stonegate station, on the Hastings Line in East Sussex, due to maintenance errors in respect of the train's sanding apparatus. The train overran the station by 2 miles 36 chains (3.94 km). Following the incident, Southeastern reduced the interval that the sand hoppers were to be refilled from seven days to five days.[5]
  • On 26 July 2015, units 375 703 and 375 612 formed a train that was in collision with a herd of cattle on the line at Godmersham, between Wye and Chilham, Kent. The leading carriage of 375 703 was derailed. There were no injuries amongst the 70 passengers and crew on board.[6][7]

Class 375 routes[edit]

Main lines[edit]

Outer suburban[edit]

Electrostars also work the following outer suburban Southeastern routes interchangeably with Class 465/9 units:

Medway Valley Line[edit]

Class 375/3 Units operated some services on the Medway Valley Line between May 2012 and January 2016, with the exception of high-speed services from London St Pancras during peak hours, 4-car Class 375's occasionally appeared as well. Following on from the collapse of the Sea wall at Folkestone, The Class 466 Networkers they replaced, have covered services along the route.

Fleet details[edit]

Class Type Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos. Notes
Class 375/3 Express & Outer suburban Southeastern 10 2001–2002 3 375301–310 28 trainsets Southern units reclassified as Class 377/3 in 2004. Refurbished Units:375301-375310
Class 375/6 30 1999–2001 4 375601–630 Dual voltage units. Refurbished units: 375601-375608, 375610-375630. 375609 on hold from refurbishment.
Class 375/7 15 2001–2002 375701–715 375703 derailed in July 2015. 375711 overran Stonegate in November 2010. Refurbished Units: 375701-375715
Class 375/8 30 2004–2005 375801–830 -
Class 375/9 27 2003–2004 375901–927 3+2 seating in Standard Class

Named units[edit]

Unit Name
375 304 Medway Valley Line 1856 - 2006 (Removed upon relivery)
375 608 Bromley Travelwise (Removed)
375 610 Royal Tunbridge Wells (Removed)
375 611 Dr. William Harvey (Removed)
375 619 Driver John Neve
375 623 Hospice in the Weald
375 624 White Cliffs Country (Removed upon Relivery)
375 701 Kent Air Ambulance Explorer
375 703 Dickens Traveller (Removed)
375 710 Rochester Castle
375 714 Rochester Cathedral
375 830 City of London

Note that unit 375 624 (White Cliffs Country) was re-liveried with the Southeastern trial livery and currently does not have its name displayed.

Also, 375 610 (Royal Tunbridge Wells) previously carried a livery with royal blue doors and a gold stripe to mark the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II, this livery was removed upon refurbishment in January 2016.



A Diagram of a Class 375 in the new Southeastern 'Blue' livery, unveiled in May 2015.

Southeastern Class 375 Diagram.PNG

A Diagram of a Class 375 in the new Southeastern Trial livery. (only applied prior to refurbishment on 375609 & 375624 & 375308).

Southeastern Class 375 Diagram Current.png

A diagram of a class 375 in the livery seen on 375/8s&/9s

Southeastern Class 375 Diagram No stripe.png

A diagram of a class 375 in the livery seen prior to refurbishment on 375/3,/6&/7's.



  1. ^ a b c Bombardier Electrostar Family page
  2. ^ a b Southern Electrics Group
  3. ^ Kent Rail
  4. ^ "One third of our trains start midlife refresh". Southeastern. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Station overrun at Stonegate, East Sussex." (PDF). Rail Accident Investigation Branch. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Southeastern Train travelling between Chilham and Wye derails after hitting cattle". Kent Online. Kent Messenger Group. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Derailment at Godmersham, Kent 26 July 2015" (PDF). Rail Accident Investigation Branch. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

  • "Connex increases 'Electrostar' EMU order by another 25 units". RAIL. No. 341. EMAP Apex Publications. 7–20 October 1998. p. 8. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.