British Rail Class 487

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British Rail Class 487
Class 487 at London Transport Museum Depot.jpg
Class 487 at London Transport Museum following exterior refurbishment
The interior of a Class 487 DMBSO, looking towards the driving cab at the Bank end, with the 'hump' over the powered bogie.
In service1940-1993
ManufacturerEnglish Electric
Built atDick, Kerr works, Preston
Family nameTube
ReplacedW&CR stock
Entered service1940
Number built28 vehicles (12 DMBSO, 16 TSO)
Number preserved1 vehicle
Number scrapped27 vehicles
FormationOne DMBSO, or two DMBSO flanking up to 3 TSO
Fleet numbersDMBSO: 51–62
TSO: 71–86
CapacityDMBSO: 40 seats, 40 standing
TSO: 52 seats, 52 standing
Operator(s)Southern Railway
British Rail Southern Region
Network SouthEast
Depot(s)Waterloo (Waterloo & City line)
Line(s) servedWaterloo & City line
Car length47 ft 0 in (14+38 m)
49 ft 1+34 in (14.98 m)
Width8 ft 7+34 in (2.64 m)
Height9 ft 7 in (2.92 m)
Maximum speed35 mph (56 km/h)
Traction systemTwo EE 190 hp (140 kW) traction motors per DMBSO
Power outputDMBSO: 380 hp (283 kW)
Electric system(s)660 V DC third rail
Current collector(s)Contact shoe
UIC classificationDMBSO: Bo′2′
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 487 electric multiple units were built by English Electric in 1940, for use on the Waterloo & City line.

Twelve motor carriages (DMBSO), numbered 51–62, and sixteen trailers (TSO), numbered 71–86, were built. Trains were in various formations, from a single motor carriage, to pairs of motor cars with up to three intermediate trailers.

They were originally classified Class 453 under TOPS but were later reclassified Class 487.

The Waterloo & City line was operated as part of the BR Southern Region. Stock was painted in British Railways green livery, which was replaced by BR Blue in the 1970s, a version of all over blue with grey detailing. In 1986, the line came under the ownership of Network SouthEast, and their blue, red and white livery was applied.

The Class 487 units were unique on the British Rail network for a couple of reasons. They did not feature the normal yellow ends because the route they operated was entirely in tunnel where the darkness would render them pointless (the line did not integrate at all with the rest of the network). The units were only fitted with red lights at the ends, thus the front of the train displayed two red lights instead of the more usual white.

By the 1990s the units were urgently in need of replacing. This came in the form of new Class 482 two-car units, which were delivered to traffic in 1992/93. The final Class 487 vehicles were taken by road to Glasgow for scrap, which was their single longest journey above ground. One vehicle, DMBSO no. 61, was initially stored at the National Railway Museum in York, before being subsequently transferred to the London Transport Museum's Acton Depot. This vehicle has had a major internal and external restoration by the London Transport Museum to have it in the condition it was on the day it left service in 1993.[1]


Fleet Details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos. BR Design Code Notes
Class 487 Southern Railway
Southern Region
Network SouthEast
12 1940 1 51-62 EB260 / SR842 DMBSO - could operate independently
16 71-86 EH260 / SR846 TSO - could only operate with DMBSO


  1. ^ Waterloo & City line Car SR61, built 1940 (Sign). London Transport Museum. 2018.
  • Marsden, Colin J. (1983). Southern Electric Multiple-Units 1898–1948. Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan Limited. pp. 65–70. ISBN 0-7110-1253-9.

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