4 Cig/Big & 3 Cop (Class 421/422)

The first types of the 1963 design BR(S) EMUs to be introduced were the 4 Cigs and their buffet equivalents the 4 Bigs. The first batch were assigned to the Brighton line which gave the units their designation - IG was the LBSCR telegraphic code for Brighton. Early units introduced in 1 964/5 were painted BR(S) green with small yellow panels, the only 1963 design stock to be so. This generation of stock was built to the later Mk1 body design, and as an innovation to SR EMUs the two driving cars were unpowered (driving trailer composites - DTCs) and the formation includes an intermediate non-driving motor brake coach (non driving motor brake second saloon - MBSO) with two power bogies. The fourth car in the formation is a trailer second saloon (TSO) in the Cigs and a trailer buffet second (TBUF) in the Bigs. As these units were designed for main line service they are fitted with 2+2 low density seating in second/standard class.

The second batch was introduced in 1970 to replace 4 Cors on the Portsmouth Direct line. These and the later batch had detail differences to the 1964/5 batch. A third batch was introduced in 1971/72 to replace 4 Cors on Reading and Central Division services. Cigs and Bigs have never been allocated to the South Eastern Division.

In 1983, in order to provide sufficient catering stock whilst Big buffets were being overhauled, two temporary 8 Mig formations, sets 2601 and 2602, were put together as 4 Cig+RMB+3 Cig - note the use of a wired locomotive hauled catering car. Then to introduce the "Capital Coast Express" service for the summer 1993 timetable (prior to 319s becoming available) four 8 Dig formations (units 2001-4) were put together. These were semi-permanently coupled 4 Cig+4 Big sets. The Big was at the London end with the motor coaches as second and seventh in the formation. Inner set numbers were painted out but full yellow ends were retained within the sets and driving controls in the inner cabs were retained. The Digs were disbanded in January 1997.

Although the early part of the service life of these classes was unaffected by significant changes and refurbishment the past few years have been much different. Some 4 Big units have been converted to 4 Cig by withdrawing their buffet cars and substituting TSOLs from 4 Cep units downgraded to 3 Ceps. The difference in the window design between the refurbished Cep car and the original Cig/Big cars is very noticeable. Other 4 Bigs have been converted to 3 Cops ("corridor open-plan") by removing the buffet car and 1st class seating in the driving trailers. Compartment partitions were removed but the side corridor is retained and as a result the DTC is redesignated to DTSOL. One toilet is converted to a store in each DTSOL and a wheelchair seating compartment is installed in the former cage area of the brake van. These Cop units (originally classified class 424/3, but by 1999, class 421/7) were first used on Connex South Central coastway services (although they also strayed to London services on occasions) on 17th November 1997 and the full fleet was in service by February 1998. The improved acceleration is found to be an asset on these services. From mid 1998 CSC started the downgrading of 1st class accommodation in one DTC to DTSOL (as with the Cops), and by spring 1999 a wide yellow stripe on the roof was being added to identify the remaining 1st accommodation.

The driver's cab and controls as fitted in the first series of Big/Cig.

photograph by Paul Ferbrache

1813 The second series had this cab installed, similar but not the same as in the first series.

photograph by Paul Ferbrache

7429 passes the closed Bishopstone Beach station working the 6:49 p.m. Seaford to Brighton, 27th June 1973.

photograph by Glen Woods

7304 7304 is the leading unit on a 12 coach commuter train from London Bridge to Littlehampton, pictured approaching Hove station on 5th April 1976. The two tracks on the left, known as Ciftonville spur (which allows trains to run direct from London to Hove without reversing at Brighton) connect the west coast line to the Brighton to London line just south of Preston Park.

photograph by Glen Woods

7306 on the rear of the 6:58pm from Hove to Victoria, alsoon 5th April 1976.

The Cliftonville Spur was authorised on 29th June 1875, and opened on 1st July 1879. Hove Station was named Cliftonville until 1879, when it became West Brighton. It was renamed Hove & West Brighton on 1st October 1894, and Hove on 1st July 1895. Preston Park Station was known as Preston until 1st July 1879.

photograph by Glen Woods

7360 Unit 7360 heading a Victoria - Ore service into the old Polegate station in September 1985.

photograph by Mark Westcott

4 Cig 7418 heads a fast Waterloo service out of Havant one Saturday in February 1986.

photograph by Mark Westcott

7327 Unit 7327 is the leading unit of this 12-car formation photographed near Berwick during October 1986.

photograph by Mark Westcott

Here unit 7364 is the trailing third of a 12-car formation which was also photographed near Berwick during October 1986.

photograph by Mark Westcott

Underframe The underframe details of the drivers side of the DTC, pictured here in December 1988.

photograph by Colin Duff

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This page was last updated 23 November 2008

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