British Rail Class 424
The "Networker Classic" concept involved rebuilding Mark 1 design Southern Region EMUs of Classes 411, 421 and 423 to meet current crash-worthiness standards. This involved building a new bodyshell on the existing chassis, but keeping the original electrical and motor equipment. Therefore, the aim was to produce a 'new' unit at one quarter the cost of manufacturing a train from scratch. The rebuilt units would have had a life of at least fifteen years, thus saving considerable amounts of money when replacing old stock.
One vehicle, no. 76112 from 'Phase 1' 4Cig unit 1749 was rebuilt as a prototype in 1997. This saw the original Mark 1 bodyshell removed from the chassis, and replaced with a new one resembling the then brand new Turbostar installed in its place. It was displayed to the public at London Victoria, paired with unrebuilt DT 76747 from 4Big unit 2256, for comparison purposes. The converted vehicle had a total capacity of 77 passengers in Standard Class only; had the full 4-car unit undergone the same conversion, then it would have had capacity for up to 310 passengers.
Rather than continue with this concept however, the train companies turned to new-build rolling stock, which saw the introduction of the Electrostar, Desiro and Juniper families from various manufacturers. As a result, the single Class 424 vehicle was stored at the Bombardier plant at Derby until 2012, when it was removed for disposal. The unrebuilt DT with which it was paired later became part of 4Cig unit 1399, which has since been preserved.
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- Pritchard, Robert (2012). "325 sent for scrap". Today's Railways. Platform 5 (125): 69.
- "Adtranz launches new 'Networker Classic' rebuild at Wembley show". RAIL. No. 318. EMAP Apex Publications. 19 November – 2 December 1997. pp. 6–7. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.