British Rail Mark 3
Overview
 
British Rail
British Rail
British Railways , which from 1965 traded as British Rail, was the operator of most of the rail transport in Great Britain between 1948 and 1997. It was formed from the nationalisation of the "Big Four" British railway companies and lasted until the gradual privatisation of British Rail, in stages...

's third design of standard carriage was designated 'Mark 3' (also described as Mark III), and was developed primarily for the InterCity 125 High Speed Train
InterCity 125
The InterCity 125 was the brand name of British Rail's High Speed Train fleet. The InterCity 125 train is made up of two power cars, one at each end of a fixed formation of Mark 3 carriages, and is capable of , making the train the fastest diesel-powered locomotive in regular service in the...

 (HST). The vehicle was also developed as a conventional locomotive-hauled coach for the West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
The West Coast Main Line is the busiest mixed-traffic railway route in Britain, being the country's most important rail backbone in terms of population served. Fast, long-distance inter-city passenger services are provided between London, the West Midlands, the North West, North Wales and the...

 (WCML) northern electrification scheme - this was the first Mark 3 derivative to enter revenue service, in 1975, with the definitive HST version appearing a year later.
Encyclopedia
British Rail
British Rail
British Railways , which from 1965 traded as British Rail, was the operator of most of the rail transport in Great Britain between 1948 and 1997. It was formed from the nationalisation of the "Big Four" British railway companies and lasted until the gradual privatisation of British Rail, in stages...

's third design of standard carriage was designated 'Mark 3' (also described as Mark III), and was developed primarily for the InterCity 125 High Speed Train
InterCity 125
The InterCity 125 was the brand name of British Rail's High Speed Train fleet. The InterCity 125 train is made up of two power cars, one at each end of a fixed formation of Mark 3 carriages, and is capable of , making the train the fastest diesel-powered locomotive in regular service in the...

 (HST). The vehicle was also developed as a conventional locomotive-hauled coach for the West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
The West Coast Main Line is the busiest mixed-traffic railway route in Britain, being the country's most important rail backbone in terms of population served. Fast, long-distance inter-city passenger services are provided between London, the West Midlands, the North West, North Wales and the...

 (WCML) northern electrification scheme - this was the first Mark 3 derivative to enter revenue service, in 1975, with the definitive HST version appearing a year later. The final batch was built in 1988, although multiple-unit designs based on the Mark 3 bodyshell continued to be built into the early 1990s. The Mark 3 and its many derivatives are widely recognised as one of British Rail's greatest engineering achievements, with the vast majority of the surviving fleet still in revenue service on the British railway network to the present day.

Construction

The Mark 3 looks similar to Mark 2D, 2E and 2F
British Rail Mark 2
The Mark 2 family of railway carriages were British Rail's second design of carriages. They were built by British Rail workshops between 1964 and 1975...

 coaches, but is a completely different design. A difference aiding quick recognition is the ridged roof of the Mark 3s compared with a smooth roof on the Mark 2s.

The bodyshell is 75 feet (22.9 m) long, almost 10 feet (3 m) longer than the Mark 2, of full monocoque
Monocoque
Monocoque is a construction technique that supports structural load by using an object's external skin, as opposed to using an internal frame or truss that is then covered with a non-load-bearing skin or coachwork...

 construction, and has gained a reputation within the railway industry for its exceptional strength and crashworthiness. Another important advance over its predecessor was the adoption of secondary air suspension
Air suspension
Air suspension is a type of vehicle suspension powered by an engine driven or electric air pump or compressor. This pump pressurizes the air, using compressed air as a spring. Air suspension replaces conventional steel springs. If the engine is left off for an extended period, the car will settle...

 between the body and the bogies giving the passengers an exceptionally smooth ride. The bogies, classified BT10, were designed specifically for the Mark 3 and have coil spring primary suspension with hydraulic dampers enabling a maximum speed of 125 mile per hour — the Mark 2 is limited to 100 mph (44.7 m/s). Disc brake
Disc brake
The disc brake or disk brake is a device for slowing or stopping the rotation of a wheel while it is in motion.A brake disc is usually made of cast iron, but may in some cases be made of composites such as reinforced carbon–carbon or ceramic matrix composites. This is connected to the wheel and/or...

s in place of the Mark 2's clasp brakes completed the engineering package - enabling efficient deceleration from 125 mph and almost silent brake operation.

Ancillaries such as electrical and air conditioning systems were grouped together in discrete modules housed behind an aerodynamic skirting between the bogies; on the Mark 2 these were mounted above and below the passenger seating area. The lighting and air conditioning fittings were for the first time integrated into the ceiling panels. Other new features (first seen on the Mark 2F) were the pneumatically operated automatic gangway doors which were triggered by pressure pads under the floor, and a speed operated central door locking system for the manually operated slam-doors.

