CLASS 373

Some of the most impressive trains seen in the UK are the Eurostar sets which operate between the UK and France/Belgium. The Channel Tunnel project, which began with the signing of the Anglo-French Fixed-Link Treaty on July 29, 1987, had progressed enough by the end of 1989 to start the long process of ordering stock. Prior to that, detailed discussions between the three main railway administrations, BR (Britain), SNCF (France) and SNCB (Belgium) had taken place to establish the type of train required.
From the outset it was known that the most desirable option was to equip with French TGV type trains, the French were keen to follow this path as their trains were highly successful. The UK however favoured a more conventional loco hauled train, which frankly would not have performed so well. In the UK the Channel Tunnel operation was led by a separately formed company, European Passenger Services (EPS), a wholly-owned subsidiary at the time of the BRB. To produce a design which was going to be acceptable to the three countries, a working group, the International Project Group (IPG), was formed in 1988 and concentrated on both technical and commercial viability of train designs.
Huge problems existed in developing a train, which was capable of working over the railway systems of three countries, as well through the Channel Tunnel, all had their own specific operating and rule structures and all were loathe to change principles. The main area of problem was that of gauge envelope, on the BR network, a very much more restricted space was available between the train and structures compared to mainland Europe, which had followed the UIC or Berne gauge.
Eventually a design consortium was formed of De Dietrich, Ateliers de Construction Electrique de Charleroi (ACEC Transport), BN Division de Bombardier Eurorail, GEC-Alsthom Transportation, Metro-Cammell and Brush. The leading voice was GEC Alsthom - the builders of the TGV.
Mechanically, the adopted design followed the French TGV, however, many changes were needed to make it suitable for UK operation, this included its physical size, which led to a total redesign. To maximise throughput of trains through the Channel Tunnel, long trainsets of 20 coaches was specified. The axle-load had to be kept down to the TGV standard of 17 tonnes as in France and Belgium the sets would operate over conventional TGV tracks. On power cars, traction motors had to be body-mounted rather than bogie-mounted, which assisted in reduced track wear. An articulated design was eventually accepted, which permitted lower-slung vehicles.
The original contract for Eurostar trains as they became known was signed in Brussels on December 18 1989, for 30 20-vehicle sets. Subsequently a follow-on order was placed, giving a fleet of 31. This number was maintained for just a short while, as following an agreement for development of north of London working, seven extra shorter (16-car) trains were added.
Ownership of Eurostars - classified by BR/Railtrack as Class 373, is complex, the original European Passenger Services, now Eurostar UK own 18 sets, including seven regional trains, SNCF 16 sets, and SNCB - four sets. Construction of the trains was divided between the participating countries, split by percentage 40:40:20 between France, England and Belgium.
The 31 20-car trains are each formed of two identical half-train 10 car formations, with a driving power car and nine passenger cars, the one coupled to the power car having traction equipment at that end and a power bogie. A full 20-vehicle Eurostar seats 210 first and 584 standard class passengers, giving a total of 794 seats per train. In addition, 52 tip-up seats are provided.
The Regional sets are formed of 16 vehicles - two driving and 14 saloons. Total seating is for 578 plus 36 tip-up (114 first and 464 standard class).
The Eurostar sets are without doubt the most complex trains in the world. By virtue of the routes operated, they have to work from three different power supplies including both ac and dc obtained from both the third rail and overhead systems, as well as operating over four different railway systems. The change-over between the different power supplies is carried out while on the move, with the train running into ‘dead’ or neutral sections. The action to change power is effected manually by the driver.
It was agreed that the Eurostar sets would be built at various plants in Europe and then joined together as full train consists at either Belfort in France or Washwood Heath in Birmingham.
The first Eurostar was built at Belfort in 1992. Identified as PS1 it was formed of just seven coaches and two power cars, and was delivered for test running in January 1993. Its first powered runs were between Strasbourg and Mulhouse. By June 1993 the set was transferred to England for dc tests, arriving on June 20.
In May 1993, the second pre-service set, PS2 - a full 20-car train - was delivered for testing. After shake down trials from La Landy (Paris), the set started high-speed running on the Paris-Lille route in July, when, for the first time a Eurostar reached its maximum speed of 300km/h (186mph).
The first UK-built train, UK1, formed of Belgian half-sets Nos. 3101/02, was delivered from Washwood Heath, to North Pole on October 31, 1993.
Eurostar passenger trains started operation from Waterloo to Paris/Brussels in autumn 1994, with, at first, two trains per day to each destination. By 2001 this had increased to around 25 departures per day.
Regrettably the Regional or North of London service has never been introduced, due to a far lower than expected projected passenger figure.
After the Regional service was dropped, the sets were stored at North Pole depot. In 2000 two entered a hire contract with GNER and are now used on selected King’s Cross-York services, a third set was added to the hire deal in late 2001.
When introduced the Eurostar sets were finished in a most distinctive white and blue livery with full yellow ends. The first change came in 1999 when full train length advertising liveries was introduced on a small number of sets (excluding power cars). The two sets operated by GNER, have been repainted in full GNER dark blue.
One spare power car No. 3999 exists which can be used on any set and usually, when not in use is kept at North Pole.
Two French sets 3203/04//26/27/28 have now been modified for domestic french operation


