British Rail Class 374
The British Rail Class 374, also branded as the Eurostar e320, is a type of electric multiple unit passenger train used on Eurostar services through the Channel Tunnel to serve destinations beyond the core routes to Paris and Brussels. They began to run passenger services in November 2015. The trains owned by Eurostar International Limited are sixteen-coach versions of the Siemens Velaro, each train measures 400 metres long. The trains are designed to be compliant with the Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) and the original order for ten sets was subsequently increased to seventeen sets in November 2014.
|British Rail Class 374 |
A Eurostar Class 374 on High Speed 1
|In service||20 November 2015 - present|
|Number built||17 trainsets|
|Car body construction||Aluminium|
|Train length||400 metres (1,312 ft 4 in)|
|Car length||25.7 metres (84 ft 3 3⁄4 in) (Leading) 24.2 metres (79 ft 4 3⁄4 in) (Trailing)|
|Maximum speed||320 km/h (200 mph)|
|Power output||16 MW (21,000 hp)|
|Electric system(s)||25 kV 50 Hz AC|
15 kV 16.7 Hz AC
3000 V DC
1500 V DC Overhead lines
|Current collection method||Pantograph|
|UIC classification||Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′ +2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′ +2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
Eurostar International's existing fleet of Class 373 "Eurostar e300" trains, introduced in 1994 when the Channel Tunnel opened, cannot be used on the 15 kV AC overhead line (OHLE) electrification system used in Germany, most cannot be used on the 1.5 kV DC overhead line (OHLE) electrification system used in the Netherlands and they do not have sufficient space to install ERTMS signalling. Consequently, Eurostar cannot run its Class 373 units on services to these countries, and the Class 374 was designed and built to help solve this problem, and enable Eurostar to run services to these locations. The Class 374 has replaced the majority of Class 373s as of June 2018, with most Class 373 trains being scrapped in the UK after these new trains were introduced into service.
Siemens Velaro high speed EMUs are derived from the ICE 3 first used by Deutsche Bahn (DB) in 2000. Variants include DB Class 407, intended for international services including through the Channel Tunnel.
In 2009, Eurostar announced a £700m project to update its fleet, with approximately £550m for new trains able to operate away from the core London-Paris/Brussels network. In October 2010, Eurostar announced that Siemens had been selected, with the Velaro platform to be used. The Velaro e320, named because of plans to operate at 320 km/h (200 mph), would be 16 cars long, to meet the Channel Tunnel safety specifications but would have distributed traction with the traction equipment along the length of the train, not concentrated in power cars at each end.
The nomination of Siemens saw it break into the French high-speed market, as all French and French subsidiary high-speed operators up to that point used TGV derivatives produced by Alstom. Alstom attempted legal action to prevent the contract, claiming that the Siemens sets would breach Channel Tunnel safety rules, but this was thrown out of court. Alstom said that it would "pursue alternative legal options to uphold its position", and on 4 November 2010 it lodged a complaint with the European Commission over the tendering process, which then asked the British government for "clarification". Alstom then announced it had started legal action against Eurostar in the High Court in London. In July 2011, the High Court rejected Alstom's claim that the tender process was "ineffective", and in April 2012 Alstom said it would call off pending court actions against Eurostar.
Construction and delivery
The trains were constructed at the Siemens plant at Krefeld in Germany, with the first rolled out for testing at the Wildenrath test circuit in early 2013 as Class 374, with the first unit bearing this UIC identification mark. The intention was for the first unit to enter service in 2014, but the approval was delayed. As a consequence, Eurostar did receive its first unit in 2014 for presentation but operation could only start a year later.
At the presentation of the first train in London in November 2014, Eurostar announced that they had ordered 7 additional train sets, and that the first e320 service would be at the end of 2015. By November 2014 nine of the 10 trains had been built and all 10 were scheduled to be delivered by April 2016. The seven trains in the second order were all operational by March 2018.
