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Class 455

photograph by Michael Taylor.

Class 455/8 unit Nº5809 on a London Bridge to Caterham via Forest Hill Service on 8th June 1999, seen at East Croydon. This view illustrates the old driving end cab design.

1982 saw the introduction of new suburban units for the Southern and these new 4 car units quickly replaced the remaining 4-Sub and 4-EPB units and allowed the on-loan class 508 to be moved to Merseyside. There are three subclasses being 455/7 introduced in 1984, 455/8 introduced in 1983 and 455/9 introduced in 1985.
 
Units are numbered:
class 455/7:-   5701-5743,
class 455/8:-   5801-5874
class 455/9:-   5901-5920

They are all formed of Driving Trailer Second Open-Motor Second Open-Trailer Second Open-Driving Trailer Second Open. The Class 455/7 units were built as three car units and use TSOs that were used with Class 508 and thus have a much different roof profile. As at January 2000, Southwest Trains operated all of the class 455/7 and 455/9 units and 28 units of 455/8. Connex SC operated 46 units of 455/8 numbered 5801-5846.

In connection with the Crossrail project, two trailers from Class 455/9 units Nº5905 and Nº5918 were fitted with Westinghouse plug doors, instead of sliding ones.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger image.
  • 5872
    Cannon St
    Class 455/8 unit Nº5872 was one of the earlier 455s to be painted into Network SouthEast colours. It is seen here in the original NSE livery of a lighter blue and angular upsweep with the BR Double-Arrow on 23rd August 1986 working a special into Cannon Street.
    By 2000 this unit was allocated to SouthWest Trains.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 5714
    Dorking
    Class 455/7 unit Nº5714 formed the 10:49 service from Dorking to Waterloo on 8th June 1999, seen at Dorking. This view illustrates the later driving end cab design.
    Photograph by Michael Taylor.
  • 5721
    Clapham Jn
    In this picture of Class 455/7 unit Nº5721 taken at Clapham Junction on 8th April 2000, the different roof line and windows of the former Class 508 trailers formed into the 455/7 sub class can clearly be seen.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 5815
    Ewell East
    A clean Class 455/8 Nº5815 in Connex colours seen at Ewell East on 8th April 2000.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 5846
    Clapham Jn
    The roof and cab top detail on South Central's Class 455/8 unit Nº5846 at Clapham Junction on 4th October 2002.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 455841
    Clapham Jn
    This mid unit picture of Class 455/8 unit Nº455841 in the then new SouthCentral livery illustrates how the light green semi-circles on the inter-car ends form a full circle with the adjacent car. Note the green window line is much wider than the windows. On the newer Electrostars a similar appearance is provided by the ribbon glazing. Pictured at Clapham Junction on 4th October 2002.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 5853
    Clapham Jn
    Yet another South West Trains pictogram Class 455/8! This one, Nº5853, is advertising the delights of Côtes du Rhone wine to tired commuters. It is seen here at Clapham Junction on 4th October 2002 working a down service.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 455904
    Kingston
    Class 455/9 Nº455904 displays another of South West Trains' promotional liveries - this one is "Days Out" encouraging passengers to travel to one of the region's many attractions. Pictured here at Kingston on 11th July 2003.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 455856
    Clapham Jn
    Another SWT billboard - Legoland liveried Class 455/8 Nº455856 pictured at Clapham Junction on 29th May 2002.
    Photograph by John Lewis.
  • Westinghouse
    Doors closed
    Trailer 71731 then running in Class 455/9 unit Nº5905 at Clapham Junction in June 1994 with its Westinghouse doors closed. Note the taller than usual size of thewindows in the doors and the slots on either side of the doors.
    Photograph by John Lewis.
  • Westinghouse
    Doors open
    Trailer Nº71731 with its doors open at Clapham Junction on 24th June 1994.
    Photograph by John Lewis.
  • Interior
    Door 71731
    The interior of one of the doorways of coach Nº71731 at Clapham Junction in February 1996.
    Photograph by John Lewis.
  • Interior
    Door 71732
    The other trailer with plug doors was Nº71732 which ran in Class 455/9 unit Nº5918. Its door and doorway were darker and there seemed to be some additional mechanism in the bottom corners of the doorway as well as other differences to the bottom of the door.
    Photograph by John Lewis.
  • Interior
     
    This photograph of the interior of one of the cars comprising Class 455/8 unit Nº5845 shows the typical layout of the seating on suburban units, mainly 3+2 with 2+2 in the area of the doors.
    Photograph by Paul Ferbrache.
  • Interior
     
    The interior of MSO 77773 of Class 455/7 unit Nº5724.
    Photograph by Ozz Scott.
  • Interior
     
    The interior of MSO 62806 of Class 455/7 unit Nº5724.
    Photograph by Ozz Scott.
  • Bogie
     
    An unpowered bogie with pickup on an unidentified Class 455 at ClaphamJunction on 24th February 2001.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • Bogie
     
    A shiny trailer bogie outside Bournemouth Traction and Rolling Stock Maintenance Depot awaiting mating with its coach following a C4 overhaul.
    photographs taken with official permission at Bournemouth TRSMD.
    Photograph by Ozz Scott.
  • Intercom
     
    The intercom and TPWS panel in a Class 455 cab.
    Photograph by Ozz Scott.
  • Blind
     
    If you have ever wondered what the reverse side of the destination blind looks like, wonder no longer! Note the windscreen wiper motor below.
    Photograph by Ozz Scott.
  • Driver's
    Seat
    Even the driver's seat in a 455 is covered in NSE "flash" moquette. Note also some of the isolators behind the driver's seating position.
    Photograph by Ozz Scott.
  • Diver's
    Controls
    The right hand driver's controls in a Class 455 cab.
    Photograph by Ozz Scott.
  • Diver's
    Controls
    The left hand driver's controls in a Class 455 cab.
    Photograph by Ozz Scott.
  • Connections
     
    The inter car connections underneath one end of the MSO of Class 455/7 Nº455724.
    Photograph by Ozz Scott.

