British Rail Class 322

The British Rail Class 322 were electric multiple unit passenger trains which were built by British Rail Engineering Limited in 1990 for the Stansted Express service from London Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport. After becoming surplus to requirements on this route, the fleet saw further use with a number of other operators.

British Rail Class 322
Two trains parked on two platforms. The photo is of the last vehicles of two trains next to each other.
Greater Anglia Class 322 at London Liverpool Street in April 2021
Photo taken inside the train - there are rows of seats on both sides. One side has two seats, and other side has three seats. The seats are blue with multi-coloured spots all over. There are yellow handles for support along the way.
Refurbished Northern Rail interior
In service1990 – August 2022[1]
ManufacturerBritish Rail Engineering Limited
Built atHolgate Road Works, York
Family nameBR Second Generation (Mark 3)
ReplacedClass 305
Refurbished2005–2007 (at Hunslet-Barclay, Kilmarnock)
Number built5[2]
Number scrapped5
Formation4 cars per unit:
Fleet numbers322481–322485
Capacity309 seats[3]
Owner(s)Eversholt Rail Group
Car body constructionSteel[4]
Car length
  • DT vehs.: 19.950 m (65 ft 5.4 in)[4]
  • Others: 19.920 m (65 ft 4.3 in)[4]
Width2.816 m (9 ft 2.9 in)[4]
Height3.775 m (12 ft 4.6 in)[4]
DoorsDouble-leaf sliding pocket, each 1.200 m (3 ft 11.2 in) wide[4]
(2 per side per car)
WheelbaseOver bogie centres:
14.170 m (46 ft 5.9 in)[4]
Maximum speed100 mph (161 km/h)[2]
WeightTotal: 141.8 t (139.6 long tons; 156.3 short tons)[5]
Traction motors4 × Brush TM21-41[5]
Power output996 kW (1,336 hp)[5]
Acceleration0.55 m/s2 (1.8 ft/s2)[2]
Electric system(s)25 kV 50 Hz AC overhead
Current collector(s)Pantograph
UIC classification2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+2′2′
  • Powered: BREL P7-4
  • Unpowered: BREL T3-7[4]
Minimum turning radius71 m (232 ft 11 in)[4]
Braking system(s)Electro-pneumatic (disc)
Safety system(s)
Coupling systemTightlock[6]
Multiple workingWith Classes 317–322
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge


The original interior of a Stansted Express Class 322

In 1987 British Rail (BR) was extending electrification north from London Liverpool Street towards Cambridge. Included in this plan was the construction of new branch line, diverging from the main line at Stansted Mountfitchet, to serve the newly built Stansted Airport station, which opened in 1991. BR decided to build a dedicated fleet of units to work a new service, the Stansted Express.[7][8]

The Class 322 units were built to the same basic design as the Class 321 units, which were still under construction for services on the Great Eastern Main Line and West Coast Main Line, but with a larger First Class area in the DTCO resulting in a different window arrangement.[9] Although the Stansted route fell under the jurisdiction of Network SouthEast (NSE), the units were delivered into service in a special white livery with a broad green band, instead of the more usual NSE blue/red/white livery.

Five 4-car units were built, numbered 322481–322485. Each unit consisted of two outer driving trailers, an intermediate trailer, and an intermediate motor coach, arranged and numbered as follows:

Number range Designation as-built Designation post-2015[2] Description
78163–78167 DTC DTSL Driver's cab, Trailer car, Standard class (open saloon), Lavatory
63137–63141 MS Motor car, Standard class (open saloon)
72023–72027 TSL Trailer car, Standard class (open saloon), Lavatory
77985–77989 DTS Driver's cab, Trailer car, Standard class (open saloon)

Originally the units had a lower density 2+2 seating arrangement in Standard Class appropriate to their use on airport traffic, but during their C6X refurbishment between 2005 and 2007 the units were converted to standard-class only and fitted with high-density 3+2 seating. The DTC and DTS vehicles were redesignated DTS(A) and DTS(B) respectively at this time. Following transfer from First ScotRail to Northern Rail in 2011, the first-class seating was refitted to the DTS(A) vehicles; but it was removed again in 2015 and replaced with a universally-accessible toilet.[9] At this point the DTS(A) and DTS(B) vehicles were respectively redesignated DTSL and DTS.


Network SouthEastEdit

Class 322 in original livery at Stansted Airport

On introduction in 1990[2] the Class 322s were painted in a joint livery for Network SouthEast (NSE) and British Airports Authority consisting of a light grey and white body with green waist band lettered "Stansted Express" on one side and "Network SouthEast" on the other. Until opening of the Stansted Airport spur the units worked peak-hour services between Cambridge and Liverpool Street, but also found use on special trains wandering as far afield and York and Colchester.[9]

West Anglia Great NorthernEdit

In the lead up to the privatisation of British Rail, in 1994 all were sold to Eversholt Rail Group.[10] All passed with the franchise to West Anglia Great Northern in January 1997. Having been replaced by Class 317s on Stansted services, they were used indiscriminately as part of the general fleet and would operate on other WAGN services including on the East Coast Main Line from London King's Cross to Peterborough.

