British Rail Class 415

British Rail Class 415

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British Rail Class 415

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British Rail Class 415 (or 4EPB) was a suburban 750 V DC third rail electric multiple unit commissioned by the Southern Region of British Railways. Built between 1951 and 1957, it became the most numerous class on the region after the withdrawal of the 4Subs. The final trains were withdrawn in the 1990s, replaced by Class 455, 456, 465 and 466.

The British Rail designation Class 415 was applied to a group of four coach, 3rd rail electric multiple units constructed between 1951 and 1961 and in service from 1951 to 1995.


The 4EPB units (4-car Electro-Pneumatic Brake) were a development of the Southern Railway 4Sub design, but incorporating electro-pneumatic brakes, unit-to-unit buckeye couplings, roller blind headcode displays in place of the stencil holders used previously, and without external doors to the driver's cab. There were motor-generators for the lighting and current control whereas previous practice had been to use series lighting and a voltage divider for the control circuits.

The first units built were based on Southern Railway designs and utilised standard Southern railway jigs, being constructed using standard Southern Railway components such as doors and underframes and being built to a standard Southern body profile. The doyen of the class, unit 5001, was completed at Eastleigh in 1951. Further examples were built at Eastleigh up until 1957.

In 1960, the first British Railways design units appeared. Intended to replace the 1925 design Southern...
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