British Rail Class 465 - History of The Class

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History of The Class

Network SouthEast began the planning for the development of the Class 465 Networker in 1988, and invited a tender for 710 of the units to be built. Both manufacturers' units look exceptionally similar in design; the major noticeable differences for passengers are the lack of aircraft-style overhead air vents on those produced by GEC Alsthom, and the BREL and ABB units (465/0 and 465/1) also feature slightly different dot matrix displays on the front and rear of the train to show the route number and destination to the GEC Alsthom units. There are other visible but minor differences in door switches and audible chimes, window shapes and exterior panelling amongst the fleet. In addition, the two units employ different traction motors, which sound different. Despite the differences though, the units can be used interchangeably. Particularly during peak times when longer trains are used, it is quite common to see a train comprising two four car units, one from each batch. Both classes share many similarities with the later dual-voltage Class 365, and are also similar in design to the diesel Class 165. When first introduced, all seating was standard class only.

Although the units are interoperable, the spare parts for the different units are different.

The maximum speed of a Class 465 Networker is 75 mph (120 km/h) and they are designed only for 750 V DC third rail operation. A Solid State Traction Converter package controls 3-phase AC Traction motors, which allows for Rheostatic or Regenerative Dynamic braking. Primary braking system is Electro-pneumatically actuated disc brakes, which is blended with the Dynamic brakes. Tachometers on every axle of the unit provide for Wheel Slip/Slide Protection. A solid state Auxiliary Converter provides 110 V DC and 240 V AC supplies; this is the source of the loud buzzing noise which can be heard when the train is stationary. On a BREL the Aux Converter is located on the TSO, whereas on the GEC Alsthom there is one each on the TSO and TSOL.

All trains were originally supplied in Network SouthEast livery and branded "Kent Link Networker". Some units were re-liveried in the first Connex South Eastern livery. Most 465/0, 465/1, 465/2, 465/9 and 466 trains are now in the white and charcoal livery of Southeastern with yellow doors, but some are now getting a fresh livery of charcoal with blue doors.

During conversion for use on the outer suburban routes, a batch of 34 Class 465/2 units were given an internal re-fit, including First Class seating, new moquette on the seating, new flooring and revised furniture around the passenger doors. This eliminated the original narrow glass panes in the vestibules, which were a common target with vandals. These units are now classified 465/9. Since the introduction of the Class 395 Javelin trains, some of the outer suburban routes are now operated by Class 375 Electrostar trains, with the Class 465/9s cascaded back to Metro duties.

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