UK Transport Wiki
British Rail Class 350 "Desiro"
Siemens Class 350 Desiro No. 350125 at Imperial Wharf

Siemens Class 350 Desiro No. 350125 at Imperial Wharf

In service2004 – current
Family nameDesiro
Constructed2004 - 2005 (350/1)
2008 - 2009 (350/2)
Number built67 trainsets
Formation4 cars per trainset
Fleet numbers350101 - 350130
350231 - 350267
OperatorLondon Midland
Car lengthTemplate:Convert/m [1]
Maximum speed100 mph (Template:Convert/outsep)
Electric system(s)25 kV AC
750V DC (350/1 only)
Current collection methodOverhead
third rail (350/1 only)
Braking system(s)Air regenerative[2]
|3mm=3 mm (0.118 in)
|4mm=4 mm (0.157 in)
|4.5mm=4.5 mm (0.177 in)
|4.8mm=4.8 mm (0.189 in)
|6.5mm=6.5 mm (0.256 in)
|6.53mm=6.53 mm (0.257 in)
|8mm=8 mm (0.315 in)
|8.97mm=8.97 mm (0.353 in)
|9mm=9 mm (0.354 in)
|9.42mm=9.42 mm (0.371 in)
|10.5mm=10.5 mm (0.413 in)
|11.94mm=11.94 mm (0.470 in)
|12mm=12 mm (0.472 in)
|12.7mm=12.7 mm (0.5 in)
|13mm=13 mm (0.512 in)
|13.5mm=13.5 mm (0.531 in)
|14mm=14 mm (0.551 in)
|14.125mm=14.125 mm (0.556 in)
|14.2mm=14.2 mm (0.559 in)
|14.28mm=14.28 mm (0.562 in)
|14.3mm=14.3 mm (0.563 in)
|15.76mm=15.76 mm (0.620 in)

The British Rail Class 350 "Desiro" is class of electrical multiple unit built by Siemens AG from 2004–05 and 2008–09. Thirty of these units, designated Class 350/1s, were built for use by Central Trains and Silverlink on regional express services and services on the southern section of the West Coast Main Line. A further 37 Class 350/2s were ordered by London Midland in late 2007. All 37 units were delivered and in service by July 2009. The Siemens "Desiro UK" family also includes units of Classes 185, 360, 380, 444 and 450.


The Class 350/1 units were originally part of an order for thirty-two 5-car Class 450 units for South West Trains. However, they were never built as such. Of the 160 carriages ordered, 40 were diverted as an additional ten 4-car Class 450 units, and the remaining 120 were modified as thirty 4-car Class 350/1 units. A second batch of 37 units to replace the 321 units were delivered during late 2008 and 2009. These new units are designated Class 350/2 and differ from the 350/1 units in two key aspects: they have 3+2 seating in standard class (because they work short-hop commuter services, the 350/1s are 2+2 throughout and work longer distance services); and lack the dual voltage capability that the existing units have. The Class 350 units differ from the Class 450 because the latter units operate from 750 V dc from a third rail, whilst the Class 350/1 units operate from both 25 kV ac from an overhead power supply, and also 750 V dc from a third-rail. The dual voltage capability was removed shortly after delivery but was reinstated on some units which were leased to Southern in 2008/2009. Every set of doors has its own set of guard operated door controls behind a lockable panel. The cabs have three radio systems - Cab Secure Radio (CSR), National Radio Network (NRN) and the newest system, GSM-R. This allows a great deal of operational flexibility. CCTV and Flip Dot destination screens are fitted throughout the train.

Current operations[]

The units are currently in service on London Midland services between Northampton and London Euston, and services between Birmingham and Northampton via Coventry, and all Birmingham - Liverpool services having replaced Class 170 and Class 323 units.[citation needed] Most recently Desiros have taken over some peak services between Birmingham and Walsall. At the end of 2008 - These units took over the new Crewe - London Euston service running via Stoke-on-Trent and stopping at most of the Trent Valley Line stations. The 350/1s were originally painted in an overall grey livery with blue doors and blue window surrounds with a mandatory yellow front-end warning panel required by safety rules. The original dual-use of the units on Silverlink and Central Trains services mandated a non-operator specific livery. All 350s now operate in London Midland's livery. The trains are managed at a new purpose built depot at Northampton, which opened in June 2006, and can also service Class 321 and other Desiro units if required. It is located at Kings Heath, near Kingsthorpe which is just North of Northampton station. The depot is equipped to maintain the entire Class 350 fleet and is managed by Siemens.

Fleet details[]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos. Notes
Class 350/1 London Midland 30 2004–2005 4 350101 - 350130 Dual voltage
Class 350/2 37 2008–2009 350231 - 350267



More Siemens Desiro Class 350 units may be built or existing units moved from London Midland for the Transpennine franchise when electrification of the Manchester to Liverpool via Huyton and Newton-le-Willows line is completed in 2013. These units will be used on services from Manchester to Scotland, with displaced diesel Desiro units remaining with the Transpennine franchise, allowing longer trains on other services. Passenger services operated by diesel powered rolling stock on the Manchester to Liverpool line under the Northern franchise will switch to British Rail Class 319 units displaced from Thameslink services.[3] Class 350 units transferred to the Transpennine franchise could be replaced by a 5-car variant of the Hitachi Super Express design on the West Coast Main Line.[4]




  2. Class 350/1 Technical Data. New EMU Tech Data. (2006-04-20). Retrieved on 2009-08-26.
  3. Britain’s Transport Infrastructure - Rail Electrification (pdf) 22–24. DfT (2009-07-22). Retrieved on 2009-08-25.[dead link]
  4. Ford, Roger (March 2009). "IEP - still a long way to go". Modern Railways: 30–31. Retrieved on 2009-03-03. 

Template:UK Desiro

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