British Rail Class 302

British Rail Class 302

Infobox EMU
name = British Rail Class 302

imagesize = 250px
caption = Class 302 at Barking
background = #012545
Manufacturer = BR Doncaster/York
Re-Build by = BR Eastliegh
Mail Conversions by = BR Ilford
Former Operator = c2c
Formation = 4 Cars per Trainset
Refurbishment = 1981 - 1982 (All)
1992 (4 mail conversions)
Built = 112 trainsets
InService = 1958 - 1999
Weight = 155 t
Capacity = 344 seats
MaxSpeed = 75 mph (121 km/h)
Gauge = 1,435 mm
Voltage = 25 kV AC Overhead Originally = 6.25/25 KV
The British Rail Class 302 (pre-TOPS AM2) was a type of electric multiple unit (EMU) introduced between 1958 - 1960 for outer suburban passenger services on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway route. This class of multiple unit was constructed using the Mark 1 bodyshell and was slam door. Each unit was formed of four coaches in the formation BDTS - MBS - TC - DTS.

Following the privatisation of British Rail, the units passed to LTS Rail in 1996.

The class was fully withdrawn from service in 1999 due to the age of the units, with some being 40 years old. They were replaced by Class 310 units, Class 312 units, and Class 317 units, the latter of which were on loan from WAGN.

Unit 302 244 was involved in an accident with a lorry at a level crossing at Low Street railway station in Tilbury, after which it was decided to scrap the leading carriage. This was replaced with a carriage originally belonging to a Manchester-Bury Line Class 504.

Two driving trailers carriages which belonged to units 302 201 and 302 227 are preserved at Mangapps Farm Railway Museum near Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex. These units are still in very good condition with the destination scrolls still in working order, the seats still in British Rail colours, and the Network South East maps are still in very good condition. The rest of the fleet has been scrapped since withdrawal in late 1999.

Trailer coaches were originally fitted with Gresley bogies which were replaced on Driving Trailer (DT) and Trailer Standard Open (TSO) which was formerly Composite Trailer and B5 Bogies on Battery Driving Trailer which became Battery Composite Trailer, the refurbishment moved First class accommodation to a position over the Westinghouse CM38 main compressor which was noisy and caused vibration. The Motor Coach retained its Gresley derived bogies after refurbishment.

Electrically there were 3 main systems, Control which operated at 110 Volts DC, provided by nickel iron alkaline Secondary cells, auxiliary 250 Volts AC from the tertiary winding of the main transformer which provided power to battery charger which also rectified to power main compressor, and finally power circuits derived from secondary winding of the main transformer at 1,500 Volts AC.

The primary winding of the transformer was designed to operate on either 6.25 kV or 25 kV with voltage sensing equipment fitted to ensure the correct arrangement of primary windings for a given voltage. An incorrect voltage selection device was fitted to both the Class 302 and Class 308 stock so that if the primary winding was connected for 6.25 kV when supplied with 25 kV the Air Blast Circuit Breaker (ABB) manufactured by ABB Asea Brown Boveri would remain closed but the pantograph would be lowered. Should this happen the transformer would require changing and overhaul as well as possibly other equipment due to flashover damage.

The transformer was also protected by a Buckholz relay which monitored any gas build-up within the cooling/insulating oil, as the acetylene (ethyne) gas generated is highly explosive. All Class 302 and 308 stock were fitted with Stone Faiverly pantographs for current collection from the overhead line. A particular oddity of Eastern/Anglian region EMU stock was the fitting of fibre glass snow shields between the pantograph and the supporting insulators.

One member of the class, 302 302, was experimentally fitted with thyristor control in the early 1970's. After the experiment it was converted back to the original tap changer control, although the guard's van remained slightly different internally.

Electrical equipment was supplied by English Electric with the majority of equipment being interchangeable with Class 308 units.

Originally the vehicles were insulated with "Blue" asbestos which was removed and sealed during refubishments.

External links

* [ Class 302 general overview on Class 310 site]
* [ BW Photo of unit no. 298 at Barking c. 1964]
* [ The Railway Centre data page on the Class 302]

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