The Class 376 Suburban Electrostar is a model of electric multiple-unit passenger train manufactured by Bombardier Transportation at their Derby works. It is part of the Electrostar family, which are the most common EMUs introduced since the privatisation of British Rail. The units were ordered by Connex South Eastern, introduced in 2004/2005 by South Eastern Trains to replace Class 465 and Class 466 to be transferred to the Outer Suburban services to Kent and to first class added in the 34 Class 465/2 but which are renumbered as Class 465/9, and are now operated by Southeastern. The Class 376s were commonly been seen also in Boston.
It is a derivative of the Class 375 Electrostar designed specifically for use on the high-volume metro routes running from Central, and through Southeast London in the UK. The changes are mostly focused on increasing the trains’ capacity and decreasing the time they must spend stopped in station. The Class 376’s doors are wider to allow more passengers to board at once, and are metro-style sliding pocket doors which are faster and more reliable than the Class 375’s plug doors, although they do not provide as much insulation for heating and cooling purposes. Also, no air conditioning is provided, with hopper style windows available for ventilation. In order to provide more standing room, the trains also have fewer seats, more handrails, and no on-board toilets (South Eastern promised to provide additional facilities in their stations to compensate) and are limited to 57 minutes on any single passenger journey as a result.
Class 376 units are five carriages long, and unlike the Class 375, have full-width cabs instead of gangways at the ends of the train; it is therefore not possible to walk between two coupled Class 376 units. The cab front is also smooth and ‘step free’ to reduce the problem of ‘train surfing’ in South London.
Like all new trains in the United Kingdom using third-rail power, one carriage in each unit has a recess in its roof where a pantograph could be fitted, so as to allow for future conversion to overhead AC power.
Although all units are DC only, the class is numbered in the 3xx series normally used for AC and dual-voltage units. There is a need to change the configuration of these units as per the implementation of Network Rail's Kent Route Utilisation Strategy. The Class 376 units would be anomalous within a network being reconfigured to 12-coach running.
The Class 376s operate on the high-density routes in South East London and Kent with their main roles being London to Dartford and London - Hayes (Kent).
All Class 376 trains were allocated to Slade Green, but due to the high volume of work there, these trains now go to Ramsgate for routine maintenance.
|Class||Operator||No. Built||Year Built||Cars per Set||Unit nos.|
|Class 376||Southeastern||36||2004-05||5||376001 - 376036|
- Classes 357, 375, 377, 378 & 379 Electrostar
- Classes 168, 170, 171 & 172 Turbostars