Refurbished Units

photograph by Colin Duff.

The first two of South West Trains refurbished Class 455 units, Nº455711 and Nº455904 (seen here) were painted with original pattern SWT "swooshes" in blue and orange and black framed cab front windows.

After some two decades of stalwart service the class 455 units are in a pretty awful condition and have started to be given a mid-life refurbishment which will also rectify some of the interior design deficiencies associated with these trains. South West Trains and the Southern Railway are taking different approaches to their Class 455 refurbishment. Ironically, Southern Class 455s are being refurbished at Eastleigh and SWT Class 455s at Chart Leacon!

Southern Class 455s are being extensively refurbished. Bodywork is treated to remove corrosion and new vinyl covered floors are fitted. The existing unpopular low backed seats are being replaced with high backed versions but the existing 2+2 and 3+2 seating arrangement remains. There is a space for wheelchairs and all interior finishes are replaced. For security each car will have four CCTV cameras and windows are being replaced with vandal resistant glass. A passenger information system (PIS) is fitted. Although the luggage racks are unaltered the lighting tubes are now fitted with diffusers. The most noticeable exterior difference is the removal of the end gangways which have been plated over though with a central window crying out for a traditional headcode display (!) and unit numbers are now displayed in full TOPS form, albeit as two groups of three vertically, instead of the traditional four digit unit designation. Interestingly there is no high level central headlight. A "black box" recorder and improved train performance diagnostics are fitted. The first refurbished unit, 455828, made a test run from East Croydon to Victoria on 30 December 2003 but returned to Eastleigh for further work. It did not enter service until the middle of March 2004. 5829 and 5830 were the next to be refurbished.

SWT moved unit Nº455711 to Chart Leacon on 17th November 2003 as the prototype for their refurbishment. During refurbishment units are expected to receive a C6x mechanical overhaul and a "makeover" involving application of the new S.W.T. 'suburban' livery, doors modified to open to full aperture width, installation of yellow circular L.E.D. passenger door control buttons and new non slip vinyl flooring. There will be more standing space since seating is reduced to 2 + 2 using Gammar seats (same design as Desiros) with low backed longitudinal seating (i.e similar to underground trains) in the DTS vehicles next to the cab. Unlike the South Central refurbishment, no changes will be made above the luggage racks, so the lighting, and P.A. will remain the same and there will be no PIS. A refurbished SWT 455 has yet (May 2004) to be seen.

Refurbished Units

  • 455829
    London Bridge
    Southern Railway Class 455/8 unit Nº455829 photographed at London Bridge on 2nd April 2004. Note the change to the gangway door.
    Photograph by Paul Ferbrache.
  • 5711
    Wimbledon
    SWT Class 455/7 unit Nº5711 stands outside in Wimbledon Park Depot during October 2004.
    Photograph by Craig Rowlands.
  • 5711
    Wimbledon
    The opposite side of unit Nº5711, showing the highly contrasting colours around the sliding doors as an aid to passengers who are visually impaired.
    Photograph by Craig Rowlands.
  • 455829
    Clapham Jn
    Southern version refurbished unit Nº455829 enters Clapham Junction on the 19th April 2005 with a Caterham bound service. In the opinion of the photographer the front end of the Class455/8 series was never pretty and this refurbishment has not improved matters!
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 455830
    Clapham Jn
    Class 455/8 Nº455830 at Clapham Junction with a late morning up working to Victoria on the 19th April 2005.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 455830
    Clapham Jn
    Class 455/8 unit Nº455830 departs Clapham Junction for Epsom on the 19th April 2005.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • Early
    "Swoosh"
    The first two of South West Trains refurbished Class 455s, Nº455711 and Nº455904 (seen here) were painted with original pattern SWT "swooshes" in blue and orange and black framed cab front windows.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • Later
    "Swoosh"
    However, subsequent units emerging from refurbishment at Chart Leacon had featured a "swooshes" modified to wrap round the cab window. Whilst this might mean one less colour to apply the photographer thinks the earlier version looks better.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 455738
    Clapham Jn
    Here Class 455/8 unit Nº455738 pauses at Clapham Junction's Windsor line platforms with a Kingston roundabout service.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • Interior
     
    The much improved interior now fitted to the Southern Railway versions of this class is a great improvement on what they had before.
    Photograph by Paul Ferbrache.
  • Ex-Class 508
    Interior

     
    A view inside the ex-Class 508 coach in the set, looking towards the gangway. The seats closest to the doors appear to have padded perches for those making a quick hop to the next station.....
    Photograph by Craig Rowlands.
  • Ex-Class 508
    Interior

     
    Looking down the ex-Class 508 coach from the opposite end of the previous interior picture. The blue sign on the seat in the foreground requests that it is given up to disabled passengers.
    Photograph by Craig Rowlands.

This page was last updated 17 May 2004

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