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Eurostar prepares to scrap 186mph Class 373s

Eurostar 373022 at Paris Gare Du Nord on June 3. RICHARD CLINNICK.

Eurostar is to send the first of its 186mph Class 373 trains for scrap after just 22 years in service. The 18-car trains will be scrapped by European Metal Recycling (EMR) at Kingsbury. The first train was due to move to EMR’s Midlands site as RAIL went to press.

  • For more on this, read RAIL 810, published on September 28.

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  • Michaerl - 20/09/2016 10:58

    Can these trains not be utilised somewhere else instead of scrapping them? Seems an awful waste.... Were some of these not in use at some stage in the ECML?

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    • Judith - 19/10/2018 19:39

      Here is a video explaining why https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kxl1hb4Tec

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  • Michael - 20/09/2016 11:00

    Can these trains not be utilised somewhere else instead of scrapping them? Seems an awful waste.... Were some of these not in use at some stage in the ECML?

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    • BigTone - 20/09/2016 11:54

      They were, restricted to 110 mph until Eurostar recalled them

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    • Manparteet Singh - 05/06/2018 12:53

      These trains have a really bad transformer they could only operate at 110mph on the ecml and can't operate in netherlands or germany.

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  • 7D3 - 20/09/2016 12:13

    What a Waste. Are these guys crazy! Why not fully refurbish them and then cascade them all to TGV for some of the long haul services. Or they can ship them all over to California for the new California High Speed line from San Diego and LA to San Francisco and Sacramento. they need high speed trains over there.

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  • Gus - 20/09/2016 13:17

    I would imagine that refurbishment would have been considered, but it's probably not going to make economic sense to do so. 22 years of constant high-speed running is going to take its toll, and where other trains have been given a new lease of life by fitting new traction packages, they aren't subject to the same running environment.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 21/09/2016 01:34

    Very sad to see the Eurostar Class 373's that are going to be scrapped because of Eurostar could be ordering more new trains including more Class 374's E320's to replace the Class 373's. If only the Class 373's would of been given a new lease of life to be used on the ECML but that's not going to happen because of VTEC are ordering the Hitachi Class 800 and Class 801 IEP's.

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  • Peter Storey - 21/09/2016 09:46

    As a retired Eurostar Driver at first I too was very surprised to hear that these first generation marvellous trains are to be scrapped, but after chatting to one of our senior engineers it became obvious why they cannot easily be used elsewhere. These are the 20 car full length sets which were built to do a very specific job to very exacting standards. The shorter North of London sets which did for a time work on the ECML could only do that because of their shorter length. For the full length sets to operate on the same route would require substantial lengthening of platforms, depots and sidings. The NoL never were passed to work up to Newcastle because of signalling interference worries and so were confined to the Leeds route. If these redundant sets were to work anywhere else there is a huge amount of equipment built into the sets which is now starting to become life expired. The trains have both AC and DC power units which is very rare, they have multiple signalling equipment unique to the routes they worked on and this equipment is highly interlocked and not easy to separate. The articulated nature of the coaches means that individual coaches cannot be removed, operating fire doors between the coaches and the different automatic step heights for working with different height platforms in France, Belgium and ET all contribute to make these sets unique. They have travelled many millions of miles at the highest speeds and that takes it toll after 20 years. I too hate to see wasted resources but unfortunately in this case it seems they did their specific job admirably but would be too expensive and complicated to have their life extended for work elsewhere. I understand though that a number will be refurbished and continue to to the job they were built for. The first of these refurbished sets is back in service after a very long overall and proving popular. It is now working alongside the new Siemens Eurostar sets.

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    • David - 22/09/2016 00:14

      Couldn't have written a better reply myself. They were designed specifically for their job but as bespoke units (smaller loading gauge and third rail only before HS1 was opened) they are becoming more and more expensive to maintain. 20 years is quite a healthy age for a high speed train.

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  • David C S Bartlett - 22/09/2016 13:37

    I really think that its time that Rail magazine changed to use metric. This international High Speed train at "186mph" is an especially egregious example. Why is Rail so far behind its competitors, when continental comparisons are so pertinent.

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    • BigTone - 22/09/2016 14:10

      Why bother with such a trivial matter? For one I hate it when BRITISH documentaries use metric measurements only leaving me to have to work out what they are saying

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    • FrankH - 22/09/2016 22:21

      Here we measure speed in mph which is why metric is not mentioned.

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      • PeteS - 27/10/2016 20:51

        Not quite true - HS1 in the UK is entirely metric. Speeds are exclusively in km/h and distance in km - right the way into St Pancras. When ETCS is introduced on the southern ECML and London-Bristol GWML by 2020 distances and speeds will convert to km too,

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        • FrankH - 28/10/2016 15:16

          HS1 fair enough, with French and Belgian drivers being used to kph and kilometres. Can't see the logic in the other 2 though.

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  • Andy Pandy - 23/09/2016 06:06

    A bit of a waste isn't it?

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  • Andy Pandy - 23/09/2016 06:08

    A bit of a waste isn't it?

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  • Chris - 24/09/2016 10:55

    Why not refurbish and introduce new services across the continent or even as sleeper services?

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    • Alex - 26/09/2016 20:17

      Would sleeper trains succeed ? The original Nightstar stock never entered service and instead was sold to the Canadians.

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  • Long Branch Mike - 26/09/2016 14:33

    The comments were more useful than the too short article!

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  • d burrows - 09/10/2016 21:31

    Are the eurostar at kingsbury yet? According to the railway magazine the first delivery was cancelled.

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  • d burrows - 09/10/2016 21:32

    Are the eurostar at kingsbury yet? According to the railway magazine the first delivery was cancelled.

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  • S. Richards - 18/10/2016 16:40

    Will the replacement class 374 (or e320) fit the platforms at Ashford?

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  • W. Becket - 27/10/2016 22:44

    I agree. When I was a railwayman the units of measurements were miles and chains; the latter very appropriate since it was approximately the length of a coach length. I do not know of any good reason for copying continental habits.

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  • Jason Leyton networker fan - 29/10/2016 13:33

    A bit early to scrap a fleet of 20 odd years old Euro stars eh? Why not send them over the ECML like they did in the good old days....

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  • Michael d - 12/11/2016 14:16

    Will they sell off the name plates and memorabilia? Would like drivers seat for my office.

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  • darren lucas - 15/03/2017 11:59

    save them from scrap let northern rail use them etc

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  • Clid - 14/08/2017 11:47

    What a waste! They could just refurbished all of them and make them run alongside the class 374's and increase the frequency of the trains! Wasteful.

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  • Judith - 19/10/2018 19:38

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kxl1hb4Tec

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