Locomotives / Train Sets

BR Class 373 EMU (Eurostar e300 / TGV TMST)

Electric Locomotive

Entry Last Edited: 01/17/2024 | Content ©www.RailRoadJunction.net | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Specifications [+]
The high-speed BR Class 373, built in the 1990s, has connected Britain, France, and Belgium ever since November 1994.
During the 1990s, the British Rail "Class 373" Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) was realized through the partnership of GEC Alsthom and Brugeoise et Nivelles for high-speed service between population hubs in Britain, France, and Belgium. Route access primarily involved the famous Channel Tunnel (the "Chunnel") and service began on November 14th, 1994 (continuing today, 2023). Thirty-eight units were ultimately constructed at locations in La Rochelle and Belfort, France, at Washwood Heath, England, and Bruges, Belgium. The primary rail service operator us Eurostar.

Because of its operational service through the Channel Tunnel, the design of these trains was notably altered for improved survivability of passengers and crew in the event of a tunnel or onboard train fire while en route. Early British forms operated through the UK third-rail network while all others utilize the proven overhead Pantograph approach.

Initial orders were placed by SNCF (France, 16 units), NMBS/SNCB (Belgium, 4 units), and British Rail (UK, 18 units).

The train was ultimately built across two distinct types known as "Three Capitals" and "North of London" - thirty-one and seven units being built, respectively. While 11 of the original stock remain in service today (2023), sixteen have been retired and scrapped. A refurbishment program was undertaken from 2004-2005 and a Mid-Life Extension (MLX) followed in 2008 which involved interior redesigns. The first refurbished train from the 2008 work was released back into service in 2015.

A typical formation of Three Capitals has been twenty total cars seating 750 passengers (758 after refurbishment). Likewise, the North of London model seated 558 passengers. The complete trainset has a length of 1,269 feet with driving vehicles measuring 72.7 feet long and intermediate trailers at 61.3 feet in length. Width is 9.2 feet. Cars are constructed of steel.

The traction system is the GEC Alsthom GTO-VVVF with 12 x Brush TM2151B asynchronous three-phase AC traction motors. The power output is variable based on section of rail: 35 kV 50 Hz AC, 3,000 V DC, and 1,500 V DC all accessed through a conventional overhead line via Pantograph. An alternative arrangement could see 750 V DC on a third rail with contact shoes access. Power output, therefore, could range between 4,559 horsepower and 16,414 horsepower depending on rail leg and electric system in play.

A peak speed, the train can reach 186 miles-per-hour (300kph). Onboard safety systems include AWS, KVB, TBL, TPWS, and TVM-430.

The design has since been succeeded by the Siemens Class 374 (e320) and TGV Duplex types beginning in 2015. The Class 373 is alternatively recognized as the Eurostar e300, the "Cross-Channel Super Train", and the TGV TMST ("TransManche Super Train") - the latter as the design is rooted in the French "TGV" high-speed train family.

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Specifications [ BR Class 373 EMU (Eurostar e300 / TGV TMST) ]

GEC Alsthom - France / La Brugeoise et Nivelles - Belgium

France; United Kingdom
1992 - 1996
Production Run

38 units
Production Total
Train driver seating position graphic

Driver Position
22.2m | 72.7 ft
NOTE: May include length of entire train set
725,748 kg
(1,600,274 lb | 800 US Tons)
Locomotive power source graphical icon
Power Source
GEC Alsthom GTO-VVVF: 25 kV 50 Hz AC; 3,000 V DC; 1,500 V DC; 750 V DC third rail (contact shoes); typically accessed via overhead line with Pantograph assembly.
Engine / Drive Source
12 x Brush TM2151B asynchronous three-phase AC.
Traction Motor / Sets
16,414 hp
Rated Output Power
300.0 kph
(186.5 mph)
Max Speed
Wheel Arrangement
(Loco Facing Left)


Safety Systems
Series Variants
BR Class 373 - Base Series Designation.
TGV TMST ("TransManche Super Train") - Alternative designation.
Eurostar e300 - Alternative designation.
PS1 (Pre-Series 1) - Initial production form out of Belfort in 1992; 2 power cars, 7 coaches used in testing.
PS2 (Pre-Series 2) - Second pre-series form of May 1993; full-length testbed.
Class 373/1 - Version built as BR, NMBS, and SNCF sets for Eurostar, IZY, and SNCF.
Class 373/2 - Version built for BR North as London set for Eurostar.
Unit No.373999 - Spare powercar; single example to Eurostar.
Operating Countries
Belgium; France; United Kingdom

National flag of Belgium National flag of France National flag of the United Kingdom
Customers / Operators:
Eurostar; Great North Eastern Railway; IZY; SNCF
NOTE: Includes both past and present

Image of the BR Class 373 EMU (Eurostar e300 / TGV TMST)

Image of the BR Class 373 EMU (Eurostar e300 / TGV TMST)
Side profile illustration view of the British Rail Class 373 high-speed electric locomotive.
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