The main difference between the HST vehicles and the loco-hauled Mark 3A relate to electrical supply arrangements.
HST MK3s take an industrial voltage/frequency 3-phase supply directly from an auxiliary alternator in the power car to supply on board equipment such as air conditioning. The loco hauled vehicles take a standard single phase 1000 V AC or DC train heat supply from the locomotive and convert it through motor generator
Motor-generator
A motor-generator is a device for converting electrical power to another form. Motor-generator sets are used to convert frequency, voltage, or phase of power. They may also be used to isolate electrical loads from the electrical power supply line...

 units located under the floor. These convert the train supply to 3-phase 415/240 V 50 Hz AC to power air conditioning and other ancillaries. This difference makes the two types non-interconnectable in service conditions. The other main difference is the lack of buffers on HST coaches.

The later Mark 3B build provided additional 1st Class loco hauled vehicles for the West Coast Main Line. These are virtually the same as earlier Mark 3As, but have an improved motor alternator unit with compound wound motor and seating derived from the Advanced Passenger Train (APT)
Mark Built Features Numbers Built
Mark 3 1972 prototypes 1 RSB (10000), 1 RUK (10100), 4 FO
First Open
A First Open or FO, is a type of railway carriage used by British Rail. They were first produced as British Railways Mark 1, and subsequently Mark 2, Mark 3, and Mark 4 variants were produced.-Mark 4:...

 (11000-11003), 4 TSO
Tourist Standard Open
Tourist Second Open or Tourist Standard Open, abbreviated to TSO, is a type of British Railways coach. The designation "Tourist" was originally as opposed to a normal SO coach...

 (12000-12003)
Mark 3 1976-82 standard HST
High Speed Train
There are three types of trains in Britain that have been traditionally viewed as high speed trains:* Advanced Passenger Train - Tilting trains which never entered into regular revenue-earning service....

 stock (no buffers)
37 TRSB (40001-40037), 58 TRSB (40300-40357), 20 TRUK (40501-40520), 167 TF
First Open
A First Open or FO, is a type of railway carriage used by British Rail. They were first produced as British Railways Mark 1, and subsequently Mark 2, Mark 3, and Mark 4 variants were produced.-Mark 4:...

 (41003-41169), 339 TS
Standard Open
Second Open or Standard Open is a British coach designation for open-plan second class coaches with 2+1 abreast seating, usually seating 48 passengers. Second class coaches with more conventional 2+2 abreast seating were designated Tourist Standard Open .There were a number of variations...

 (42003-42341), 102 TGS (44000-44101)
Mark 3A 1975-84 standard locomotive-hauled stock 2 Royal
British Royal Train
The Royal Train is a set of railway carriages dedicated for the use of the British Monarch, other members of the Royal Family, and their staff. The train enables members of the Royal Family to carry out busy schedules over an extended period, in a secure environment which minimises disruption and...

 (2914–2915), 28 RFB (10001-10028), 120 SLEP
Sleeper Either Class
A Sleeper Either class and Sleeper Either class with Pantry are a type of railway sleeping car used in the United Kingdom. Some units were later modified for better wheelchair access as Sleeper Either class Disabled...

 (10500-10619), 88 SLE
Sleeper Either Class
A Sleeper Either class and Sleeper Either class with Pantry are a type of railway sleeping car used in the United Kingdom. Some units were later modified for better wheelchair access as Sleeper Either class Disabled...

 (10646-10733), 60 FO
First Open
A First Open or FO, is a type of railway carriage used by British Rail. They were first produced as British Railways Mark 1, and subsequently Mark 2, Mark 3, and Mark 4 variants were produced.-Mark 4:...

 (11004-11063), 165 TSO
Tourist Standard Open
Tourist Second Open or Tourist Standard Open, abbreviated to TSO, is a type of British Railways coach. The designation "Tourist" was originally as opposed to a normal SO coach...

 (12004-12168)
Mark 3B 1985-88 later locomotive-hauled stock with improved interior lighting diffusers, InterCity 80 seats and other upgrades 2 Royal
British Royal Train
The Royal Train is a set of railway carriages dedicated for the use of the British Monarch, other members of the Royal Family, and their staff. The train enables members of the Royal Family to carry out busy schedules over an extended period, in a secure environment which minimises disruption and...

 (2922–2923), 38 FO
First Open
A First Open or FO, is a type of railway carriage used by British Rail. They were first produced as British Railways Mark 1, and subsequently Mark 2, Mark 3, and Mark 4 variants were produced.-Mark 4:...

 (11064-11101), 3 BFO (17173-17175), 52 DVT
Driving Van Trailer
A Driving Van Trailer is a purpose-built railway vehicle that allows the driver to operate a locomotive at the opposite end of a train. Trains operating with a DVT therefore do not require the locomotive to be moved around to the other end of the train at terminal stations...

 (82101-82152)

Usage

The Mark 3 design proved to be highly adaptable for use in BR's multiple unit stock of the 1980s, with the following classes having Mark 3 based bodyshells:
  • AC EMU
    Electric multiple unit
    An electric multiple unit or EMU is a multiple unit train consisting of self-propelled carriages, using electricity as the motive power. An EMU requires no separate locomotive, as electric traction motors are incorporated within one or a number of the carriages...

