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*update* – the final pictures were added on the 2nd February. You can now find all 43 units plus internal shots of the SWT refurbishment.

The first part of this trilogy is featuring the 43 Class 455/7s which were built by BREL at York between 1984-85. Whilst they weren’t the first series to be built, they’re one of the fleets that’s already being withdrawn as several sets have already been taken out of service. They’re unique amongst the class in that they were built as 3-car sets but made up to 4-car by the addition of redundant but nearly new trailer cars from Class 508 EMUs which were transferred to Merseyside as 3-cars sets.

This makes the 455/7s easy to recognise as the Class 508 vehicles are a completely different design and construction with a very different roof profile. The front end of these units differs from their earlier siblings as they were built without the redundant headcode boxes which was a feature of the first sets (just as they were on the 1981 built 25kv Class 317s). The 7’s also featured a revised light cluster with the air-horns being moved to a different position.

All 43 trains were allocated to the SW Divison of BR where they’ve remained ever since. Latterly working for South-west trains and finally South-Western Railway who ordered new units to replace them back in 2017. That replacements been delayed for several years but the inevitable has started to happen.

I’m fortunate in that I’ve been photographing these trains for over 30 years and have a record of each member of the class. I’ll add them all to this blog eventually when time permits but for now these are the edited highlights. I’ll put a header on the blog each time I add new pictures. You can find all my Class 455 pictures in three galleries on my Zenfolio website. 1. The BR gallery. 2. South-West Trains. 3. Southwestern Railway.