Go to Recognition Pages

Details given for half train formation
Sub class: 373/1 373/2
Number range: 373001-373022
373101-373108
373201-373232
3999 (spare PC)
373301-373314
Introduced: 1993-1996 1996
Built by: GEC Alsthom GEC Alsthom
Formation:

DM+MS+TS+TS+TS+TS+TBK+TF+TF+TBF

DM+MS+TS+TS+TS+TBK+TF+TBF
Vehicle numbers: See table at bottom See table at bottom
Set length: 393.72m 318.92m
Vehicle length: DM - 72ft 8in (22.15m)
MS - 71ft 8in (21.84m)
TS, TBK, TF, TBF - 61ft 4in (18.70m)
DM - 72ft 8in (22.15m)
MS - 71ft 8in (21.84m)
TS, TBK, TF, TBF - 61ft 4in (18.70m)
Height:    
Width: 9ft 3in (2.81m) 9ft 3in (2.81m)
Seating: Total - 105F/292S Total - 66F/232S
DM - 0 DM - 0
MS - 52S MS - 48S
TS - 60S TS - 58S
TS - 60S TS - 58S
TS - 60S TS - 58S
TS - 60S TBK - 0
TBK - 0 TF - 39F
TF - 39F TBF - 18F
TF - 39F  
TBF - 27F  
Internal layout: 2+1F, 2+2S 2+1F, 2+2S
Gangway: Within set anf at half set end Within set anf at half set end
Toilets: MS - 1, TBF - 1, TF - 1, TS - or 2
(dependant on design)
MS - 1, TBF - 1, TF - 1, TS - or 2
(dependant on design)
Weight: Total - 816.1 tonnes Total - 682.2 tonnes
DM - 68.5 tonnes DM - 68.5 tonnes
MS - 44.6 tonnes MS - 44.6 tonnes
TS - 28.1-29.7 tonnes TS - 28.1-29.7 tonnes
TBK - 31.1 tonnes TBK - 31.1 tonnes
TF - 29.6 tonnes TF - 29.6 tonnes
TBF - 39.4 tonnes TBF - 39.4 tonnes
Brake type: Air Air
Power collection: 25kV ac overhead, 750V dc third rail, 3kV dc overhead* 25kV ac overhead, 750V dc third rail
Horsepower: 25kV ac operation - 16,400hp (12,240kW)
3kV dc operation - 7,368hp (5,000kW)
25kV ac operation - 16,400hp (12,240kW)
Max speed: 25kV ac operation 186mph (300km/h)
750V dc operation 100mph (161km/h)
25kV ac operation 186mph (300km/h)^
750V dc operation 100mph (161km/h)
Coupling type: Inner - bar
Outer - Scharfenberg
Inner - bar
Outer - Scharfenberg
Multiple restriction: Not permitted Not permitted
Door type: Single leaf sliding plug Single leaf sliding plug
Special features: TVM430 TVM430

 

Eurostar (UK) operated units
Formation : LA501 LB202 LC202 LD202 LE202 LF202 LG502 LH102 LJ102 LK102
373001 730010 730011 730012 730013 730014 730015 730016 730017 730018 730019
373002 730020 730021 730022 730023 730024 730025 730026 730027 730028 730029
373003 730030 730031 730032 730033 730034 730035 730036 730037 730038 730039
373004 730040 730041 730042 730043 730044 730045 730046 730047 730048 730049
373005 730050 730051 730052 730053 730054 730055 730056 730057 730058 730059
373006 730060 730061 730062 730063 730064 730065 730066 730067 730068 730069
373007 730070 730071 730072 730073 730074 730075 730076 730077 730078 730079
373008 730080 730081 730082 730083 730084 730085 730086 730087 730088 730089
373009 730090 730091 730092 730093 730094 730095 730096 730097 730098 730099
373010 730100 730101 730102 730103 730104 730105 730106 730107 730108 730109
373011 730110 730111 730112 730113 730114 730115 730116 730117 730118 730119
373012 730120 730121 730122 730123 730124 730125 730126 730127 730128 730129
373013 730130 730131 730132 730133 730134 730135 730136 730137 730138 730139
373014 730140 730141 730142 730143 730144 730145 730146 730147 730148 730149
373015 730150 730151 730152 730153 730154 730155 730156 730157 730158 730159
373016 730160 730161 730162 730163 730164 730165 730166 730167 730168 730169
373017 730170 730171 730172 730173 730174 730175 730176 730177 730178 730179
373018 730180 730181 730182 730183 730184 730185 730186 730187 730188 730189
373019 730190 730191 730192 730193 730194 730195 730196 730197 730198 730199
373020 730200 730201 730202 730203 730204 730205 730206 730207 730208 730209
373021 730210 730211 730212 730213 730214 730215 730216 730217 730218 730219
373022 730220 730221 730222 730223 730224 730225 730226 730227 730228 730229