     Classes
    • Class 317
      British Rail Class 317
      The British Rail Class 317 alternating current electric multiple units were built by BREL York in two batches, from 1981-82 and 1985-87. They were the first of several classes of British Rail EMU to be based on the all-steel Mark 3 bodyshell, departing from the "PEP"-aluminium design which had...

    • Class 318
      British Rail Class 318
      The British Rail Class 318 is an electric multiple unit train, which operates exclusively in the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport network in West Central Scotland. The units were introduced fully on 29 September 1986 as part of the electrification of the Ayrshire Coast Line between and...

    • Class 319
      British Rail Class 319
      The British Rail Class 319 dual-voltage electric multiple units were built by BREL York in two batches in 1987–88 and 1990. The trains were introduced for new north-south cross-London services from Bedford to Brighton, and since privatisation these services have been operated by Thameslink and...

      /Class 320
      British Rail Class 320
      The British Rail Class 320 is an alternating current electric multiple unit train found on the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport rail network in Central Scotland, and is used exclusively on the North Clyde Line between Helensburgh and Airdrie, North Lanarkshire via Glasgow Queen Street...

      /Class 321
      British Rail Class 321
      The British Rail Class 321 alternating current electric multiple units were built by BREL York in three batches from 1988-91. The design was successful and led to the development of the similar Class 320 and Class 322 units for use by Strathclyde PTE and Stansted Express respectively...

      /Class 322
      British Rail Class 322
      The British Rail Class 322 electric multiple units were built by BREL in 1990. Five 4-car units were built for the dedicated Stansted Express service from London Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport. The units were then used by First ScotRail, operating on the North Berwick Branch Line, between /...

  • DC EMU Classes
    • Class 442
      British Rail Class 442
      The British Rail Class 442 Wessex Electric electrical multiple units were introduced in 1988 on the South Western Main Line from London Waterloo to Southampton Central, Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth. Twenty-four of these 5-car units were built in 1988/89 by BREL at its Derby works...

    • Class 455
      British Rail Class 455
      The British Rail Class 455 is a type of electric multiple unit drawing power from a 750 V DC third rail. Built by BREL at York works in the early and mid-1980s, they were initially categorised as Class 510 as the successor to the Class 508...

    • Class 456
      British Rail Class 456
      The British Rail Class 456 electric multiple-unit trains were built by BREL at York Works from 1990-91.- Description :24 two-car units were built as direct replacements for the elderly Class 416 2EPB units which operated on the Central Division of the Southern Region of British Rail. Units were...

  • DMU
    Diesel multiple unit
    A diesel multiple unit or DMU is a multiple unit train consisting of multiple carriages powered by one or more on-board diesel engines. They may also be referred to as a railcar or railmotor, depending on country.-Design:...

     Classes
    • Class 150
      British Rail Class 150
      The British Rail Class 150 "Sprinter" diesel multiple units were built by BREL from 1984-87. A total of 137 units were built in three main subclasses, replacing many of the earlier first-generation "Heritage" DMUs.- Background :...

    • Class 210
      British Rail Class 210
      The British Rail Class 210 was a type of diesel-electric multiple unit built in the late 1970s. The class was intended to be a modern replacement for the ageing 'first generation' types in use on the Southern Region of British Railways but the prototypes built did not manage to secure production...



The Mark 3 bodyshell was also used as the basis for Northern Ireland Railways
Northern Ireland Railways
NI Railways, also known as Northern Ireland Railways and for a brief period of time, Ulster Transport Railways , is the railway operator in Northern Ireland...

' 450 Class
NIR 450 Class
The Class 450 is a type of diesel multiple unit used by Northern Ireland Railways.-History:In the mid 1980s, Northern Ireland Railways was in the process of upgrading its rolling stock. Having already purchased three new locomotives, it then proceeded to purchase replacements for its Class 70...

 DMU.

Since 1977, the Royal Train
British Royal Train
The Royal Train is a set of railway carriages dedicated for the use of the British Monarch, other members of the Royal Family, and their staff. The train enables members of the Royal Family to carry out busy schedules over an extended period, in a secure environment which minimises disruption and...

 has used nine specially equipped Mark 3 coaches to transport members of the Royal Family. Some of these were rebuilt from the original HST prototype vehicles.