On the 17th October 2020 the leader of the Class calls at Clapham Junction with a service to Guildford via Surbiton.
5702 arrives at Dorking after working a service via Epsom on the 19th June 2013.
Back in BR days now on the 6th June 1990 when NSE liveried 5703 was working services to Shepperton, seen here at Clapham Junction.
Here’s 5704 in the company of a classmate passing Wimbledon depot on the 20th May 2015 whilst working a Waterloo to Guildford service.
In August 2017 the Waterloo blockade to extend platforms 1-4 to 10 car lengths was happening. On the 8th of that month 5705 is seen leading a service into the terminus.
On the same day as the previous picture 5706 is seen leaving the former Eurostar terminus at Waterloo with a service to Kingston upon Thames.
It’s the 11th November 2013 and in glorious autumn sunlight 5707 approaches Vauxhall from Waterloo with a service to Woking.
On the 8th September 2009 a pair of 455/7s with 5708 bringing up the rear arrive at London Waterloo.
On the 27th January this year 5709 approaches Clapham Junction with an inbound service to Waterloo.
Inside Wimbledon depot on the 22nd October 2013 where 5710 keeps company with 5918.
Several years earlier on the 29th November 2006 5711 sits outside Wimbledon Park depot adjacent to the main line.
Here’s Kingston on Thames on the 3rd March 2010 as 5712 arrives on a Waterloo to Shepperton service.
Back at Wimbledon Park on the 8th September 2009 as 5713 passes with a service for Guildford via Cobham.
It’s the 7th December 2021 and there’s steam in the air as an excursion approaches Clapham Junction whilst 5714 brings up the rear of a service heading for Waterloo.
A different view of Wimbledon on the 17th April 2007 as 5715 leads a sister unit on a ‘Kingston rounder’.
Back at Clapham Junction on the 21st December 2019 where 5716 is seen bringing up the rear of a Woking to Waterloo service.
This time we’re at Epsom on the 29th June 2014 as 5717 calls at the station with a service from Waterloo to Dorking.
Vauxhall again on the 13th November 2013 where 5718 is approaching the station from Waterloo with a service for Chessington South.
Another, rather different view of Wimbledon as 5719 crosses the flyover next to the depot and passes 444032 heading for Portsmough.
Between duties, 5720 sits alongside the shed at Clapham Junction on the 1st May 2019.
Having been repainted into Network SouthEast livery in the early 1990s 5721 waits at Windsor and Eton Riverside with a service to Waterloo on the 19th June 1994.
Guildford has been associated with the class all their working lives. Here’s 5722 sat at Platform 3 whilst working a Waterloo via Woking service on the 15th November 2015.
Also seen at Guildford, this time on the 26th May 2012, is 5723 after arriving from Waterloo via Surbiton.
Back at Clapham Junction on the 2nd November 2011 when 5724 was stabled in the yard in the company of a quartet of Siemens-built Class 450s
Livery transition time as 5725 in the new SWT suburban red liver passes classmate 5717 which was still in the old Stagecoach white and blue with orange and red stripes. The date is the 9th May 2006.
The changing scene at Guildford. 5726 departs on a service to Waterloo via Epsom on the 23rd April 2014, passing the relaying of stabling sidings which are being extended to take 10 car trains.
Back in BR days 5727 sporting Network South-East livery callas at Clapham Junction with a Shepperton branch service.
The footbridges West of Wimbledon station and the open vista provide a great location for open shots of South-Western suburban services. Here’s 5728 with a sister unit bringing up the rear of a Woking – Waterloo service on the 20th May 2015.
Another shot from the Wimbledon footbridges but this time taken several years earlier on the 29th November 2006. 5729 and a 455/9 units head off into the autumn sunset…
In this shot taken outside the shed at Clapham Junction 5730 is missing one of its driving trailers (77786) for reasons unknown. The unit’s sporting the earlier Stagecoach livery. The date is the 26th January 2001.
Back at Wimbledon on the 5th of September 2011 when the switches and crossings underneath the train were still awaiting renewal (see later pictures for afterwards). Here’s 5731 in multiple with a 455/9 set whilst working a service to Woking.
Framed by the lighting towers at Wimbledon Park depot unit 5732 is being shunted into the stabling sidings on the bright autumn day. The 29th November 2006 in fact.
On the same day in November 5733 sits inside Wimbledon Park awaiting attention.
Back at the Wimbledon footbridges on the 20th May 2015 and the track renewal has taken place. Meanwhile 5734 and a pair of class 456s with 456004 leading work a Waterloo – bound service from Guildford.
Journey’s end. 5735 unloads its passengers at Waterloo on the 20th February 2015.
With a skyline full of cranes as the Battersea Power station redevelopment is on full swing, 5736 brings up the rear of a Waterloo bound service at Clapham Junction. This vista has changed out of all recognition in the past decade as London’s skyline has become defined by new high-rise and landmark buildings. The date is the 19th May 2018.
A brace of 455/7s with 5737 pull out of platform 1 (The Cobham bay) at Guildford on their return to London via Epsom on the 23rd April 2014.
Another of those photographs that show how much London’s skyline has changed in a decade. Compare this view from the 2nd November 2011 when 5738 was heading for Waterloo past a brace of SWT Class 159 with this shot (link) taken in 2021.
On the 3rd April 2005, 5739 sporting Stagecoach livery approaches Raynes Park with a service for Chessington South.
It’s back at my old favourite, the footbridges West of Wimbledon station! Here’s 5740 bringing up the rear of a Shepperton branch service bound for Waterloo on the 5th September 2011.
It’s the 5th July 2017 and 5741 calls at Strawberry Hill, the home of the Southern Electric Traction Group and the last remaining 4-VEP. 3417.
Wimbledon one more for our penultimate 455/7. 5742 passes the depot with a Guildford via Surbiton service on the 4th October 2006.
And finally! Renumbered out of sequence as 5750 this is really 5743. It was given the new number in may 1991 to celebrate Wimbledon depot obtaining BS5750 quality services accreditation. It’s seem here on the 3rd July 2006.

For those who may have never travelled on the 455/7s, here’s a few internal shots showing how they looked after SWT has refurnished the units between 2004-2008. The pictures show the interior of 5735, taken in July 2006.

Vehicle 77795, one of the driving trailers.
A great improvement over the BR design (and Southern units which don’t have the modification) was that the sliding doors were altered so they opened wider.
The interior of trailer 71563.
The roof line and vestibule area immediately give this away as one of the former Class 508 vehicles, in this case 62817.
Driving trailer 77796.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at the 455/7s. The rest of the series will follow, but I can’t promise I’ll be posting individual pictures of all 74 Class 455/8s!

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