The Class 180 is a British diesel multiple-unit train built by Alstom at Washwood Heath in Birmingham between 2000 and 2001 for then-new express services operated by First Great Western (FGW). They are part of the Coradia 1000 family, along with the Class 175. After recurring technical problems with the trains, FGW handed all the units back to Angel Trains (the leasing company) in March 2009. The units were subsequently assigned to other companies. However, in 2012, FGW announced that it would be refurbishing and relaunching five Class 180 units. As of July 2012, these have now re-entered service on the Cotswold Line, running most services between London and Worcester in order to release Class 165 and Class 166 units for further use in the Thames Valley. The Class 180s were given the name Adelante, a name devised by First Group, which they have retained with First Hull Trains.


In the late 1990s, FGW was keen to increase to half-hourly the frequency of its express service from London Paddington to South Wales. This required extra high-speed rolling stock, but there was little available. FGW therefore ordered 14 125 mph diesel multiple units from Alstom, similar to the 26 Class 175s then under construction for sister company First North Western.[1] The order reportedly cost £74.5 million; financing was organised by Wiltshire Leasing, another subsidiary of First Group.[1]

The first unit, 180101, was unveiled on 18 April 2000.[1] However, following a string of problems, full main line testing did not begin until December 2000, six months after it was intended to start.[2] Despite this, Alstom claimed that the trains could enter service in time for the May 2001 timetable change.[2] This date too was missed, and the trains did not go into squadron service until the next timetable change, in December 2001.[3]


File:180107 A M DMSO Interior 1.JPG

There are 14 Class 180 sets, numbered 180101-180114. There are five cars per unit: two Standard Class Driving Motors, two Standard Class Intermediate Motors and a First Class Intermediate Motor. All coaches are equipped with a Cummins QSK19 diesel engine, which develops Template:Convert at 2,100 rpm,[4] identical to those on Voyager DEMUs and Siemens Class 185 DMUs used by First TransPennine Express.

The trains feature a hydraulic transmission,[5] supplied by Voith which is a three-speed type, with integral hydrodynamic braking (rated at 750 kW short term, 420 kW continuous). These trains are the only diesel-powered high-speed trains in the world with diesel-hydraulic transmission. One bogie per coach is powered, with both axles driven. Total vehicle weight is 278 tonnes.[4]

Operations Edit

Current operators Edit

File:Alstom Class 180 Adelante 180113 A A KGX.JPG

First Hull TrainsEdit

First Hull Trains acquired two Class 180 units to replace a damaged Class 222 Pioneer, which operated with the remaining Class 222s between London King's Cross and Hull. In 2008, the Department for Transport decided that First Hull Trains' Class 222s should be cascaded to EMT and replaced with Class 180s by the end of 2008.[6] The acquired units have undergone an internal refit including the installation of laptop sockets and new coffee machines. The first began operation in late January 2009. The refurbishment was completed in early 2011.[7]

First Hull Trains currently, as of 25 June 2012, lease one Grand Central class 180 number 180101 to provide extra cover for breakdowns.

Grand CentralEdit

File:Zephyr Class 180 180112 A A KGX.JPG

Grand Central operates a pair of Class 180s on its London to Sunderland route, having secured the rights to a fourth daily service in each direction.[8] The two 180s join the company's three high-speed trains (HSTs).[9] The company had initially announced the two units would run as a ten-car train, but later said they would run separately for extra flexibility.

Grand Central acquired three additional units for its new service to Bradford Interchange.[10] Originally the service was to be operated under the brand name Grand Northern, as part of parent company Grand Union, but is operating as Grand Central so that units can be interchanged between the two routes.

The units have been modified by Railcare and fitted with wi-fi and at-seat plug sockets.[11] The first unit to be refurbished was 180114. One of the initial two units, 180112, was named James Herriot at a ceremony at London King's Cross and is the first to carry Grand Central's new logo[11] and orange stripe livery. They entered service in September 2009, with the Bradford service starting on 23 May 2010.[12] A second unit, 180107, was named Hart of the North in October 2010 following a competition in the Hartlepool Mail.[13]

First Great Western Edit

File:FirstGreatWestern @ Radley.JPG

The Class 180 fleet, given the name Adelante by FGW, was originally deployed on services linking London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads via Bath Spa and to Cardiff Central via Bristol Parkway.[3] The class suffered a number of technical problems, including problems with the doors closing and locking quickly.[14] This resulted in their replacement on most of the above services with HSTs displaced from Midland Mainline by Template:Brc high-speed DEMUs. The Class 180s then operated express commuter services from London Paddington to Oxford, Worcester, Hereford (via the Cotswold Line), Exeter St Davids and Gloucester.