Grand Central, a new open access operator on the ECML, uses HST sets on its newly inaugurated services between London and Sunderland http://www.therailwaycentre.com/UK%20News%20Pages%20Oct%2006/051006-GCR.html. The Mark 3 coaches are of the loco-hauled type, and so have undergone modifications to their couplers and electrical systems to make them compatible with Class 43
British Rail Class 43 (HST)
The British Rail Class 43 is the TOPS classification used for the InterCity 125 High Speed Train power cars, built by BREL from 1975 to 1982....

 power cars. They have a limited role on the WCML, with the overnight Caledonian Sleeper
Caledonian Sleeper
The Caledonian Sleeper is a sleeper train service operated by First ScotRail and one of only two remaining sleeper services running on the railways of Great Britain, the other being the Night Riviera....

 services between Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 and London Euston using Mark 3 sleeping car
Sleeping car
The sleeping car or sleeper is a railway/railroad passenger car that can accommodate all its passengers in beds of one kind or another, primarily for the purpose of making nighttime travel more restful. The first such cars saw sporadic use on American railroads in the 1830s and could be configured...

s.

Following the introduction of Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains is a train operating company in the United Kingdom. It operates long-distance passenger services on the West Coast Main Line between London, the West Midlands, North West England, North Wales and Scotland...

' Pendolino
British Rail Class 390
The Class 390 Pendolino is a type of train used in Great Britain. They are electric multiple units using Fiat's tilting train pendolino technology and built by Alstom. Fifty-three 9-car units were originally built for Virgin Trains from 2001 to 2004 for operation on the West Coast Main Line , with...

 electric multiple unit
Electric multiple unit
An electric multiple unit or EMU is a multiple unit train consisting of self-propelled carriages, using electricity as the motive power. An EMU requires no separate locomotive, as electric traction motors are incorporated within one or a number of the carriages...

s on to the WCML, a huge surplus of Mark 3 vehicles was created, ending up in storage at Long Marston
Long Marston, Warwickshire
Long Marston is a village about southwest of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England. The southern and western boundaries of the parish also form part of the county boundary with Worcestershire.-History:...

. Some of the former Virgin coaches were refurbished and cascaded onto the Great Eastern Main Line
Great Eastern Main Line
The Great Eastern Main Line is a 212 Kilometre major railway line of the British railway system, which connects Liverpool Street in the City of London with destinations in east London and the East of England, including Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich and several coastal resorts such as...

, replacing the Mark 2E/2F
British Rail Mark 2
The Mark 2 family of railway carriages were British Rail's second design of carriages. They were built by British Rail workshops between 1964 and 1975...

 vehicles which were working London-Norwich
Norwich
Norwich is a city in England. It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. During the 11th century, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important places in the kingdom...

 services. They also continue to be used by First Great Western
First Great Western
First Great Western is the operating name of First Greater Western Ltd, a British train operating company owned by FirstGroup that serves Greater London, the South East, South West and West Midlands regions of England, and South Wales....

 on the Great Western Main Line
Great Western Main Line
The Great Western Main Line is a main line railway in Great Britain that runs westwards from London Paddington station to the west of England and South Wales. The core Great Western Main Line runs from London Paddington to Temple Meads railway station in Bristol. A major branch of the Great...

, and East Coast
East Coast (train operating company)
East Coast is a British train operating company running high-speed passenger services on the East Coast Main Line between London, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland...

 on the East Coast Main Line
East Coast Main Line
The East Coast Main Line is a long electrified high-speed railway link between London, Peterborough, Doncaster, Wakefield, Leeds, York, Darlington, Newcastle and Edinburgh...

 franchise.

Virgin has retained at least one complete Mark 3 set with a Class 90 locomotive - initially used to cover peak-time Euston-Birmingham services while the Pendolinos underwent modifications, but it is now covering the loss of 390033 which was written off after the Grayrigg derailment
Grayrigg derailment
The Grayrigg derailment was a fatal railway accident that occurred at approximately 20:15 GMT on 23 February 2007, just to the south of Grayrigg, Cumbria, in North West England. The initial conclusion of the accident investigation is that the derailment was caused by a faulty set of points ,...

 in 2007. In July 2009, Virgin refurbished this set - completely repainted into the Pendolino silver/black livery to bring it in line with the newer fleet, with the interiors receiving power sockets at every seat, the addition of WiFi, and new seat covers and carpets in the same style as the Pendolino and Voyager fleets, but the BR vintage seats and interior fittings will remain. Various references can be found on the Internet where railway enthusiasts have nicknamed this set the "Pretendolino".

In January 2007, the first of the refurbished Mark 3 sets for the ECML were unveiled by previous franchisee GNER
Great North Eastern Railway
Great North Eastern Railway was a British train operating company, owned by Sea Containers Ltd. It operated high-speed express train services on the East Coast Main Line from 1996 until 9 December 2007 when the franchise was taken over by National Express East Coast.GNER's primary service routes...

 - these have been internally refitted to the same standard as the "Mallard" Mark 4
British Rail Mark 4
British Rail's fourth design of passenger carriages was designated Mark 4, designed for use in InterCity 225 sets on the newly-electrified East Coast Main Line between London, Leeds, and Edinburgh.-History and construction:...

 stock with the same styles of seating and lighting. The new Mark 3 Mallards have been converted by Wabtec
Wabtec
Wabtec Corporation is an American company formed by the merger of the Westinghouse Air Brake Company and MotivePower Industries Corporation in 1999....

 in Doncaster
Doncaster
Doncaster is a town in South Yorkshire, England, and the principal settlement of the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster. The town is about from Sheffield and is popularly referred to as "Donny"...

