British Rail Class 334

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British Rail Class 334 Juniper
334038 sits at Edinburgh Waverley, 05 April 2013.JPG
ScotRail Class 334 interior, 08 May 2013.JPG
Refurbished interior, 2013.
In service3rd April 2001 – current
Built atWashwood Heath, Birmingham
Family nameJuniper
ReplacedClass 303
Constructed1999 - 2002
Number built40 trainsets
Formation3 cars per trainset
Fleet numbers334001 - 334040
Capacity183 seats
Operator(s)Abellio ScotRail
Car lengthDMS: 21.01 m (68 ft 11 18 in)
PTOS: 19.94 m (65 ft 5 in)[1]
Width2.80 m (9 ft 2 14 in)
Height3.77 m (12 ft 4 38 in)
Maximum speed90 mph (145 km/h)
WeightTotal - 124.72 t (122.75 long tons; 137.48 short tons)
Accelerationmax. 0.62 m/s/s (2.2 km/(h⋅s); 1.4 mph/s)[1]
Electric system(s)25 kV 50 Hz AC Catenary
Current collection methodPantograph
Braking system(s)Air (regenerative)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 334 is a suburban electric multiple-unit passenger train built by Alstom in Birmingham. They are part of the Juniper family of trains along with Classes 458 and 460. The trains are operated by Abellio ScotRail on its Helensburgh/Milngavie/Balloch-Edinburgh via Bathgate and Dalmuir-Cumbernauld/Lanark/Larkhall routes. They were built for SPT/ScotRail (when part of National Express) outer-suburban services in Glasgow.


Their introduction saw the withdrawal of the last of Glasgow's venerable Class 303 "Blue Train" sets which had been in service since 1960. Although deliveries started to Strathclyde in 1999, the 334s did not enter passenger service until 2001 due to numerous teething problems (in common with other Juniper-based classes) and technical failures which plagued the new units at their introduction. SPT had ordered 38 Juniper units. The technical problems led to an extra two Class 170 and 2 additional Class 334 units (334039 and 334040) being added as a goodwill gesture.[citation needed]

ScotRail leased a total of 40 units which can be seen in use daily across the SPT electric network. On the maiden run of the units, 334010 and 334020 ran to Gourock. Initially the units ran Ayrshire Coast Line and Inverclyde Line but then become a common sight on the Argyle Line and North Clyde Line.

In December 2010, the Class 334s operated the Ayrshire Coast Line, Inverclyde Line, North Clyde Line and Argyle Line.

By June 2011 the class was substantially replaced by the Class 380 units on the Ayrshire and Inverclyde lines, with only occasional units seen on those routes.

Relivery and Refurbishment[edit]

334034's unrefurbished interior

In September 2008, the Scottish Government's agency Transport Scotland announced that all ScotRail trains (including from the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport) would be eventually repainted in a new, blue livery with white Saltire markings on the carriage ends. Class 334 re-livery began in November 2010 in preparation for the Airdrie to Bathgate reopening.[2][3]

On 24 August 2011, ScotRail announced plans to refurbish all the fleet, with the project expected to start in November 2011 and take two years to complete.[3][4][5] 334020 was the first to be properly refurbished at Kilmarnock's Brodie Rail Works. It was there for 3 months from 3 February 2012 to 2 May 2012. The last unit to receive a full refurbishment was 334006 which left Brodie Works on 8 November 2014.[citation needed]

From early 2015, an extensive overhaul has been carried out by Alstom to the entire fleet to improve passenger conditions, which included the retrofitting of full air conditioning, at-seat charging points, provision for wi-fi, and reliability improvements to the doors. Additionally, a new CCTV system for Driver Only Operation was installed.[6]


  • On 16 January 2008, 334017 was involved in a minor collision whilst entering Glasgow Central station. The unit was working the 08:24 Gourock to Glasgow Central service (2G16) when it collided with an empty, stationary Class 318 unit (318267). The train was travelling at less than 4 mph (6 km/h) when the collision occurred. Four passengers were slightly injured; however only one required hospital attention, and was transferred to Glasgow Southern General hospital in a taxi. The unit was undamaged.[7]
  • On 15 October 2015 at 17:05, 334016 was involved in a collision on the approach to Uphall railway station. The unit was working the 16:39 Edinburgh to Milngavie service when it collided with an empty red Toyota Hilux pick-up truck which was stolen and abandoned on the tracks. The train was travelling at approximately 75 mph (121 km/h) when the collision occurred. One passenger suffered minor injuries to their hand from broken glass. The unit did not derail. [8]

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos.
Class 334 Abellio ScotRail 40 1999-2002 3 334001 - 334040


  1. ^ a b "Class 334". Eversholt Rail. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  2. ^ "ScotRail 25th Anniversary Publicity Materials". Transport Scotland. Archived from the original on 9 October 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Class 334 Relivery and Refurbishment 2011-2013". ScotRail. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  4. ^ "ScotRail in £4 million fleet refurbishment - creating 20 jobs in Ayrshire". ScotRail. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Scotrail to refurbish Class 334 EMUs" (PDF). Railway Herald (281): 4. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Eversholt Rail awards Alstom with contract to overhaul Scottish suburban trains" (Press release). Alstom Transport. 1 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Passengers hurt as trains collide". BBC News. 16 January 2008.
  8. ^ "Train hits vehicle near Uphall in West Lothian". BBC News. 14 October 2015.