British Rail Class 332 electric multiple units are used by Heathrow Express between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport.


The fleet was built in 1997-1998 by CAF and Siemens at the former’s factory in Zaragoza, Spain. There are 14 four/five carriage units.[1] There were original plans for this fleet to not have yellow warning panels on the front of the trains,Template:Cn but these plans were not approved due to safety reasons from Network Rail.

The units have Automatic Train Protection (ATP) equipment, one of the few fleets in the UK to do so. This is largely as a consequence of the Paddington-Heathrow route being mainly on the Great Western Main Line, which was equipped with ATP in the early 1990s as part of a trial of the system by British Rail.Template:Citation needed

The units were the first electric trains to operate over the Great Western Main Line out of Paddington when the line was electrified as far as Airport Junction. All units were constructed as four-car sets, but in 2002 five units were lengthened to five cars, allowing trains of up to ten cars to be operated.Template:Citation needed

The service frequency is four trains per an hour, one every 15 minutes. The units can work on their own or in pairs.[2]

The units have First class and Standard class accommodation: the four-car sets can accommodate up to 175 standard class passengers, with up to 239 in the five-car sets. First class accommodation is in one of the driving cars, referred to as 'DMF' (Driving-Motor-First) cars. The First class cars have two different layouts: 332002, 332004 and the five-car sets can accommodate up to 26 First class passengers, while in the other four-car sets up to 14 first class passengers can be accommodated. This is due to the checked luggage compartments installed in some DMF cars in 1999.[1]

One driving car in each set is usually in all-over advertising livery; currently Vodafone is providing this advertising, who replaced RBS.[3]

The units are capable of working in multiple only with each other, and theoretically with the related Class 333 units operated by Northern Rail, based on the same design.[4]

The units are maintained at the purpose-built train care depot at Old Oak Common.[1]

Interior LayoutEdit

The standard class saloons consist of 2+2 seating, arranged in airline-style layout. The majority of seats face the luggage stacks. The seats are finished in three complementary textile colours.

The first class saloons in the DMF vehicles consist of 1+1 seating, mostly in facing layout around tables.

All saloons have large luggage stacks adjacent to the vestibules. Video screens display news and information.

All carriages are air-conditioned and carpeted.

Although the vehicle were designed before the introduction of the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations, various features were incorporated into the interior of the Standard class TSO vehicles in consultation with DPTAC (Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee), including a wheelchair space with communication device and a wheelchair-accessible toilet.

At the Design Business Association's Design Effectiveness Awards in 2000, a team of Design Triangle, Wolff Olins and Glazer won the Grand Prix and Design Management awards for the design of the units.[5]

In 1999, seven DMF First class vehicles were converted to include checked luggage compartments, with a partition in the centre of the car. The compartments were taken out of service when the checked luggage service was withdrawn some years ago.

Fleet detailsEdit

Class Operator Number of Trains Built Cars per Set Unit nos.
Class 332 Heathrow Express 9 1997-1998 4 332001 - 332004
332010 - 332014
5 5 332005 - 332009


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Class 332 & 360/2 - Heathrow Express - Siemens Mobility. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  2. Heathrow Express - CAF. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  3. ‘Union Jack’ wrapped Heathrow Express fleet ready to roll - Rail News from Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  4. Class 333 - Northern Rail - Siemens Mobility. Retrieved 2012-02-25.

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