British Rail Class 309

Ranked #180 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About British Rail Class 309

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The British Rail Class 309 "Clacton Express" electric multiple units (EMUs) were built by British Rail (BR) York Works from 1962-1963. They were initially classified as Class AM9 before the introduction of TOPS. These units were the first express 25 kV alternating current (AC) units to be built by British Rail, and British Rail's first EMUs to be capable of 100 mph. Twenty-three units were built in three different batches. Each unit had identical electrical equipment. The original concept called for increasing the power-to-weight ratio when strengthening trains from eight to ten cars in peak periods using the 2-car units, in order to make the peak timetable more resilient. When built, units were used exclusively on Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) express services from London Liverpool Street to Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze. Trains would be formed of three units in a ten-car formation (i.e. one two car unit, and two four car units). The train would divide at Thorpe-le-Soken, with one of the 4-cars units used on the Walton section, and the remaining six cars continuing to Clacton. The Walton portion usually comprised the griddle car unit. This continued until the late 1970s,

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