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Class 377, no. 377 213, at Harrow & Wealdstone station on 28 September 2004. This unit is in the Southern livery.
In service 1999 - Current
Manufacturer Bombardier Transportation, Derby
(formerly ADtranz)
Replaced Class 421
Class 423
Class 319
Class 456
Class 313
Class 508
Class 365
Class 466
Class 411
London Underground A60 and A62 Stock
Class 465
Class 310
Class 317
Class 312
Number built 480 trainsets
Formation 3, 4 or 5 cars per trainset
Capacity Varies depending on number of carriages and seating configuration, see individual articles for details
Operator(s) Abellio Greater Anglia
London Overground
Car length Class 357: DMSO: 20.75 m (68 ft 1 in) each, MSO and PTOSL: 20.10 m (65 ft 11 in) each
Classes 376 and 377 DMSO: 20.4 m (66 ft 11 in) each, MSO and PTOSL: 19.99 m (65 ft 7 in) each
Width 2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)
Height 3.78 m (12 ft 5 in)
Maximum speed 75 mph (120 km/h) (376/378)
100 mph (160 km/h) (357/375/377/379)
110 mph (180 km/h) (387)
Weight Class 357: 157.6 t
Classes 375/3 and 377/3: 133.1 t
Classes 375/6, 375/7, 377/1, 377/2: 173.6 t
Power output 2x373 = 746 kW kW (377/3 only)
3x373 = 1,119 kW (others, third rail)
3x560 = 1,680 kW (AC mode)
Electric system(s) 25 kV AC Overhead lines
750 V DC third rail
Safety system(s) AWS, TPWS
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

Electrostar is the name given to a series of related electric multiple-unit (EMU) passenger trains manufactured by Bombardier Transportation (formerly ADtranz) at their Litchurch Lane Works in Derby, England. Since the privatisation of British Rail, it has become the most common new EMU type in Britain, where different variants referred to as Class 357, Class 375, Class 376, Class 377, Class 378, Class 379 and Class 387, are most common on the high-volume suburban commuter routes in South, North and East London, and mainline services south to Sussex, Kent & South Essex coasts and north to Cambridge and Stansted Airport . It shares the same bodyshell and core structure as the Turbostar, which is in turn the most common post-privatisation diesel multiple unit (DMU) family, and both evolved from the Class 168 Clubman design by ADtranz.

The Clubman/Turbostar/Electrostar platform is a modular design, which share the same basic design, bodyshell and core structure, and is optimised for speedy manufacture and easy maintenance. It consists of an underframe, which is created by seam-welding a number of aluminium alloy extrusions, upon which bodyside panels are mounted followed by a single piece roof, again made from extruded sections. The car ends (cabs) are made from glass-reinforced plastic and steel, and are huck-bolted onto the main car bodies. Underframe components are collected in ‘rafts’, which are bolted into slots on the underframe extrusion. The mostly aluminium alloy body gives light weight to help acceleration and energy efficiency.

The Electrostar has also been selected for use on the Gautrain system in South Africa, a new railway between Johannesburg, Pretoria, and the Johannesburg International Airport. The trains will be assembled by UCW Partnership in South Africa from components made in Derby.[1]

Transport for London (TfL) announced in August 2006 that it had ordered 48 three- and four-car Electrostar trains for the London Overground service. These were categorised by Network Rail as Class 378, and entered service in 2009 to replace the Class 313 and Class 508 on the North London Line and West London Line, and to provide the opening service on the new East London line extension from 2010.[2]

In 2009, as part of the government's wider rolling stock plan, an order was placed for thirty four-car Class 379 Electrostar units intended for use by National Express East Anglia (now operated by Abellio Greater Anglia) on the Stansted Express and West Anglia services.[3] The first of the new Class 379 units entered passenger service on Thursday 3 March 2011 running the 20:10 Stansted Express from London Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport and the 21:15 return service.


