London Overground – Class 378 Electric Multiple Unit
Built: 2008 – 2015
Manufacturer: Bombardier Transportation, Derby
Entered Service: 2009
Number in Service: 57
Number of Carriages per Train: 5
Seats per Train: 186
Passenger Capacity: 840 (approx.)
Train Formation: Driving Motor Open Saloon – Motor Open Saloon – Pantograph Trailer Open Saloon – Motor Open Saloon – Driving Motor Open Saloon
Train Length: 324ft 7in
Train Width: 9ft 2ins
Train Height: 12ft 4ins
Train Weight: 212.8 tonnes
Class 378/1 – 750v DC – Operated on East London Line only.
Class 378/2 – 25KV AC/750v DC – Operated on North London Line, West London Line & East London Line
Class 378 EMU History
With the acquisition of the former Silverlink Metro services by Transport for London, followed by the formation of London Overground in 2007, the need for a fleet of replacement trains became quickly apparent. TfL turned to Bombardier Transportation, who came up with a design based on their successful Electrostar family of electric multiple units.
The Class 378 Capitalstar, although similar in design to the Class 376 trains operated by Southeastern, features full longtitudinal seating similar to that used on London Underground rolling stock, which provides more standing capacity within each train and helps to reduce overcrowding.
The original deal was for 152 individual carriages to be constructed, with a total cost of £223million, although this order was extended by a further 36 carriages in July 2007. The first two complete 3-car trains were delivered to Willesden TMD in September 2008 and underwent a 14 week test period on the North London Line.
Class 378s were originally planned to enter service in January 2009, but were delayed by 6 months due to the economic recession and its effects on suppliers of parts, with the first Class 378 unit eventually entering service on 29 July 2009.
Late 2010/early 2011 saw the trains extended with the addition of a 4th carriage. Further extension to 5 carriages began in November 2014, with the entire fleet being extended by December 2015.
In July 2015, London Overground announced an order for 45 new Bombardier Transportation Class 710 ‘Aventra’ units, some of which would displace the Class 378/2 units in use on the Watford DC line and allow their cascading to strengthen services on the other Class 378 operated lines.