GWR’s new EMUs

Rail (UK) - - Contents - Richard Clin­nick richard.clin­nick@bauer­me­ As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor

New elec­tric mul­ti­ple units for Great Western Rail­way are un­veiled, ahead of their en­try into traf­fic on Septem­ber 5.

NEW elec­tric mul­ti­ple units for Great Western Rail­way were un­veiled on Au­gust 12, ahead of their in­tro­duc­tion into traf­fic on Septem­ber 5.

Bom­bardier has built the first eight of 45 EMUs for GWR - Class 387/1s that will be used on Thames Valley routes. Ini­tially they will be used be­tween Hayes & Har­ling­ton and Lon­don Padding­ton.

GWR spokesman James Davis told RAIL that fur­ther roll­out of the trains de­pended upon Net­work Rail’s elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme. He said that “GWR ex­pects to be us­ing these trains across its elec­tri­fied Thames Valley net­work by au­tumn 2017”.

The first eight trains to be de­liv­ered (387130-387137) were or­dered when First was awarded the fran­chise in March 2015 ( RAIL 770). The 37 ad­di­tional EMUs were or­dered this year, re­plac­ing the planned cas­cade of 29 four­car Class 387/1s from Govia Thames­link Rail­way. The ad­di­tional or­der con­tains 23 new EMUs and 14 that had been or­dered spec­u­la­tively by Porter­brook.

Davis said that the full roll­out of the re­main­ing 37 trains “de­pends on Net­work Rail elec­tri­fy­ing the Thames Valley”.

Also de­pen­dent upon NR is the use of ‘387s’ at 110mph. They have been built to op­er­ate at this speed, but Davis ex­plained that it was too early to state when this would be­gin be­cause timeta­bles have yet to be agreed with the in­fra­struc­ture com­pany, and it de­pended upon the com­ple­tion of the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion work.

GWR has so far taken de­liv­ery of 387130-387133, and these are cur­rently at Hi­tachi Rail Europe’s North Pole de­pot. Even­tu­ally the ‘387s’ will be main­tained at GWR’s’ Read­ing Train Care de­pot.

The EMUs are fit­ted with thirdrail shoegear, de­spite be­ing un­likely to op­er­ate on the third-rail sys­tem. Davis said this equip­ment was

fit­ted be­cause “we are leas­ing trains be­ing built to a spec­i­fi­ca­tion for a dual-volt­age unit, which is a master sup­ply agree­ment that Porter­brook has”.

As part of GWR’s fran­chise agree­ment it was con­tracted to con­duct a fea­si­bil­ity study for In­de­pen­dently Pow­ered Elec­tric Mul­ti­ple Units (IPEMUs). GWR com­pleted this and sub­mit­ted it to the Depart­ment for Trans­port, but there are cur­rently no fur­ther plans for IPEMUs to be in­tro­duced.

The in­tro­duc­tion of the ‘387/1s’ on Thames Valley routes will en­able GWR to cas­cade Class 165/166 Tur­bos to the Bris­tol area. This will in turn re­lease ‘15x’ units to Devon and Corn­wall, be­gin­ning an in­ter­nal cas­cade that will re­sult in more ca­pac­ity in the far South West and the elim­i­na­tion of Pac­ers from the GWR fran­chise.



Great Western Rail­way 387136 stands in­side Derby Litchurch Lane on Au­gust 12. This is the sev­enth of eight Class 387/1s that will be in­tro­duced onto Thames Valley trains to Hayes & Har­ling­ton from Septem­ber 5.


The in­te­rior of 387134. The Class 387/1s are four-car elec­tric mul­ti­ple units fit­ted with 223 seats. When all 45 trains are in traf­fic, they will op­er­ate in four-, eigh­tand 12-car for­ma­tions from Lon­don Padding­ton.

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