The reliability problems experienced by FGW, combined with increased passenger numbers, eventually led the operator to lose patience with the class and it acquired extra refurbished HST sets towards the end of 2007 as replacements on the express commuter services.[14] FGW returned most of the Class 180 fleet to the leasing company Angel Trains in early 2008.[15]

Although FGW had planned to return the entire fleet for storage, it decided to retain three units until it had received a cascaded HST from National Express East Coast.[15] A pair of the units operated in multiple on an early-morning Oxford-London commuter service, before being divided to work independently the rest of the day (after returning as empty stock to Oxford) on the Cotswold Line from Paddington to Worcester and Hereford.[16] The final FGW 180 ran on 30 March 2009.[17]

Five Class 180 units were planned for use by East Coast in 2009/10. After this proposal was abandoned, it was announced that the five units would be transferred back to FGW to increase capacity on Thames Valley services.[18] It was subsequently announced that the Adelantes would be working on the Cotswold Line, allowing Template:Brc and Template:Brc Turbo DMUs to be released for Thames Valley services.[19][20]

FGW confirmed via its Facebook page that all five sets will be in service by the end of July 2012.[21]

The first refurbished Class 180 entered passenger service on 28 May 2012 as the 11.21 Paddington-Great Malvern (180103).[22]

Former operators Edit

Northern RailEdit

File:Class 180s at Blackpool.jpg

Northern Rail added three Class 180 units to its fleet in October 2008 for crew training with the sets entering service in December 2008 to operate from Hazel Grove and Manchester Victoria to Preston and Blackpool North, until the end of 2012. These units were sub-leased by East Coast to Northern until it could obtain more long-term rolling stock.[23] The three units sub-leased to Northern Rail were to have transferred to East Coast after the 18-month contract finished in November 2010. However, East Coast changed its plans and no longer required them, so they remained with Northern until December 2011 after Northern took delivery of ex-London Midland Class 150 DMUs. The final service by a Northern Rail Class 180 was 180106 on the 21:22 Manchester Victoria-Blackpool North on 2 December 2011.[24]

Aborted proposals Edit

East CoastEdit

National Express East Coast requested additional services to a number of destinations in its application for access rights on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) in March 2008, stating that, in addition to its existing InterCity 125 and InterCity 225 sets, it would require as many as nine Class 180s.[25] The routes proposed were London to Lincoln (with one train per day extended to Cleethorpes) and London to Harrogate via York. Although NXEC no longer exists, its successor East Coast pressed ahead with the plans, and managed to secure five units, three of which were temporarily sub-leased to Northern (see above).[23] However, it recently announced that, due to government cuts, it would no longer be introducing a regular all-day service to and from Lincoln.[26]

Platinum Trains Edit

Platinum Trains had aimed to use 180s on an Aberdeen to London service, if its track access application was approved.[27] However, the application was refused in January 2009.[28]

Virgin Trains Edit

Virgin Trains leased two units from Angel Trains in 2008, intending to use them as standby units on the West Coast Main Line following the loss of a Class 390 Pendolino unit in the Grayrigg derailment.[29] The units, described as 'strategic standby' units by the company, were returned to Angel Trains without being used following a decision to use a Class 90 locomotive and Mark 3 coaching stock instead.[29]

Fleet details Edit

File:180113 , Cromwell Moor.jpg
Class Operator No. in service Year Built Cars per set Unit numbers
Class 180 First Hull Trains 4[30] 2000–2001 5 180109, 180110, 180111, 180113
Grand Central 5[31] 180101, 180105, 180107, 180112, 180114[9]
First Great Western 5[32] 180102, 180103, 180104, 180106, 180108

See also Edit

References Edit

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  2. 2.0 2.1 Template:Cite journal
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  4. 4.0 4.1 High-speed diesel multiple units Class 180 of First North Western with T312 bre turbo transmission + KB 190, KE-445 and SK-445 final drive and cardan shaft. Template:Dead link
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Class_180_Technical_Data
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  7. About First Hull Trains
  8. New trains
  9. 9.0 9.1 Template:Cite journal
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  11. 11.0 11.1 Script error
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  13. Template:Cite journal
  14. 14.0 14.1 Script error
  15. 15.0 15.1 Marlow - Maidenhead Passengers' Association News.
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  19. Template:Cite press release
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  25. East Coast- Track Access Rights on the East Coast Main Line, Office of Rail Regulation, 28 March 2008.
  26. East Coast Class 180 changes, East Coast, 16 June 2010.
  27. Application to the Office of Rail Regulation for a passenger track access contract under section 17 of the Railways Act 1993. Office of Rail Regulation.
  28. ORR Track Access Rights Application Decision for ECML - 28 January 2009. Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Template:Cite journal
  30. RSTS Hitchin Branch - Railway services around Hitchin Template:Dead link
  31. Template:Cite journal
  32. First Great Western - Extra capacity across the network

External links Edit

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Template:Coradia/Juniper Template:British Rail DMU Template:High-speed rail

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