On 27 January 2014 set 4007+4008 was hauled across Belgium by B-Logistiks' TRAXX E 186 199, and on the night of 29/30 January 2014 was dragged by Eurotunnel Class 0001 rescue locomotives via the Channel Tunnel and High Speed 1 to Temple Mills Depot where it arrived at 01:41:30 on 30 January 2014.
The French Railway Safety Board (EPSF) granted an authorisation to run the train in France on 16 October 2015; the approval for operating though the Channel Tunnel was granted on 19 November by the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC). At the beginning of January 2016 the Belgian authority SSICF authorized the operation in its country.
Eurostar intend to use the trains to expand its core operation between London St Pancras International, Paris Gare du Nord and Brussels Midi/Zuid. To meet the prospect of increased competition through the Channel Tunnel (primarily from DB), it intends to use them to expand its network to Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Cologne, and more destinations in France. The first Class 374 set entered service in November 2015, ahead of the full launch of the new type; the receipt of the safety authorisation from the Intergovernmental Commission was received earlier than expected, allowing Eurostar to begin utilizing the type on a small number of services for in-service testing. In September 2013, Eurostar announced that its new service between London and Amsterdam, intended to begin operation in December 2016, would be operated by the trains. Since April 2018 the scheduled service to Amsterdam operates with two e320 trains per day.
In early 2018, the tracks and international platforms at Ashford International underwent a £10-million refurbishment to allow compatibility with Eurostar's e320 trains from 1 April 2018. On 3 April 2018, the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling met the first e320 that called at the station after the works have been called "completed" by the local authority. However, as of June 2019, no other e320 has been permitted to call at the station due to "power spikes" which damaged equipment of the new trains.
The carriages are numbered in half-sets of eight-vehicles as 93 70 3740 NNN-N GB-EIL, where 93 denotes high-speed EMU, 70 denotes Great Britain, 374 is the class, 40NN (sharing the 4 from the class 374) is the unit number followed by a single digit for each carriage counting from the driving car towards the centre, a check digit, GB for Great Britain and EIL for Eurostar International Limited.
|Class||Units||Operator||No. built||Year built||Cars per set||Services operated|
|Class 374||4001–4020||Eurostar||10 (20 half-sets)||2011–2013||16||London-Paris/Brussels/Amsterdam|
|4021–4034||7 (14 half-sets)||2016–2018|
- 93 70 3740 021–8 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 022–6 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 023–4 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 024–2 GB-EIL,93 70 3740 025–9 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 026–7 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 027–5 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 028–3 GB-EIL plus 93 70 3740 018–4 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 017–6 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 016–8 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 015–0 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 014–3 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 013–5 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 012–7 GB-EIL, 93 70 3740 011–9 GB-EIL.
Each set is formed of 16 coaches:
|1||Standard Premier/Business Premier||40||-||-||-|
|2||Standard Premier/Business Premier||36||-||2||1|
|3||Standard Premier/Business Premier||33+2||-||1(D)||-|
|14||Standard Premier/Business Premier||33+2||-||1(D)||-|
|15||Standard Premier/Business Premier||36||-||2||1|
|16||Standard Premier/Business Premier||40||-||-||-|
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New Eurostar Delivery. 374 007 with 2 Krupps
- Howard. "2 Krupps Locos Drag The Brand New E320 Eurostar 4007/8 Through Ebbsfleet International – 30/1/14" (video). YouTube.
0040 on the 30/1/14 … re-scheduled to run overnight in the same path the next day. Here are 2 Krupps locos dragging the brand new Velaro E320 Eurostar through Ebbsfleet International working 6K74 Eurotunnel Boundary – Temple Mills Depot. Unit numbers were 374007/008
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Eurotunnel Boundary (Ctrl) WTT: 2332 Realtime: 2243 (49E); Temple Mills Recp WTT: 0150 Realtime: 0141½ (8E)
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