The Anonymous Widower

New Livery For Class 378 Trains

I took these pictures of a Class 378 train with new the new livery and seat covers on two trips into Dalston Junction station.

Who is or was Daks Hamilton?

Whilst searching for the answer to my question, I found this December 2009 article on Rail Magazine, which is entitled A Benchmark For Inner Suburban Trains. Richard Clinnock; the author finishes the article with these paragraphs.

So what is the final verdict? Simple: these trains are superb. They may seem to be fairly basic with few seats and no bins, but then they are about moving large numbers of people over relatively short distances.

Bombardier has delivered a train it can be proud of, and has really set the benchmark for future designs for inner suburban trains.

His verdict is still valid and nearly nine years on , the Capitalstars are still trundling reliably, in a circle around London.

But except for the Class 345 and Class 710 trains for Crossrail and the Overground respectively, no operator or transport authority in the UK, has followed London’s bold step of bench seats along the sides of the train.

You do see this layout in Europe, but often with hard one-piece plastic seats, that should be burned to generate electricity.

I think that Transport for London and Bombardier took, what they knew worked from the train-builder’s superb S stock for the sub-surface lines of the Underground and applied it to the new trains for an outstanding success.

If this type of seating works in London, why has it not been specified on new trains for Merseyrail and the Tyne and Wear Metro.

The Future Of The Class 378 Trains

London Overground have a problem with the new Class 710 trains, in that they can’t work the East London Line, as they have no emergency access that can be used in the Thames Tunnel.

So it looks like for the foreseeable future, Class 378 trains will be needed to work the East London Line.

Interior Update

The trains need wi-fi and USB sockets.

Vivarail have put USB sockets in Class 230 trains.

A similar setup in the armrests of a Class 378 train would be welcome.

This is the armrest in a Class 378 train.

Could it be modified to include a USB socket?



October 19, 2018 - Posted by | Transport | ,


  1. Is this a one off or are you they repainting them all ?

    Comment by Lawrenc e | October 20, 2018 | Reply

    • I think it’s probably a ten-year refresh to make them look better. I think it should also include wi-fi and USB charging points.

      Comment by AnonW | October 20, 2018 | Reply

  2. The new trains being introduced onto Great Northern Moorgate services have been built with a folding staircase at the end to enable emergency access into the tunnels south of Drayton Park so it’s a question as to whether Class 378sor 710s can be given a new front section with a similar arrangement for east London and indeed any tunnels?

    While the bench seating was used on original Overground which is similar to sub surface network re length of journeys this same seating layout is also being introduced on Greater Anglia Overground routes which are longer and would surely have been more suitable for Metropolitan Line mixed seating layouts?

    The main problem with longer trains on the east London Line are the old stations with short platforms and make one wonder if the original plans for ” Ringrail .” Which included a new north to south tunnel from Stratford to South East London would have been better in the long term and perhaps it’s time to reassess this option !

    Major development is planned around Surrey Quays area so whether this provides a chance to upgrade Surrey Quays and maybe Canada Water Station with longer platforms is one possibility TFL could investigate?

    Comment by Melvyn | October 20, 2018 | Reply

    • I suspect that a Class 717 train-style solution could be applied to Aventras for the East London Line.

      But it would not be needed for new tunnels as these would be built with a walkway like the Canal Tunnels at Kings Cross. Thameslink seems to get away with not having an end gangway. Do they have a walkway or did the rules not exist, when the tunnel was built?

      My observations at stations like Canada Water is that with the current five-car trains passengers move away from the car where the doors don’t open.

      One of the big advantages of an articulated train is that passengers can move easily along the whole of the train. Suppose some guy was having an epileptic fit or some other serious medical emergency. A medically-trained person could easily walk through the train to the emergency and all passengers could get out of the way.

      If we had a six-car train, which would mean that both ends were overhanging the platform, I suspect that passengers will move back and forwards as they need, if the signage and announcements were professional.

      It would be interesting to create a six-car train, make certain it could run safely and then introduce it to the line, with a lot of onboard staff and see how passengers reacted.

      I wonder if anybody has run an eight-car articulated train through stations that can only handle six-car trains.

      I think to do this safely, you need the following.

      1. Articulated trains.

      2. Level access between train and platform.

      3. Very good information and announcements.

      4. Well-trained staff

      Comment by AnonW | October 20, 2018 | Reply

  3. Daks Hamilton was my good friend who died of cancer in 2017 at the age of 45 He worked as a train driver for London Overground they paid him a wonderful tribute by naming this train after him.

    Comment by Ant | November 2, 2018 | Reply

  4. Thanks for the information. Sorry to hear about it, but I thought it was probably something like that!

    There probably should be a plaque in the train, perhaps nudging people to contribute to Cancer Research UK.

    My wife and son died of cancer and I helped to sponsor some research at my old University of Liverpool. Where it got a good result.

    There used to be a bus named after a guy called Bentley on the 56 route, but it’s gone now.

    Comment by AnonW | November 2, 2018 | Reply

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