British Rail Class 205
|British Rail Class 205|
Class 205, no. 205009 at London Victoria on 15 August 2003, with a service to Uckfield. This service no longer runs, with all trains to Uckfield now diverted to London Bridge. 2004 was the final year of service of these elderly units. This unit is now preserved on the Eden Valley Railway.
|Number built||34 trainsets|
|Formation||2/3 cars per trainset|
|Car length||19.51 m (64 ft 0.1 in)
19.34 m (63 ft 5.4 in)
19.51 m (64 ft 0.1 in)
|Width||2.8 m (9 ft 2.24 in)|
|Maximum speed||75 mph (121 km/h)|
|Weight||56 t (55.1 long tons; 61.7 short tons)
30 t (29.5 long tons; 33.1 short tons)
32 t (31.5 long tons; 35.3 short tons)
|Engine(s)||English Electric 4SRKT Mark II (4-cylinder diesel)|
|Power output||600 shp (450 kW) at 850 rpm|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
This class of unit were built in four different batches for use on different lines.
The first batch of units, numbered 1101–1118, was built in 1957 as two-car units and classified as 2H. They were built for services in Hampshire on the non-electrified routes between Portsmouth Harbour, Salisbury and Andover and between Alton, Winchester and Southampton Terminus. The first units entered service in September 1957. However, due to increasing passenger numbers, all eighteen units were strengthened to three cars in 1958 and 1969, with the addition of a centre trailer, and therefore were reclassified as 3H units. Upon the introduction of TOPS they were reclassified as Class 205. Some of these were later converted back to 2 car sets, but they retained their Class 205 designation.
The second batch of 2H units, numbered 1119–1122, was built as 2-car units in 1958. These units were built for services on the Marshlink Line from Hastings to Ashford, and associated branch lines. These units remained as two-car sets until 1979, and were reclassified as Class 204 upon the introduction of TOPS. In May 1979, following the disbandment of the four Class 206 units, they were strengthed to three cars and redesignated as Class 205s.
The third batch of units was built as three-car sets in 1959, and numbered 1123–1126. These units were built to supplement the first batch on services in Hampshire. Collectively, the first and third batches are often called Hampshire sets. The final batch of units, numbered 1127–1133, was built in 1962 as three car sets. These units have some detail differences from the earlier batches, such as a different internal layout, and smaller route indicators (compare the two photos). They were built for services from Reading to Salisbury, and other services in Berkshire. The final batch of units is sometimes referred to as Berkshire sets.
Power car (one per set)
- Introduced: 1957
- Weight: 56 t (55.1 long tons; 61.7 short tons)
- Engine: English Electric 4-cylinder type 4SRKT Mark II of 1,000 bhp (750 kW) at 850 rpm (600 shp or 450 kW)
- Transmission: Electric, two English Electric type EE507 traction motors rated at 186 hp (139 kW) each.
- Maximum tractive effort: 12,500 lbf (56 kN)
- Driving wheel diameter: 42 in (1,067 mm)
- Coupling code: Standard 'Buck eye' compatible with contemporary Class 20x and 4xx units.
- Train heating: Electric
The first examples of the class entered service in September 1957 after a month of testing. They were initially used on services linking Portsmouth and Southampton to Salisbury, as well as those between Southampton and Portsmouth Harbour and from Southampton to Alton/Andover. Journey times were around two-thirds of those required by the steam locomotives which the units replaced. The new services proved so popular that the class was temporarily taken off the route to Alton and Andover to provide extra capacity on the other lines prior to the fitting of a third carriage to the first 18 units.
The delivery of the second batch of four units saw the class introduced to the Marshlink Line between Ashford and Hastings. These units also ran on the Bexhill West Branch Line and the short line to New Romney and Littlestone-on-Sea, and a Sunday-only service on the Fawley Branch Line. All of these routes except for the Marshlink Line had been closed by 1967, by which time the route between Reading and Salisbury was also operated by the class. The units also operated on the Wareham to Swanage route from 1966 until its closure in 1972. Other routes served included the Steyning Line between Brighton and Horsham, which closed in 1967; the Cuckoo Line, which closed in 1968; the Lymington Branch Line, which was served by the units for two months in 1967 prior to its electrification; and some journeys on the Oxted Line, which was also served by the newer Class 207 units. In 1973 some services from Portsmouth to Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-super-Mare were converted to Class 205 operation.
The electrification of the line to East Grinstead in 1987 saw the majority of the class withdrawn. Those which survived largely operated on services from Ashford to Hastings and from London to Uckfield. The privatisation of British Rail in 1995/6 saw the surviving Class 205s, most of which now carried Network SouthEast livery, pass to the new Connex South Central franchise.
