Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
British Rail APT-E
The APT-E (meaning Advanced Passenger Train Experimental) tilting train was the prototype Advanced Passenger Train unit. It was powered by gas turbines, the only multiple unit so powered that was used by British Rail. It was formed of two power cars (numbers PC1 and PC2), with two trailer cars (TC1 and TC2) in between. The cars were made of aluminium and were articulated to reduce the weight of the unit.
It made its first run in July 1972 and achieved a new British railway speed record when it hit 152.3mph while on test with the Western Region out of London Paddington. It was also tested on the Midland Main Line out of London St. Pancras.
The unit was only intended for testing and was never used in ordinary public service. When its period of testing was complete, in June 1976, it was sent to the National Railway Museum, York for presrvation. It is now based at the NRM's Locomotion museum in Shildon. When further APT units were built (the Class 370, they were powered by 25kV AC electrification, since the rising oil prices in the 1970s had rendered gas propulsion too expensive.
Test Bed Set
The APT-POP set was a rake of three unpowered carriages used as a test bed for the suspension, tilting and braking systems used by APT units. The 'Power Cars' were only mock-ups, though similar externally to PC1 and PC2 in the APT-E unit minus cabs, and the whole set had to be hauled by a locomotive. Following the abandonment of the APT project, all three carriages were scrapped in 1985. The set was formed as follows:
Number: 975634 - 975636 - 975635 Identity: PC3 - Lab 8 - PC4
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