British Rail Class 373 Eurostar

The British Rail Class 373 or TGV-TMST (Train à Grande Vitesse-TransManche Super Train) (commonly known as the Eurostar) is an push-pull articulated multi-mode electric trainset designed for services connecting the Great Britain and Europe via the Eurotunnel. It is designed and built by Alstom of France between 1992 and 1996. It is equipped with pantographs and third-rail pickup shoes on the power cars on each end of the train. The pick-up shoes were used while the train travelled on the existing British railway network before High Speed 1, a rail link between the Eurotunnel and St Pancras International Station in London, was built.

Class 373 on third-rail network in London

Class 373 on the High Speed One

Instead of conventional bogies, most of the carriages of the train rest on Jacobs bogies forming two independent halves of the articulated trainset. The Class 373 have two variants. Class 373/1 are 20-car trainsets (including power cars) owned by Eurostar (the operator), SNCB, and SNCF and operated by Eurostar in international service through the Eurotunnel. The Class 373/2, 4 cars shorter were used for domestic North of London service by the GNER. Now they are used for French domestic services by the SNCF. The formation of the Class 373/1 is illustrated in the image below (click to enlarge).

The two independent half-sets of the Eurostar can be easily separated in case of an emergency in the Eurotunnel and while the train is travelling in the tunnel, a fully authorised driver is on standby in the rear driving cab.

The top revenue speed of the Class 373 is 300 km/h (186 mph) and 160 km/h (100 mph) in Britain on third rail lines before the opening of High Speed 1, where the Eurostar service would terminate in Britain at London Waterloo. The Class 373 had set the British rail speed record of 334.7 km/h (208 mph) on 30 July 2003 on the opening press run of the High Speed 1. Below is a video of the Eurostar at speed.


Renae said…
Interesting that they have another driver in the tailend of the train for emergency situations. I take it the separatation is controlled by the driver? Can they also ocntrol where in the train the seapartation occurs?
Train of the Week said…
The second driver is only on duty while the train is in the Eurotunnel. As you see from the diagram of the train consist, the Class 373 can only be separated right in the middle because the rest of the carriages are articulated and sit on Jacobs bogies.
Renae said…
Aha! I didn't realize that diagram was accurate in its wheel placement. Still, very cool and very smart.
It's a nice blog for getting information regarding travel through eurostar and much more information about it services, If you are looking for train from london to paris we have a special provision for it.

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