Class 460 (or 8Gat) is the designation of a fleet of 8-car British electric multiple-unit trains built by Alstom at Washwood Heath in 2000-01. They are part of Alstom's "Juniper" family, which also includes the 334 and 458 classes.

From their introduction until the final units were withdrawn in September 2012, they operated Gatwick Express services between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport. All are currently in store and are to be merged with the Class 458 fleet used by South West Trains.


File:460 First Class Interior.JPG
File:460002 East Croydon.JPG

When National Express won the Gatwick Express franchise, part of the agreement was to replace the ageing Class 73/2 locomotives, British Rail Class 488 coaching stock, and Class 489 motor luggage vans. Therefore, an order was placed with Alstom for the construction of eight Class 460 units.[1]

Deliveries of the new units began in 2000. The units featured controversial sloping cab-ends, which earned them the nickname "Darth Vaders" among rail enthusiasts. A Juniper coupler is located under the removable nose cone although only intended for emergency use.

Each 8-car unit was formed of a driving motor luggage van, two intermediate 1st-class/composite trailers, two intermediate 2nd-class motor carriages, an intermediate 2nd-class trailer, another 2nd-class motor carriage, and a 2nd-class driving motor (DMLFO+TFO+TCO+MSO+MSO+TSO+MSO+DMSO).[1][2]

They were mechanically similar to the Class 458s operated by South West Trains, but the "Darth Vader" nose cones on the Class 460s look very different from the Class 458s' flat cab fronts.

On 22 June 2008 the fleet was transferred to Southern when the Gatwick Express franchise was incorporated into the Southern franchise.[3]

From December 2010 the Class 460s were gradually withdrawn from in favour of refurbished Class 442s, with the final units going off lease in September 2012. The Class 460s were allocated to Stewarts Lane Depot.


On 23 December 2011 the Department for Transport announced that the Class 460s would be split up and sixty carriages rebuilt to be incorporated with South West Trains' one hundred and twenty Class 458 carriages (30 4-car units), resulting in 36 five-car Class 458/5 sets. The remaining four carriages will be stripped for spares. This £42m scheme was devised by Porterbrook Leasing the owner of both fleets.[4] The new 5-car sets will be designated Class 458/5 and coupled together to form 10-car trains to provide extra peak capacity on suburban services into London Waterloo.[5][6]

Porterbrook Leasing signed the deal with South West Trains in January 2012.[7] The work will be carried out by Wabtec, Doncaster and Brush Traction, Loughborough (Drive vehicles) on behalf of original builder Alstom. The first trains arrived in October 2013.[6] It will involve replacing the existing retractable gangways and couplers between coaches. The cab ends both on Class 458 and on Class 460 driving vehicles will be redesigned to be compatible with the Template:Brc Desiro fleet. The "Darth Vader" nose cones will be discarded. New Train Management System software will be installed to improve reliability. Internal refurbishment will include reconfiguring the seating layout to provide more standing room for passengers.[4] Traction units on the Class 460 vehicles will be re-geared from Template:Convert maximum, not required on the services for which the trains will be used, to Template:Convert maximum to avoid overheating. Automatic Selective Door Opening is to be installed for use at a few suburban stations where it is not practicable to lengthen platforms.[4]

Fleet detailsEdit

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos. Notes
Class 460 Gatwick Express 8 2000-01 8 460001 - 460008 Withdrawn for conversion to Class 458/5. (2012-2013)

The formation of the 8Gat unit is shown below. In normal circumstances, the luggage van (DMLFO) was at the 'London' end of the train (i.e. closest to the concourse at London Victoria).

460001 67901 74401 74411 74421 74431 74441 74451 67911
460002 67902 74402 74412 74422 74432 74442 74452 67912
460003 67903 74403 74413 74423 74433 74443 74453 67913
460004 67904 74404 74414 74424 74434 74444 74454 67914
460005 67905 74405 74415 74425 74435 74445 74455 67915
460006 67906 74406 74416 74426 74436 74446 74456 67916
460007 67907 74407 74417 74427 74437 74447 74457 67917
460008 67908 74408 74418 74428 74438 74448 74458 67918



  1. 1.0 1.1 Class 460 Gatwick Express - Southern E-Group - Retrieved 26 December 2010.
  2. Other Juniper EMUs - Southern Electric Group. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
  3. Script error
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Script error
  5. Script error
  6. 6.0 6.1 Template:Cite press release
  7. Template:Cite press release

Template:Commons category Template:Coradia/Juniper Template:British Rail EMU

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