In 1966, unit number 1102 was used in the film "The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery".
The final units, nos. 205001/009/033 were withdrawn in mid-December 2004.
|Key:||In service||Withdrawn||Preserved||Rebuilt||Reformed||Departmental Use||Scrapped|
Unrefurbished Class 205/0
|Unit No.||Batch||Year Built||Final Livery||DMBSO||TSO||DTCsoL||Withdrawn||Status|
|205001||1101||Batch 1||1957||Connex||60154||60650||60800||12/2004||Preserved, at The East Kent Railway|
|-||1103||Batch 1||1957||Blue/Grey||60102||60652||60802||1979||Converted to Class 204 no. 1403|
|-||1104||Batch 1||1957||Blue/Grey||60103||60653||60803||1979||Converted to Class 204 no. 1404|
|-||1108||Batch 1||1957||Blue/Grey||60107||60657||60807||1979||Converted to Class 204 no. 1401|
|205009||1109||Batch 1||1957||Connex||60108||60658||60808||12/2004||Preserved at the Eden Valley Railway|
|-||1111||Batch 1||1957||Blue/Grey||60110||60660||60810||1980||Preserved at the Epping Ongar Railway|
|205012||1112||Batch 1||1957||Connex||60111||60661||60811||02/2004||Withdrawn - for scrap|
|-||1122||Batch 2||1958||Blue/Grey||60121||-||60821||See Class 204 (never officially classified as a 205)|
|205025||1125||Batch 3||1959||Connex (now in BR Green)||60124||60670||60824||05/2004||Preserved at Mid-Hants Railway.|
|205027||1127||Batch 4||1962||NSE||60145||60672||60826||08/1994||Sandite unit 930301|
|205028||1128||Batch 4||1962||Connex||60146||60673||60827||11/2004||Preserved at Dartmoor Railway|
|205029||1129||Batch 4||1962||BR Green||60147||60667||60817||1994||Scrapped after Cowden rail crash|
|205031||1131||Batch 4||1962||Blue/Grey||60149||60676||60830||07/1993||Sandite unit 930301|
|205032||1132||Batch 4||1962||Connex||60150||60677||60831||10/2004||Preserved at Dartmoor Railway Operational|
|205033||1133||Batch 4||1962||Connex||60151||60678||60832||12/2004||Preserved, at The Lavender Line|
Refurbished Class 205/1
|205101||1111||Batch 1||1980||NSE||60110||60660||60810||1995||Converted to 205205|
Refurbished Class 205/2
|205205||205101||Batch 1||1995||Connex||60110||71634||60810||07/2004||Preserved at Epping Ongar Railway|
Due to a generous disposal policy by Porterbrook Leasing, nearly all of the final units in service were preserved. The only unit not preserved was no. 205012, which had poor bodywork and donated its engine to the only surviving unrefurbished Class 207 unit.
- 205001 - East Kent Railway
- 205009 - Eden Valley Railway
- 205018 - Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway
- 205023 - Hampshire & Sussex Unit Preservation Society (HSUPS) at the Lavender Line
- 205025 - Mid-Hants Railway Operational
- 205028 - Dartmoor Railway
- 205032 - Dartmoor Railway Operational
- 205033 - Lavender Line
- 205205 - Epping Ongar Railway
205205 moved from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in November 2009.
In addition to the above complete units, a driving trailer from unit 205008 (DTCsoL 60820) has been preserved by Hastings Diesels at St Leonards-on-Sea; on 18 October 2007, 60820 was moved by road to the Lavender Line, to which it is "on loan".
An OO gauge kit is available from DC Kits. Dapol announced (May 2008) that a limited edition OO RTR model (to be followed by an N gauge version) of the Class 205 would be produced in collaboration with Kernow Model Rail Centre. Manufacture was switched to Bachmann in March 2010 and the model was released in February 2013. 
- Welch, Michael (2004). Southern DEMUs. Capital Transport. pp. 12–19. ISBN 1-85414-287-9.
- Withdrawal dates from H. Longworth, British Railways First Generation DMUs, 2011 Oxford Publishing Company ISBN 978-0-86093-612-1
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
British Rail Class 205
- History of the 2H/3H/3T Hampshire, Hastings & Berkshire Units
- East Kent Railway - Home of 205001
- Hampshire & Sussex Unit Preservation Society (HSUPS) - owners of preserved unit 205023.
- Hastings Diesels - owners of preserved DTCsoL 60820 from unit 205008.
- Eden Valley Railway - home of preserved unit 205009.
- Kernow Model Rail Centre
- DC Kits
- Preservedthumpers.co.uk - Enthusiast website
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