Class 444 Desiro

The Class 444 (along with the very similar Class 450) was ordered for South West Trains to replace slam door stock on long-distance services running on the former Souther Region Western Section [1]. They mostly can be found on Waterloo to Weymouth and Portsmouth services.

Information
Number built: 225 cars (45 5-car sets)
Built: 2003-04
Builder: Siemens Transportation
Engine: 1TB2016-0GB02 traction motors (750v DC third rail)
Power: 2, 682 hp (2, 000 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+Trailer Standard
Open (TSO)+TSO+Trailer Standard Buffet (TSRMB)+
Driving Motor Composite Open (DMCO)

The Class 444 differs from the 450 being 5-car sets and with a low-density seating arrangement [2]. Like the 450 the 444s are equipped with a pantograph well and could be converted in future to 25kV AC overhead line electric collection though there are no plans for any such conversion.


Like most new types the 444s had a few teething problems when entering service but quickly became very reliable units and indeed received the Golden Spanner award for being Britain's most reliable trains in 2010 [3]. They are now operated by SWT's successor South Western Railway.
SWT 444 003 at Clapham Junction

SWT 444 013 at Guildford

SWT 444 044 at Portsmouth Harbour

SWT 444 022 at Woking


[1] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 344
[2] John Balmforth, South West Trains (Ian Allan, 2011) p. 66
[3] Siemens Desiro Class 444 wins award as most reliable train <http://www.transportweekly.com/pages/en/news/articles/78314/>