British Rail Class 375

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British Rail Class 375 Electrostar
Southeastern Railway Class 375 Electrostar at Birchington-on-Sea June 2019.jpg
Southeastern 375619 at Birchington-on-Sea in 2019
375601 Standard Class Interior.jpg
The interior of a refurbished Class 375
In serviceApril 2001 - current
ManufacturerAdtranz / Bombardier Transportation
Derby Litchurch Lane Works
Family nameElectrostar
  • April 2015 - 2018
Number built140 units
Number in service
  • 112 units
  • (28 units renumbered to Class 377/3)
  • 375/3 - 3 cars per unit (DMOC-PTOSL-DMOS)
  • 375/6 - 4 cars per unit (DMOC-PTOSL-MOSL-DMOC)
  • (refurbished - (DMOS-PTOSL-MOCL-DMOS))
  • Others - 4 cars per unit (DMOC-TOSL-MOSL-DMOC)
  • (refurbished - (DMOS-PTOSL-MOCL-DMOS))
  • 176 seats (375/3)
  • 236 seats (375/6/7/8)[1]
  • 273 seats (375/9)
Car length20.4 m (66 ft 11 in)[1]
Width2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)[1]
Height3.78 m (12 ft 5 in)
Maximum speed100 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 systemDellner,[2] most units originally had Tightlock couplers when new
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 375 is an electric multiple unit train that was built by Bombardier Transportation (previously Adtranz) at Derby Litchurch Lane Works, from 1999 to 2005. The class form part of the Electrostar family of units, 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.


The exterior of a Class 375 prior to refurbishment
The interior of First Class cabin prior to refurbishment
The interior of Standard Class prior to refurbishment

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 Class 375 is the principal train used by Southeastern, and 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, the Southeastern units were not reclassified as 377s. The 375/8 and 375/9 sub-classes were built with Dellner couplers from new, and a different pattern of headlight. The only noticeable difference from the Class 377 is that none of the 375s have an external CCTV.[citation needed]

The Class 375 has GPS-based Selective door opening (SDO), so if the train is too long for a particular station, the doors which are overhanging the platform will not open.

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.[citation needed]


In May 2015, unit 375301 was moved from Ramsgate Depot to Derby Litchurch Lane Works 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-powder coated. The existing seat covers 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 original plan was for the first 50 units (375/3s, 375/6s and 375/7s) to be refurbished at Bombardier in Derby and then the remaining units would be transferred for refurbishment at Bombardier Ilford. This plan did not go ahead and the 375/8s and 375/9s have started refurbishment at Derby. On 19 September 2015 the last 375/3 unit no 375310 went to Derby for refurbishment. The following week on 26 September the first 375/6 went to Derby for refurbishment.[4] The final 375 to receive the refurbishment and gain the new blue Southestern livery was 375 920, which was returned to Ramsgate depot on 28 April 2018.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 8 November 2010, a passenger train operated by unit 375 711 overran Stonegate station, on the Hastings Line in East Sussex, due to low railhead adhesion in the leaf fall season and maintenance errors in respect of the train's sanding apparatus. The train continued to slide beyond the station for 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 24 November 2014, the front carriage of unit 375 611 caught fire from faulty electrical insulation pots at Charing Cross Platform 6. There were no injuries, though both the track and leading carriage required repairs, part of the rail being melted.[6]
  • On 26 July 2015, units 375 703 and 375 612 formed a train that collided 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.[7][8]
  • On 5 January 2018, unit 375 815 hit a fallen tree near Herne Bay. Though damage was sustained to the leading carriage, there were no injuries.
  • On 24 October 2018, shortly before midnight unit 375 301 leading 375 906 hit a car abandoned on a level crossing between Teynham and Faversham. The car caught fire and the leading carriage of 375 301 sustained damage to its corridor, bogie and coupling.[9]

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 started operating services on the Medway Valley Line from May 2012 to January 2016, and then from September 2016 to present day, with the exception of a few high-speed services from London St Pancras during peak hours. 4-car Class 375s, Class 465 and 466 Networkers occasionally appear as well as a substitute units. When the sea wall between Dover Priory and Folkestone Central collapsed, Class 466 Networkers covered the services along the route until it was repaired in September 2016, with the Class 375/3s being used as a shuttle service between Ramsgate and Dover Priory via Sandwich and Deal.

Fleet details[edit]

Class Type Operator No. in traffic Year built Cars per unit Unit nos. Notes
Class 375/3 Express & Outer suburban Southeastern 10 2001–2002 3 375301–310 Originally 28 units - Southern's reclassified as Class 377/3 in 2004, following fitting of Dellner couplings.
Class 375/6 30 1999–2001 4 375601–630 Dual voltage units.
Class 375/7 15 2001–2002 375701–715
Class 375/8 30 2004–2005 375801–830
Class 375/9 27 2003–2004 375901–927 3+2 seating in Standard
Class 375/3 in SE White
Class 375/6 in SE White
Southeastern Class 375/7/8/9 in SE White
Class 375/3 Refurbished
Class 375/6 Refurbished
Class 375/7/8/9 Refurbished

Named units[edit]

Unit Name
375 304 Medway Valley Line 1856 - 2006
375 608 Bromley Travelwise
375 610 Royal Tunbridge Wells
375 611 Dr. William Harvey
375 619 Driver John Neve
375 623 Hospice in the Weald
375 624 White Cliffs Country
375 701 Kent Air Ambulance Explorer
375 703 Dickens Traveller
375 710 Rochester Castle
375 714 Rochester Cathedral
375 823 Ashford - Proudly Served By Rail For 175 Years
375 830 City of London

Unit 375 624 (White Cliffs Country) was re-liveried with the Southeastern trial livery and did not have its name displayed. This unit has since been refurbished with the new Southeastern blue livery.

Unit 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, the gold stripe having been removed several years prior.



  1. ^ a b c Bombardier Electrostar Family page Archived 10 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b "Southern Electrics Group". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014.
  3. ^ Kent Rail Archived 3 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "One third of our trains start midlife refresh". Southeastern. 20 May 2015. Archived from the original on 31 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 catches fire at Charing Cross Station". Rail Technology Magazine. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Southeastern Train travelling between Chilham and Wye derails after hitting cattle". Kent Online. Kent Messenger Group. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Derailment at Godmersham, Kent 26 July 2015" (PDF). Rail Accident Investigation Branch. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Train hits car near Teynham". KentOnline. 25 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.

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.