, and the final refurbished set entered service in October 2009.

Cargo-D, a newly established rolling stock logistics company has acquired 18 ex-Virgin West Coast Mark 3 coaches and repainted them in their original British Rail blue/grey livery and Inter-City branding - the first time the livery has been seen on the coach since the late 1980s. The stock is used primarily for the company's own "Rail-Blue" charter operation and has been leased to Wrexham & Shropshire (see below).

Wrexham & Shropshire, an open access operator, introduced four of its own rakes of refurbished Mark 3 coaches pulled by a Class 67
British Rail Class 67
The Class 67 locomotives are a class of Bo'Bo' diesel electric mainline locomotives which were built for the English, Welsh and Scottish Railway between 1999 to 2000 by Alstom at Meinfesa in Valencia, Spain with drive components from General Motors Diesel.Rail enthusiasts have nicknamed the class...

 locomotive for its services between London and Wrexham
Wrexham
Wrexham is a town in Wales. It is the administrative centre of the wider Wrexham County Borough, and the largest town in North Wales, located in the east of the region. It is situated between the Welsh mountains and the lower Dee Valley close to the border with Cheshire, England...

. After the collapse of Wrexham & Shropshire, these rakes are now used on Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Railways is a British train operating company. It was set up at the privatisation of British Rail in 1996, and operates local passenger trains from Marylebone station in London to Aylesbury and main-line trains on the Chiltern Main Line to Birmingham Snow Hill with its associated branches...

 services between London Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street. Chiltern is now in the process of acquiring more Mark 3 coaches.

CrossCountry
CrossCountry
CrossCountry is the brand name of XC Trains Ltd., a British train operating company owned by Arriva...

 has reinstated HSTs on the CrossCountry franchise in response to criticism of the lack of seating capacity
Seating capacity
Seating capacity refers to the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, both in terms of the physical space available, and in terms of limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats...

 on the Voyager
British Rail Class 220
The Class 220 Voyager are a class of diesel-electric high-speed multiple-unit trains built by Bombardier Transportation in 2000 and 2001....

 DEMUs used by previous incumbent Virgin Trains. In order to satisfy demand for these new HST sets, it is anticipated that more loco-hauled Mark 3 coaches will need to be converted for HST operation.

These developments will ensure that the vast majority of the Mark 3 fleet will be back in revenue service, assuaging earlier fears that a large number of the coaches may end up being exported or scrapped. Arising out of British Rail's over-provision of stock for sleeper services that have long since been withdrawn, two-thirds of the Mark 3 sleeping car fleet were either stored or scrapped.

Original formation

The original Mk3 coaches delivered as part of HST
InterCity 125
The InterCity 125 was the brand name of British Rail's High Speed Train fleet. The InterCity 125 train is made up of two power cars, one at each end of a fixed formation of Mark 3 carriages, and is capable of , making the train the fastest diesel-powered locomotive in regular service in the...

 sets for Western Region
Western Region of British Railways
The Western Region was a region of British Railways from 1948. The region ceased to be an operating unit in its own right in the 1980s and was wound up at the end of 1992...

 (Class 253
British Rail Class 253
Class 253, Class 254 and Class 255 are classifications that have in the past been applied to InterCity 125 high speed trains in Great Britain.-Class 253 and 254:...

) contained Trailer First (TF), Trailer Second
Second class
Second class generally indicates a secondary level of service or importance. Specific uses of the term include:Travel* Economy class or travel class in rail transport, depending on era* Second Class Scout, see ranks in the Boy Scouts of America...

 (TS), and Trailer Buffet Second
Second class
Second class generally indicates a secondary level of service or importance. Specific uses of the term include:Travel* Economy class or travel class in rail transport, depending on era* Second Class Scout, see ranks in the Boy Scouts of America...

 (TRSB) variants in formation TF-TF-TRUK-TS-TRSB-TS-TS. Complaints from train guards about engine noise in the guards' compartments (which were located in the HST
InterCity 125
The InterCity 125 was the brand name of British Rail's High Speed Train fleet. The InterCity 125 train is made up of two power cars, one at each end of a fixed formation of Mark 3 carriages, and is capable of , making the train the fastest diesel-powered locomotive in regular service in the...

 Power cars) led to an additional variant, the Trailer Guard Second
Second class
Second class generally indicates a secondary level of service or importance. Specific uses of the term include:Travel* Economy class or travel class in rail transport, depending on era* Second Class Scout, see ranks in the Boy Scouts of America...

 (TGS) in 1980, which was based on the TS but with the end vestibule and one seating bay replaced by a guard's compartment. This replaced the last TS in all sets from 1980 onwards. Sets delivered for Eastern Region
Eastern Region of British Railways
The Eastern Region was a region of British Railways from 1948. The region ceased to be an operating unit in its own right in the 1980s and was wound up at the end of 1992...

