Tuesday, 14 June 2011

EMU Class 332, the Heathrow Express

EMU British Rail Class 332, No.332004 at London Paddington Station
Before going back to Japan, I visited the UK for my vacation. I lived in North Wales in the early ‘90s, but I had not visited the UK for more than ten years.

After my arrival at Heathrow, I saw a big change in airport access to London; the Heathrow Express. A stylish EMU class 332 operates between Heathrow Central and London Paddington stations with a maximum speed of 160km/h. It only takes 15 minutes. A train is composed of 4 or 5 cars including one first class car. All trains were manufactured in 1997-1998 by Siemens and CAF, Spain. The electric system is 25kV AC overhead.

The interior is divided into 3 rooms by door decks. This interior style is similar to those of the EMU JR Hokkaido 721 series in Japan. The 721 series is also an airport access train, which connects Sapporo City and Shin-chitose Airport.

After leaving Heathrow Central station, which is located in the basement, the train pulled out of the tunnel and ran through the western suburbs of London. I was just admiring the view from a window of the train; green forests, factories, storage facilities and stone-built houses. It was bright early summer, the best season in the UK. How 15 minutes had quickly passed, the Heathrow Express approached Paddington, which is downtown London City.

The Heathrow Express, it’s a rapid airport access in London.

The interior of a standard class car, EMU British Rail Class 332
More information about EMU JR Hokkaido 721 series (in Japanese): http://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/train/tr020_01.html