  • Electrostar variants 1
  • Electrostar routes 2
    • c2c 2.1
    • Southeastern 2.2
    • Southern 2.3
      • Main lines 2.3.1
      • Outer suburban 2.3.2
      • Suburban 2.3.3
    • London Overground 2.4
    • Thameslink 2.5
    • Gautrain (South Africa) 2.6
    • Abellio Greater Anglia 2.7
  • Diagrams 3
    • Class 357, c2c 3.1
    • Class 375, Southeastern 3.2
    • Class 376, Southeastern 3.3
    • Class 377, Southern, Thameslink 3.4
    • Class 378, London Overground 3.5
    • Class 379, Abellio Greater Anglia 3.6
    • Gautrain 3.7
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Electrostar variants

Class Image Operator Introduced Number Power Carriages Door configuration End gangways Notes
357 Electrostar c2c 1999 72 AC electric 4 "Plug" style No
375 Electrostar
Southeastern 1999 112 Dual Voltage/DC electric 3 or 4 "Plug" style Yes Classes 375 and 377 differ only in their coupler configuration and other minor fittings; all Southern units built as Class 375 have since been converted to Class 377 couplers and re-classed. Minor differences in interior trim remain.Class 375/6 is dual voltage
376 Electrostar Southeastern 2004 36 DC electric 5 Sliding pocket No
377 Electrostar Southern,
2002 239 Dual Voltage/DC electric 3, 4 or 5 "Plug" style Yes 377/6 and 377/7s have been built with different exteriors, matching the 379s and 387s.
378 Capitalstar
London Overground 2009 57 Dual Voltage/DC electric 4 or 5 Sliding pocket Emergency use only The Class 378s were constructed in three separate batches - 24 three car units designated as Class 378/0 with dual voltage capability were utilised on the North London Line and West London Line. 20 four car DC-only units designated Class 378/1 were built for the East London Line. 13 four car Class 378/2s were also built, and the 378/0s had an extra car added to make them 378/2s. All currently (2014) being extended to 5 cars.
Gautrain 2010 24 AC electric 4 "Plug" style No Two four-car sets can be coupled together to operate in multiple as an eight-car set.
379 Electrostar Abellio Greater Anglia 2011 30 AC electric 4 "Plug" style Yes The Class 379s incorporate some technical features of the proposed Aventra Mark II Electrostar.[4] However they are outwardly similar to classes 375 and 377.
387 Electrostar Thameslink,
Gatwick Express (future), First Great Western (future)
2014 64 Dual Voltage/DC electric 4 "Plug" style Yes Units under construction until 2017. Class 387s for Thameslink have been ordered to cope with extra service before enough Class 700s are built. These will then transfer to First Great Western. 387/2s will replace Class 442s on Gatwick Express and some FGW diesel units.

Electrostar routes


357030 at Barking in National Express c2c livery. Electrostar trains are the new standard on many of London’s commuter routes.

c2c uses Class 357 units on services down the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway line from Shoeburyness and Southend to London Fenchurch Street.


A Southeastern Class 375 Electrostar at Cuxton.
Interior of a Southeastern electrostar (Class 375).

The Class 375 is the backbone of Southeastern's long distance routes, seeing services on most of its lines originating from its London termini (London Victoria, Charing Cross, Cannon Street and London Bridge) including;

On the outer suburban portions of these above routes, Class 465/9 Networkers support the Electrostars, but they do not work in multiple together.

A Southeastern Class 376 Electrostar in Southeastern livery.

The Class 376 operates on the metro routes in suburban London, in conjunction with the Class 465 and Class 466 Networkers, operating over the London portion of the above lines from the London Termini (including Blackfriars) out to Dartford and Sevenoaks);

This leaves the Bromley North Line and Sheerness Line, both operated by Class 466s (2 car Networkers) which also used to operate on the Medway Valley Line prior to the May 2012 Timetable Changes.


A Southern Class 377.

Southern's Class 377 fleet is found on all parts of the network apart from the non-electrified routes. They also now run frequently in metro routes alongside the Class 455s and used to run alongside the Class 456s until their transfer to South West Trains in 2014.

Main lines

Outer suburban

  • London Victoria–Horsham via Dorking
  • London Victoria–East Grinstead
  • London Bridge–Horsham via East Croydon
  • London Bridge-Reigate
  • London Bridge-Tonbridge via Redhill


Often found on

  • London Victoria–Dorking via Sutton
  • London Victoria–Epsom Downs
  • London Bridge-London Victoria via Sydenham
  • London Bridge-Caterham
  • London Victoria-Caterham
  • London Victoria-Epsom
  • London Bridge-Tattenham Corner

377s can be also found running overnight on Southern London Victoria–Brighton duties at 1:00am and 4:00am, calling at Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Horley, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges.

