Suburban Electric Railway Association      
Located at the COVENTRY ELECTRIC RAILWAY CENTRE, Rowley Road, Baginton, Warwickshire           


Established 1996


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  BR (Southern) 2-EPB - Principle Data

Number Of Coaches In Unit Two
Formation Of Unit Driving Motor Brake Second - Driving Trailer Second
Motor Equipment Two 250hp motors on bogie under DMBS cab
Vehicle Weights DMBS - 40 tons : DTS - 30 tons
Vehicle Lengths (Excluding buffers) 63 feet 6 inches (each car)
Unit Numbers When New 5651-5684

Brief History Of The 2-EPB (SR) Units

The unit of this type preserved at Coventry is privately owned by a member of the SERA. As such it is funded entirely by it's owner but remains a welcome addition to the SERA EMU heritage fleet.

This unit comes from a batch of units built at Eastleigh in 1959 on the frames and bogies of older wooden bodied 2-NOL units. The body profile and styling was identical to that used on the 4-EPB units 5001 onwards that were built in batches from 1951 to 1957 which themselves were based upon the 4-SUB production units. The two vehicles gave a total seating capacity of 178 and were first used on Waterloo to Weybridge and Windsor services. They later migrated to suburban routes out of London Victoria on the 'Central' section of the Southern Region.

Starting in 1982 the Southern region selected a number of these two car units for face lifting. Those not selected had their motor coaches donated to make up new 4 face lifted four cars with the surplus driving trailers scrapped. They were fitted with fluorescent strip lights, new ceilings and the compartment section of the driving trailer was opened out to make one long saloon. The slight loss of seating was negated by more access and improved personal safety. Public address and new seating moquete were the finishing touches. the face lifted two and four car units were dedicated to suburban services on the central section from Victoria and London Bridge.

These units broke with tradition for SR EMUs when a batch of them were made available for work on the London Midland region services from spring 1985 between Broad Street and Richmond following the withdrawal of the class 501 fleet. When Broad Street closed the units took over the whole of the LMRs North London Line services between Richmond and North Woolwich which they did until replaced by 313 units in 1989. The units selected for these duties were fitted with window bars to prevent passengers leaning out due to tight clearances on this route. In time all of the fleet was so modified. Whilst used on the LMR the units remained allocated to the Southern with transfer of stock workings via platform three at Richmond. When slam door suburban working ceased on the central section in 1991 the units were cascaded to the 'Eastern' to replace un-refurbished units on services from Charing Cross and Cannon Street. they ended there days here when replaced by Networker EMUs a few years later.

6307 was one of a small batch of old slam door EPB stock held back from scrapping and stored for possible sale to preservationists. It was bought by a private individual in 1996 who moved it to storage on Winkleigh Airfield in Devon. When the storage arrangement there ended he took up an offer to move to Coventry and store the unit there. What the future holds for 6307 is uncertain but the SERA are happy to entertain it.

When new all units were painted all over green. The half and full yellow ends appeared in the 1960s and that gave way to all over rail blue with full yellow ends during the late 60s and early 70s. All the units that were face lifted received inter city type blue and grey livery and some that survived beyond 1990 were repainted into the red, white, blue and grey of the Network SouthEast sector.

6307 stands at Coventry shortly after delivery, the DMBSO vehicle is nearest the camera indicated by the double set of doors behind the cab where the guards brake van is. Photo G. Gleaves

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