Sub-leasing from WAGNEdit

In 1998 two Class 322 units were sub-leased to North Western Trains to operate a service between Euston and Manchester Airport[11] but the service was discontinued after a year and the units were returned to WAGN.[12][13] From 1998 units were also occasionally sub-let to Silverlink and used on services between Euston and Birmingham and to Anglia Railways to cover for late delivery of units for London Liverpool Street to Norwich services.[9]


In December 2001, all were transferred to fellow National Express franchise ScotRail to replace the slam-door Class 305s on the North Berwick Line. To facilitate their movement to Glasgow Shields Road TMD, they also operated limited services to Glasgow Central via the Carstairs line.[14][15]


On the instructions of the Strategic Rail Authority, all returned to WAGN in March 2004 in preparation for the takeover of the franchise by One.[16][17] Under One, the Class 322s were using in a common pool with the Class 321s.[9]

First ScotRailEdit

First ScotRail Class 322 at Edinburgh Waverley in October 2007

Having been deemed surplus by One, in July 2005 all returned to Scotland to operate with First ScotRail on the North Berwick Line,[18][19] while also being used on peak services to Glasgow and Carstairs.[9] To provide cover while its Class 321s were overhauled, 322484 was hired to Northern Rail to operate Doncaster to Leeds services.[20] In 2006/07, all were refurbished by Hunslet-Barclay, Kilmarnock with capacity increased from 252 to 293.[21][22]


Having been superseded by Class 380s, all were transferred to Northern Rail in July and August 2011.[23][24] Based at Neville Hill TMD, they operated services from Leeds to Doncaster, Bradford Forster Square, Skipton and Ilkley. Having passed with the franchise to Arriva Rail North and Northern Trains, all were replaced by Class 331s with the last withdrawn in May 2020.[25][26]

Greater AngliaEdit

In July 2020 all were leased to Greater Anglia to operate services out of London Liverpool Street on the Great Eastern Main Line. They were leased to allow Class 360s to move to East Midlands Railway.

Greater Anglia withdrew the fleet from service in August 2022, and by the end of September all five units had been scrapped.[1]

Fleet detailsEdit

Class Status Qty. Year built Cars per unit Unit nos.
322 Scrapped[27] 5 1990 4 322481–322485

Named unitsEdit

Some units were named.

  • 322481: North Berwick Flyer 1850-2000[28]
  • 322485: North Berwick Flyer 1850-2000[28]


  1. ^ a b "Last Class 322s sent for scrap". Rail Express. No. 318. November 2022. p. 26.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Class 322". London: Eversholt Rail Group. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  3. ^ Bevan Brittan LLC (26 March 2014). The Northern Interim Franchise Agreement (PDF). London: Department for Transport. M-10204941-1. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Vehicle Diagram Book No. 210 for Electrical Multiple Units (including A.P.T.)" (PDF). Barrowmore MRG. BRB Residuary Ltd. October 1988. EC210, EE236, EE308, EH235 (in work pp. 88–89, 182–183, 206–207, 316–317). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Class 322". TheRailwayCentre.Com. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ System Data for Mechanical and Electrical Coupling of Rail Vehicles in support of GM/RT2190 (PDF). London: Rail Safety and Standards Board. 22 June 2011. p. 4. SD001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  7. ^ New line for Stansted makes progress Rail issue 78 March 1988 page 15
  8. ^ BREL EMU orders The Railway Magazine issue 1051 November 1988 page 687
  9. ^ a b c d e f Sherlock, Greg (July 2015). "The Class 320s and their successors". Today's Railways UK. No. 163. Sheffield: Platform 5 Publishing Ltd. pp. 55–57.
  10. ^ 25 Years of ROSCOs Rail Express issue 281 October 2019 page 20
  11. ^ NWT livery for Class 322 Stansted units Rail issue 329 22 April 1998 page 12
  12. ^ FNW cuts Euston-Manchester service Rail issue 355 21 April 1999 page 13
  13. ^ First North Western to axe Manchester-London service The Railway Magazine issue 1178 June 1999 page 9
  14. ^ ScotRail shuffles units as ex-Stansted 322s arrive Rail issue 427 23 January 2002 page 58
  15. ^ Full 322 North Berwick service Rail issue 437 12 June 2002 page 10
  16. ^ ScotRail's 322s to return south Rail issue 468 20 August 2003 page 9
  17. ^ Class 322s return south Entrain issue 31 July 2004 page 25
  18. ^ Class 322s return north Rail issue 519 3 August 2005 page 28
  19. ^ 322s return to Scotland The Railway Magazine issue 1253 September 2005 page 71
  20. ^ 322 for Leeds-Doncaster Entrain issue 45 September 2005 page 59
  21. ^ First Class 322 is overhauled Rail issue 538 26 April 2006 page 25
  22. ^ Final 322 Outshopped Rail issue 560 28 February 2007 page 50
  23. ^ Class 322 moves south to Northern Rail issue 675 27 July 2011 page 26
  24. ^ ScotRail Class 322s bow out Today's Railways UK issue 118 October 2011 page 66
  25. ^ "Moving In, Moving on, Moving Out". The Railway Magazine. No. 1404. March 2018. p. 41.
  26. ^ "Northern finishes with Dusty Bins". Railways Illustrated. No. July 2020. p. 16.
  27. ^ Coward, Andy, ed. (November 2022). "BREL classes go extinct". Railways Illustrated. No. 237. Horncastle: Mortons Media. p. 20. ISSN 1479-2230.
  28. ^ a b "Class 322". Modern Locomotives Illustrated. No. 233. Stamford: Key Publishing. October 2018. pp. 50–54.

External linksEdit

  Media related to British Rail Class 322 at Wikimedia Commons