British Rail Class 466

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British Rail Class 466 Networker
466003 at Ashford International.jpg
Southeastern 466003 at Ashford International in 2011
In service1993 –
Built atWashwood Heath
Family nameNetworker
Number built43 sets
FormationTwo cars per set[1]
Fleet numbers466001 - 466043
Capacity168 Standard seats[1]
Car length
  • 20.89 m (68 ft 6 12 in) (DMOS)
  • 20.06 m (65 ft 9 34 in) (DTOS)[1]
Width2.81 m (9 ft 2 58 in)[1]
Height3.77 m (12 ft 4 38 in)
Maximum speed75 mph (121 km/h)[1]
WeightTotal - 72.4 t (71.3 long tons; 79.8 short tons)
Power output804 hp (600 kW)
Electric system(s)750 V DC third rail
Current collection methodContact shoe
Coupling systemTightlock
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
466022 in trial Southeastern livery at Sheerness-on-Sea in 2011

The British Rail Class 466 Networker is a class of 43 electric multiple units were built by Metro Cammell in 1993 and 1994. They were operated by Network SouthEast until 1997, and then by Connex South Eastern until 2003, South Eastern Trains until 2006 and Southeastern to the present day.


The Class 466 EMUs were built between 1993 and 1994 by Metro Cammell in Washwood Heath, for the Network SouthEast sector of British Rail.[2] As part of the privatisation of British Rail, all were sold to Angel Trains.[3] They were operated by Network SouthEast until 1997, and then by Connex South Eastern until 2003, South Eastern Trains until 2006 and Southeastern to the present day.

Each of these units is formed of two coaches that have dimensions of 20.89 m × 2.81 m (68 ft 6 in × 9 ft 3 in) and a top speed of 75 mph (121 km/h).[2]

Class 466 units operate in multiple with Class 465s. They are also used as individual units on rural routes, mainly the Sheerness Line between Sittingbourne and Sheerness, displacing the Class 508/2s which operated on this branch line and on the Bromley North branch between Grove Park and Bromley North.

The Class 466s were also used on the Medway Valley line between Strood, Maidstone West and Tonbridge, and in the leaf fall and winter season of 2011, the Class 466s were doubled up to make 4 car units on the Medway Valley line to help stop the poor adhesion along the line when only a single unit runs. They also ran doubled up or coupled with a Class 465 on the Sheerness Line during the winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11. From the May 2012 timetable changes, Class 375s replaced the Class 466s on the Medway Valley line, although as of 2019, a class 466 is operating again for the Strood to Maidstone West service.

These two-car EMUs are formed of a driving motor carriage (DMOS: Driving Motor Open Standard) and a driving trailer carriage (DTOSL: Driving Trailer Open Standard Lavatory); all on board seating is standard accommodation.[2] A Solid State Traction Converter package controls 3-phase AC Traction motors, which allows for Rheostatic or Regenerative Dynamic braking. Primary braking system is electro-pneumatically actuated disc brakes, which is blended with the Dynamic brakes. Speed Probes on every axle of the unit provide for Wheel Slip/Slide Protection. A solid state Auxiliary Converter provides 110 V DC and 240 V AC supplies; this is the source of the loud buzzing noise which can be heard when the train is stationary. The Aux Converter is located on the driving trailer, along with the toilet. The units use air-operated sliding plug doors.


A refurbished Class 466

The 466s were repainted by Wabtec Rail at Doncaster Works into a variation of Southeastern livery with lilac doors and midnight blue lower band.

Production and numbering[edit]

466018 at Bromley North operating the Bromley North Line shuttle
Class Introduced/Built Manufacturer Number Range Comments
Class 466 1993-94 Metro-Cammell 466001-043

Fleet details[edit]

 Specification   Sub-class 
 465/0   465/1   465/2   465/9   466 
Currently owned by: Eversholt Rail Group Eversholt Rail Group Angel Trains Angel Trains Angel Trains[3]
Operated by: Southeastern
Routes used on: Metro & Outer Suburban Metro & Outer Suburban Metro & Outer Suburban Outer Suburban Metro, Outer Suburban & Branch Lines
Built: 1991–1993 by BREL York 1993–1994 by ABB York 1991–1993 by Metro Cammell, Washwood Heath 1991-1993 by Metro Cammell, Washwood Heath
Refurbished 2005 by Wabtec, Doncaster Works
1993–1994 by Metro Cammell, Washwood Heath
Construction: Welded aluminium alloy
Doors: Air powered sliding plug
Gangways: Within 4-coach unit only Within 2-coach unit only
Electrical Equipment: Hitachi IGBT inverter technology GTO inverters
Traction motors: Four Brush TIM970 three-phase induction motors of 280 kW GEC-Alsthom G352AY three-phase induction motors of 280 kW
Couplers: Tightlock (with underslung electrical/air connector box)
Suspension: Primary: spring Secondary: airbag
Bogies: BREL P3/T3 SRP BP62/BT52 BREL P3/T3
Maximum speed: 75 mph (121 km/h)
Dimensions: 20.89 or 20.06 m (68 ft 6 in or 65 ft 10 in) × 2.81 m (9 ft 3 in)
Train brakes: Primary: Disc, Secondary: Rheostatic (and Regenerative capable but currently not used)
Mass: 28.6–38.9 tonnes (28.1–38.3 long tons; 31.5–42.9 short tons)
Multiple working: Within Class 365, Class 465 and Class 466. Additionally Class 319 by use of Coupling Changeover Switch for Assistance/Rescue purposes in the Thameslink corridor only.

As highlighted, there are many specifications that are common to both Class 465 (including sub-classes) and Class 466.


Network Southeast Class 466
Connex South Eastern Class 466
South Eastern Trains Class 466
Southeastern Class 466

Accidents and incidents[edit]

February 2007 collision[edit]

From the Rail Accident Investigation Branch report:[4]

On 5 February 2007 a bridge inspection unit working on the M20 motorway was deployed over a railway bridge between Maidstone Barracks and Aylesford stations. The gantry on the bridge inspection unit was struck by a scheduled passenger train, causing significant damage to the leading carriage and wrecking the gantry. The train driver and the sole passenger were slightly injured. Nobody was on the gantry at the time.

At 22:25 on 5 February 2007 Southeastern train 2T83, the 21:57 Paddock Wood to Gillingham struck the "Moog" gantry which was foul of the up line. The train was a 2 car electric unit of class 466 (466041) and was carrying a driver and one passenger.
The collision speed was 65 mph (105 km/h). The leading carriage suffered substantial damage to the cab and forward saloon areas. The driving cab roof was ripped open at the right hand side.

Lewisham, 2018[edit]

  • On 2 March 2018, two units formed part of trains that became stranded in the Lewisham area, including 466024.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f 466 - GEC-ALSTOM - Angel Trains. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Classes 465 and 466 - Welcome to the Southern E-Group Web Site. Retrieved 17 December 2010
  3. ^ a b Class 466 South Eastern Angel Trains
  4. ^ "Collision between a train and a road vehicle, M20 overline bridge, Aylesford" (PDF). RAIB. September 2007. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Self-detrainment of passengers onto lines that were still electrically live at Lewisham, London 2 March 2018" (PDF). Rail Accident Investigation Branch. Retrieved 25 March 2019.