 (Class 254) contained 8 coaches, originally in formation TF-TF-TRUK-TS-TS-TRSB-TS-TS. The TRUK cars were quickly replaced by a TS on the Western Region and most had been replaced on the Eastern Region by 1985 (many later rebuilt into loco-hauled buffet cars). TRUB cars (Trailer Restaurant Unclassified Buffet) were new build from 1978, to replace the TRUK cars, and these were reclassified as TRFB (Trailer Restaurant First Buffet) from 1985 on the Eastern and Midland Regions and from 1989/90 on the Western Region.

Previous formations

Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains is a train operating company in the United Kingdom. It operates long-distance passenger services on the West Coast Main Line between London, the West Midlands, North West England, North Wales and Scotland...

 frequently operated HST sets in shortened formations between 2001–2004, the most common being five-car sets. This was to give the trains better acceleration, so as to be similar to the Voyager
Bombardier Voyager family
The Voyager series is a group of express diesel-electric multiple-unit trains built by Bombardier Transportation for service on the UK railway network.-Class 220:...

 units.

Current formations

Most operators of HST sets form them in eight-car sets, with East Coast
East Coast (train operating company)
East Coast is a British train operating company running high-speed passenger services on the East Coast Main Line between London, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland...

 operating nine-car sets, with an additional standard-class vehicle. The exceptions are Cross Country, which operate seven-car sets with only one first-class car and a simplified buffet car, First Great Western which operate some seven-car "high density" sets without buffet cars and with more seats in each car on express services to Oxford, and Grand Central, which operate their HSTs as six-car.

Hauled stock

Mark 3A coaches were deployed on WCML expresses out of Euston to bring the three main long-distance routes from London up to the same standard. Initial variants were Second
Second class
Second class generally indicates a secondary level of service or importance. Specific uses of the term include:Travel* Economy class or travel class in rail transport, depending on era* Second Class Scout, see ranks in the Boy Scouts of America...

 Open (TSO) and Open First(FO). Catering and sleeper vehicles continued to be Mark 1 stock until the introduction of Restaurant Buffet (RUB) vehicles in 1979-80, and the sleeper (SLEP) vehicles in 1981-82. In 1988 the process was completed with the elimination of Mk 1
British Railways Mark 1
British Railways Mark 1 was the family designation for the first standardised designs of railway carriages built by British Railways. Following nationalisation in 1948, BR had continued to build carriages to the designs of the "Big Four" companies , and the Mark 1 was intended to be the...

 parcels vehicles
Brake Gangwayed
The Brake Gangwayed or BG coach is a type of British Railways Mark 1 passenger brake van. It has a guard's compartment in the centre and two large areas either side for storing luggage...

 and their replacement with Mk 3 derived Driving Van Trailer
Driving Van Trailer
A Driving Van Trailer is a purpose-built railway vehicle that allows the driver to operate a locomotive at the opposite end of a train. Trains operating with a DVT therefore do not require the locomotive to be moved around to the other end of the train at terminal stations...

s, making the WCML push-pull
Push-pull train
Push–pull is a mode of operation for locomotive-hauled trains allowing them to be driven from either end.A push–pull train has a locomotive at one end of the train, connected via some form of remote control, such as multiple-unit train control, to a vehicle equipped with a control cab at the other...

.

Scottish Region push-pull
Push-pull train
Push–pull is a mode of operation for locomotive-hauled trains allowing them to be driven from either end.A push–pull train has a locomotive at one end of the train, connected via some form of remote control, such as multiple-unit train control, to a vehicle equipped with a control cab at the other...

 services were initially made up of four TSO and one FO Mark 3A coaches with a Mark 2F DBSO.
This was later changed when the FO was converted to a CO by the declassification of half a coach and installation of a partition between the two classes. An SO was removed from the formation. These vehicles were removed from the Scottish regional routes in 1989 when they were replaced with Class 158
British Rail Class 158
British Rail Class 158 Express Sprinter is a diesel multiple-unit train, built for British Rail between 1989 and 1992 by BREL at its Derby Works. They were built to replace many locomotive-hauled passenger trains, and allowed cascading of existing Sprinter units to replace elderly 'heritage' DMUs...

 multiple unit stock.

Entertainment carriages

In 2009 First Great Western
First Great Western
First Great Western is the operating name of First Greater Western Ltd, a British train operating company owned by FirstGroup that serves Greater London, the South East, South West and West Midlands regions of England, and South Wales....

 introduced 'entertainment carriages' which are fitted with at-seat television screens known as Volo TV. The system, which First Great Western claim is a "world first", is usually fitted to D-coach standard class carriages.

