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Class 455

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 455 refurbishment. Ironically, Southern 455s are being refurbished at Eastleigh and SWT 455s at Chart Leacon!
 
455829 Southern Railway 455/8 unit number 5829 photographed at London Bridge on 2nd April 2004. Note the change to the gangway door.

photograph by Paul Ferbrache

 
Southern 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.
 
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

455809
 
SWT moved 5711 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.
 
Here are some pictures of the SWT Refurbished 455's (units 5711 & 5904) taken at Wimbledon Park Depot during October 2004
 
5711 5711 stands outside in the yard.

photograph by Craig Rowlands

 
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

interior
 
interior A view of the layout in the centre of the coach.

photograph by Craig Rowlands

 
Looking down the coach from then opposite end to the first interior picture. The blue sign on the seat in the foreground requests that it is given up to disabled passengers.

photograph by Craig Rowlands

interior
 
5711 The opposite side of 5711, showing the highly contrasting colours around the sliding doors as an aid to passengers who are visually impaired.

photograph by Craig Rowlands

All photographs are copyright

First | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | 5th | Last
Refurbished units: First | 2nd

This page was last updated 17 May 2004

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