SNCB units
Formation: LA501 LB202 LC202 LD202 LE202 LF202 LG502 LH102 LJ102 LK102
373101 731010 731011 731012 731013 731014 731015 731016 731017 731018 731019
373102 731020 731021 731022 731023 731024 731025 731026 731027 731028 731029
373103 731030 731031 731032 731033 731034 731035 731036 731037 731038 731039
373104 731040 731041 731042 731043 731044 731045 731046 731047 731048 731049
373105 731050 731051 731052 731053 731054 731055 731056 731057 731058 731059
373106 731060 731061 731062 731063 731064 731065 731066 731067 731068 731069
373107 731070 731071 731072 731073 731074 731075 731076 731077 731078 731079
373108 731080 731081 731082 731083 731084 731085 731086 731087 731088 731089


SNCF units
Formation: LA501 LB202 LC202 LD202 LE202 LF202 LG502 LH102 LJ102 LK102
373201 732010 732011 732012 732013 732014 732015 732016 732017 732018 732019
373202 732020 732021 732022 732023 732024 732025 732026 732027 732028 732029
373203 732030 732031 732032 732033 732034 732035 732036 732037 732038 732039
373204 732040 732041 732042 732043 732044 732045 732046 732047 732048 732049
373205 732050 732051 732052 732053 732054 732055 732056 732057 732058 732059
373206 732060 732061 732062 732063 732064 732065 732066 732067 732068 732069
373207 732070 732071 732072 732073 732074 732075 732076 732077 732078 732079
373208 732080 732081 732082 732083 732084 732085 732086 732087 732088 732089
373209 732090 732091 732092 732093 732094 732095 732096 732097 732098 732099
373210 732100 732101 732102 732103 732104 732105 732106 732107 732108 732109
373211 732110 732111 732112 732113 732114 732115 732116 732117 732118 732119
373212 732120 732121 732122 732123 732124 732125 732126 732127 732128 732129
373213 732130 732131 732132 732133 732134 732135 732136 732137 732138 732139
373214 732140 732141 732142 732143 732144 732145 732146 732147 732148 732149
373215 732150 732151 732152 732153 732154 732155 732156 732157 732158 732159
373216 732160 732161 732162 732163 732164 732165 732166 732167 732168 732169
373217 732170 732171 732172 732173 732174 732175 732176 732177 732178 732179
373218 732180 732181 732182 732183 732184 732185 732186 732187 732188 732189
373219 732190 732191 732192 732193 732194 732195 732196 732197 732198 732199
373220 732200 732201 732202 732203 732204 732205 732206 732207 732208 732209
373221 732210 732211 732212 732213 732214 732215 732216 732217 732218 732219
373222 732220 732221 732222 732223 732224 732225 732226 732227 732228 732229
373223 732230 732231 732232 732233 732234 732235 732236 732237 732238 732239
373224 732240 732241 732242 732243 732244 732245 732246 732247 732248 732249
373225 732250 732251 732252 732253 732254 732255 732256 732257 732258 732259
373226 732260 732261 732262 732263 732264 732265 732266 732267 732268 732269
373227 732270 732271 732272 732273 732274 732275 732276 732277 732278 732279
373228 732280 732281 732282 732283 732284 732285 732286 732287 732288 732289
373229 732290 732291 732292 732293 732294 732295 732296 732297 732298 732299
373230 732300 732301 732302 732303 732304 732305 732306 732307 732308 732309
373231 732310 732311 732312 732313 732314 732315 732316 732317 732318 732319
373232 732320 732321 732322 732323 732324 732325 732326 732327 732328 732329
739990


Regional Eurostar (UK) units
Formation: LA502 LB203 LD203 LC203 LF203 LG503 LH103 LK103
373301 733010 733011 733013 733012 733015 733016 733017 733019
373302 733020 733021 733023 733022 733025 733026 733027 733029
373303 733030 733031 733033 733032 733035 733036 733037 733039
373304 733040 733041 733043 733042 733045 733046 733047 733049
373305 733050 733051 733053 733052 733055 733056 733057 733059
373306 733060 733061 733063 733062 733065 733066 733067 733069
373307 733070 733071 733073 733072 733075 733076 733077 733079
373308 733080 733081 733083 733082 733085 733086 733087 733089
373309 733090 733091 733093 733092 733095 733096 733097 733099
373310 733100 733101 733103 733102 733105 733106 733107 733109
373311 733110 733111 733113 733112 733115 733116 733117 733119
373312 733120 733121 733123 733122 733125 733126 733127 733129
373313 733130 733131 733133 733132 733135 733136 733137 733139
373314 733140 733141 733143 733142 733145 733146 733147 733149

* Sets 3201-04/07/08/15/16/23-30 are fitted with French 1,500 V overhead equipment to allow South of France running.

+ Sets 33203/04/25/26/27/28 modified for domestic French operation only.

^ Restricted to 125mph operation.