Multiple units based on the Mark 3

The Mark 3 formed the basis of BR's Second Generation multiple unit
Multiple unit
The term multiple unit or MU is used to describe a self-propelled carriages capable of coupling with other units of the same or similar type and still being controlled from one driving cab. The term is commonly used to denote passenger trainsets consisting of more than one carriage...

 fleet, which was progressively phased in from the early 1980s onward.

Electric multiple units include the 25 kV AC EMUs of the Class 317
British Rail Class 317
The British Rail Class 317 alternating current electric multiple units were built by BREL York in two batches, from 1981-82 and 1985-87. They were the first of several classes of British Rail EMU to be based on the all-steel Mark 3 bodyshell, departing from the "PEP"-aluminium design which had...

 and Class 318
British Rail Class 318
The British Rail Class 318 is an electric multiple unit train, which operates exclusively in the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport network in West Central Scotland. The units were introduced fully on 29 September 1986 as part of the electrification of the Ayrshire Coast Line between and...

, and the 750 V DC EMUs of the Class 455
British Rail Class 455
The British Rail Class 455 is a type of electric multiple unit drawing power from a 750 V DC third rail. Built by BREL at York works in the early and mid-1980s, they were initially categorised as Class 510 as the successor to the Class 508...

 and Class 442
British Rail Class 442
The British Rail Class 442 Wessex Electric electrical multiple units were introduced in 1988 on the South Western Main Line from London Waterloo to Southampton Central, Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth. Twenty-four of these 5-car units were built in 1988/89 by BREL at its Derby works...

. Also with a dual voltage EMU which is the Class319
British Rail Class 319
The British Rail Class 319 dual-voltage electric multiple units were built by BREL York in two batches in 1987–88 and 1990. The trains were introduced for new north-south cross-London services from Bedford to Brighton, and since privatisation these services have been operated by Thameslink and...

. Diesel multiple units include the short-lived diesel electric Class 210
British Rail Class 210
The British Rail Class 210 was a type of diesel-electric multiple unit built in the late 1970s. The class was intended to be a modern replacement for the ageing 'first generation' types in use on the Southern Region of British Railways but the prototypes built did not manage to secure production...

, and the diesel mechanical "Sprinters" of the Class 150
British Rail Class 150
The British Rail Class 150 "Sprinter" diesel multiple units were built by BREL from 1984-87. A total of 137 units were built in three main subclasses, replacing many of the earlier first-generation "Heritage" DMUs.- Background :...

. The cars for Classes 150, 210, 317, 318 and 455 units are built on 20 m frames, and are outwardly similar. However, those for Class 442 are on 23 m frames, and visually look very similar to the familiar HST mark 3 coach. The main visual difference being the use of swing plug automatic doors rather than the traditional "slam-door" as used on HST stock. The Class 153
British Rail Class 153
The British Rail Class 153 Super Sprinter is a single car diesel multiple unit converted from British Rail Class 155s.-Description:These units were originally built as two-car Class 155 units by British Leyland from 1987–88, but were converted by Hunslet-Barclay at Kilmarnock from 1991-92...

 and Class 155
British Rail Class 155
The British Rail Class 155 Super Sprinter is a diesel multiple unit. These DMUs were built by British Leyland at Workington between 1987 and 1988 as part of British Rail's replacement of its ageing diesel fleet which were First-Generation.- History and description :The Class 155 train is made up...

, while being of the "Sprinter family", are in fact built by British Leyland and have nothing to do with the Mk 3 carriage. This is also true of the Class 156
British Rail Class 156
The British Rail Class 156 Super Sprinter is a diesel multiple-unit train . 114 of these units were built from 1987 to 1989 by Metro-Cammell at its Washwood Heath Works in Birmingham...

, which was built by Metro-Cammell. The final batch of "Sprinters" of Class 158
British Rail Class 158
British Rail Class 158 Express Sprinter is a diesel multiple-unit train, built for British Rail between 1989 and 1992 by BREL at its Derby Works. They were built to replace many locomotive-hauled passenger trains, and allowed cascading of existing Sprinter units to replace elderly 'heritage' DMUs...

 (some rebuilt as Class 159
British Rail Class 159
The British Rail Class 159 is a class of diesel multiple unit of the Sprinter family, built in 1989 - 1992 by BREL at the Derby Carriage and Wagon Works as Class 158...

), are of a design intermediate between that of the Mk 3 and the later Mk 4
British Rail Mark 4
British Rail's fourth design of passenger carriages was designated Mark 4, designed for use in InterCity 225 sets on the newly-electrified East Coast Main Line between London, Leeds, and Edinburgh.-History and construction:...

. In addition, a fleet of nine 450 Class DMUs were built at Derby for Northern Ireland Railways
Northern Ireland Railways
NI Railways, also known as Northern Ireland Railways and for a brief period of time, Ulster Transport Railways , is the railway operator in Northern Ireland...

 using Mark 3 bodyshells and Mark 1 underframes, together with refurbished power units and traction motors, recovered from the former UTA 70 class units. The last EMUs built that are based on the Mark 3 carriage are the Class 321 and 322 units.