London Overground

A London Overground Class 378 in TfL livery at Crystal Palace.

London Overground operates Class 378s over five lines around London:

The sixth major route it's responsible for is the unelectrified Gospel Oak to Barking Line. For this, London Overground obtained Class 172 Turbostar DMUs.


Thameslink Bombardier Class 377/5 Electrostar No. 377508 is seen arriving at St. Albans, with a southbound service for Brighton.

From March 2009 First Capital Connect (now Thameslink) ran 23 x 4 car Class 377's on the Thameslink Bedford to Brighton route, this increased to 26 x 4 car Class 377's in late 2011. This arrangement has continued since the franchise transferred to Govia Thameslink Railway in September 2014.

  • Thameslink, Bedford to Brighton
  • Thameslink, Bedford to Ashford International/Gillingham/Bearsted/Rochester peak only services. (These services are jointly run by Govia Thameslink Railway and Southeastern with services north of Blackfriars operated by Thameslink and south by Southeastern - until December 2014 when Thameslink took over the whole route)

Gautrain (South Africa)

On 8 June 2010, the route between Sandton and OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa opened in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[5] The rest between Johannesburg Park Station and Rosebank was to be completed in 2011. This section was actually opened 7 June 2012,[6] the delay caused by work to resolve a water-seepage problem in the single-track tunnel section between Rosebank and Park. Although railways in South Africa use the 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) Cape gauge, Gautrain is built to the more expensive standard gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in). According to the Gautrain planning and implementation study,[7] this is done for several reasons, including that standard gauge is safer and more comfortable to passengers. The rolling stock is also easier, quicker and less expensive to obtain than Cape Gauge rolling stock, and standard gauge is also less expensive to maintain as it is more tolerant of track imperfections than Cape Gauge. Standard gauge allows for travel at Gautrain's required speed of 160 km/h (99 mph).

Abellio Greater Anglia

Abellio Greater Anglia Class 379 "Electrostar" EMU 379014 arrives at Tottenham Hale with a service to Liverpool Street.

From March 2011 National Express East Anglia introduced 30 x 4 car Class 379s on Stansted Express and West Anglia Main Line services.[8] These incorporate some features of Bombardier's planned 'Aventra' Mark 2 Electrostars.[4]

All units had entered service by mid-August 2011, two months ahead of schedule. A major timetable update in December 2011 entailed the introduction of 12-car trains on some peak workings to and from Cambridge.[9]

These trains are now operated by Abellio Greater Anglia as of 5 February 2012.


Class 357, c2c

Class 375, Southeastern

Class 376, Southeastern

Class 377, Southern, Thameslink

Class 378, London Overground

Class 379, Abellio Greater Anglia


See also


  1. ^ "Bombardier Selected Preferred Bidder for Rapid Rail System in South Africa". Bombardier. 2 July 2005. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2012. Bombardier Transportation’s facility in Derby, United Kingdom, will be responsible for manufacturing the fleet of Electrostar vehicles, with final assembly performed in South Africa by UCW Partnership, a broad-based empowered subsidiary of Murray & Roberts. 
  2. ^ "TfL awards £223m new trains contract". Transport For London. 31 August 2006. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2012. Funded by TfL's £10 billion Investment Programme, the new trains will operate on the North London Railway, which TfL will manage from November next year, and the extended East London Line. 
  3. ^ "Express delivery". Railfuture. 4 April 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "First new Stansted Express train rolls out".  
  5. ^ The Guardian: Welcome aboard the Gautrain, Africa's first high-speed urban train Accessed 12 June 2010
  6. ^ "Gautrain Rapid Rail Link: Park Station Opening". Official Gautrain Website. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Gautrain Rapid Rail Link: Planning and Implementation Study" (PDF). Official Gautrain Website. Retrieved 12 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "National Express launches Class 379s on Stansted Express Service". Railway Herald. 21 March 2011. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "New timetable for the West Anglia network". National Express East Anglia. Retrieved 2011-11-11.

External links

  • Southern Electric Group Historical Features Index
  • Bombardier website - the manufacturer of the Electrostars

The Operators of the Electrostars

  • c2c website (Class 357)
  • Southern website (Class 377)
  • Southeastern website (Classes 375/376)
  • First Capital Connect website (Class 377)
  • Transport for London website for London Overground (Class 378)
  • Greater Anglia (Class 379)
  • Gautrain website


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