The Mark 3 in Ireland

The Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

's national rail operator, Iarnród Éireann
Iarnród Éireann
Iarnród Éireann is the national railway system operator of Ireland. Established on 2 February 1987, it is a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann . It operates all internal intercity, commuter and freight railway services in the Republic of Ireland, and, jointly with Northern Ireland Railways, the...

, ordered a fleet of Mark 3 carriages built between 1984 and 1989, with bogies to suit the Irish gauge of 1600 mm (5 ft 3 in). The fleet consisted of 124 Mark 3s and nine Mark 3A "Cú na Mara" internationals. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, they formed a large part of the intercity rolling stock
Coaching Stock of Ireland
A wide variety of hauled coaches have been used on the railways of Ireland. This page lists all those since 1945.-Republic of Ireland:When formed in 1945, Córas Iompair Éireann inherited from its constituents a motley collection of coaching stock from various manufacturers, in equally variegated...

 on the Irish railway network
Rail transport in Ireland
Rail services in Ireland are provided by Iarnród Éireann in the Republic of Ireland and by Northern Ireland Railways in Northern Ireland.Most routes in the Republic radiate from Dublin...

.

All of these coaches were built with automatic plug door
Plug door
A plug door is a door designed to seal itself by taking advantage of pressure difference on its two sides and is typically used on pressurised aircraft...

s, which initially caused some concern as additional time and resources were required to perfect them. The design of these doors was later used on the Class 442
British Rail Class 442
The British Rail Class 442 Wessex Electric electrical multiple units were introduced in 1988 on the South Western Main Line from London Waterloo to Southampton Central, Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth. Twenty-four of these 5-car units were built in 1988/89 by BREL at its Derby works...

 "Wessex Electrics". Most of the fleet was air-conditioned, except for a small number of coaches built originally as outer suburban stock which ran in push-pull
Push-pull train
Push–pull is a mode of operation for locomotive-hauled trains allowing them to be driven from either end.A push–pull train has a locomotive at one end of the train, connected via some form of remote control, such as multiple-unit train control, to a vehicle equipped with a control cab at the other...

 configuration. A number of coaches were first class
First class travel
First class is the most luxurious class of accommodation on a train, passenger ship, airplane, or other conveyance. It is usually much more expensive than business class and economy class, and offers the best amenities.-Aviation:...

, and there were several dining car
Dining car
A dining car or restaurant carriage , also diner, is a railroad passenger car that serves meals in the manner of a full-service, sit-down restaurant....

riages as well as five driving van trailer
Driving Van Trailer
A Driving Van Trailer is a purpose-built railway vehicle that allows the driver to operate a locomotive at the opposite end of a train. Trains operating with a DVT therefore do not require the locomotive to be moved around to the other end of the train at terminal stations...

s (DVTs) which included passenger seating. There were also a number of accompanying generator vans for supplying power.

In 2006/7, new carriages built by CAF
Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles
Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles is a rail equipment manufacturer based in Beasain in the Basque Country, Spain. Equipment manufactured by CAF includes light rail vehicles, rapid transit trains, railroad cars and locomotives, as well as variable gauge axles that can be fitted on any...

 of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 (widely referred to as "Mark 4s") were introduced on the important Dublin-Cork route. The displaced Mark 3s were then cascaded to other intercity routes. However, Iarnród Éireann then began taking delivery of Korean
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

-built 22000 Class
IE 22000 Class
The 22000 Class "InterCity Railcar" is a Diesel multiple unit type in service with Iarnród Éireann in Ireland.In a new departure for Iarnród Éireann they will be the first railcars to have been built specifically to serve on InterCity routes and are capable of up to 100 mph .-History:In 2005,...

 railcars, which ultimately led to the withdrawals of all the Mark 3s from service. The type's final service was a 13:45 Dublin-Cork relief train on 21 September 2009.

See also

  • InterCity 125
    InterCity 125
    The InterCity 125 was the brand name of British Rail's High Speed Train fleet. The InterCity 125 train is made up of two power cars, one at each end of a fixed formation of Mark 3 carriages, and is capable of , making the train the fastest diesel-powered locomotive in regular service in the...

  • Class 43 power cars
    British Rail Class 43 (HST)
    The British Rail Class 43 is the TOPS classification used for the InterCity 125 High Speed Train power cars, built by BREL from 1975 to 1982....

  • Coaching stock of Ireland
    Coaching Stock of Ireland
    A wide variety of hauled coaches have been used on the railways of Ireland. This page lists all those since 1945.-Republic of Ireland:When formed in 1945, Córas Iompair Éireann inherited from its constituents a motley collection of coaching stock from various manufacturers, in equally variegated...

  • Class 442 EMU
    British Rail Class 442
    The British Rail Class 442 Wessex Electric electrical multiple units were introduced in 1988 on the South Western Main Line from London Waterloo to Southampton Central, Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth. Twenty-four of these 5-car units were built in 1988/89 by BREL at its Derby works...

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